What were you like as a little girl?
I was a tom boy. Rough around the edges. I wanted to fit in, but was usually oblivious as to why I never really did. LOL. I was a classic middle child with lots of energy, a loud laugh, and found my happy place on the soccer field.
Who were your idols?
I followed the US Women's National Team (Mia Hamm, Kristine Lily, Julie Foudy, Michelle Akers) very closely and loved their passion and commitment to the game. My Dad was a big idol of mine. He was so steady eddy for our family and has always been my standard for work ethic. He prioritized his family and I remember him being at ALL my games and important events.
Why did you want to play sports?
I found so much joy in being able to express myself on the soccer field. I was a follower growing up and was never truly comfortable in my own skin. Soccer was the one place in my life where I could be myself unapologetically. It was like unleashing all the things I would bottle up. It became an outlet for me.
Were you a natural or did you have to work for it?
A little bit of both. I was a "good enough" athlete to get by, but had to work hard at it to play at higher levels and continue to keep up. I was always putting in extra work technically and training off the soccer field in the gym to get stronger.
Were there any limiting factors that held you back?
Myself. I put a ceiling on my own talent always thinking that I was never good enough to play at the "top" levels... maybe I wasn't, but I never gave myself the permission to try.
What was your dream as an athlete?
To play with the national team or play professionally. Well, that never happened. LOL. I think it's important to be able to change your dreams. Just because one dream doesn't work out, doesn't mean you can't have others that do. You can always pivot. Typically playing at THE highest level is the dream, but it was not feasible for me. I still worked my tail off to be the best athlete and soccer player I could be, and I think that became the new dream and goal.
What practices/beliefs had to be put into place to work toward your goals?
I took care of things OFF the field to make sure I was my best ON the field.
I had the mentality that I was going to be the best. That can mean different things to different people, but for me it was a commitment to making good decisions surrounding issues for our team. Soccer is a team sport, so you have to start thinking of leading with a Team First mentality.
What was your proudest moment as an athlete?
I have no idea. There are so many highs and lows it's hard to choose one. I am so proud of so many moments. Not just big wins either. I remember walking off the field after my last college game (after a loss) and feeling super proud of my college career and how grateful I was to have the opportunity to play with some pretty amazing teammates who are lifelong friends.
What was it like transitioning from playing sports to working in fitness?
My transition was fairly organic. I ended my playing career and went right into coaching soccer. While I was coaching, I started learning about the fitness side of things and really geeking out on physiology. I learned there was a better way to implement a fitness/strength program that was soccer specific and more effective than what was currently going on. So I got certified and dove in to training my different college teams. I made plenty of mistakes along the way, but love the integration of soccer specific fitness and training to help my players play at the top of their game.
What values do you bring from playing sports into your fitness practice?
Hard work and grit. There are so many valuable attributes that you learn as an athlete that directly translate into success off the field. You have to put in the work every single day to make progress, take some knocks, get back up and continue to grind. It takes grit, some thick skin, and an ability to see the long term game.
How has your hard work helped you serve others?
Serving others is what it's ALL about. If you are not helping to serve, then you are not getting the most out of coaching.
Those that are ego driven and selfish never seem to last long. It's about seeing the growth in your athletes and clients, empowering them in their own lives through strength, and opening doors for them because you believe in them, even when they may find it hard to believe in themselves. That's where the magic is, and also what keeps me motivated to continue to serve and create for others.
If you could give your 16 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Know your worth. I hustled waaaay too hard for my worthiness when I was young (even through college). I found a lot of it through extrinsic sources. I know now that's a futile and never ending journey. And it's all inside of you... your power, strength, voice, confidence.