Most of my life, I have been a goal setter. I always had big goals and desires at a very young age. I was a Midwest girl born in Detroit, MI, but raised in Whitewater, WI, a very small town, and that never seemed to stop me, since I knew what I wanted. In 7th grade, I made the decision that I would be working with marine mammals. My love and passion were over the top for all types of marine mammals, and I KNEW in my heart of hearts that I would make it happen.
Why did I know? That is just who I am: I knew I would make shit happen. I knew I would succeed at what I wanted in life because it was MY DECISION to make it. Now, getting through this journey was not an easy journey, but music fuels my soul and I remember listening to Garth Brooks’ “The River.”
“You know a dream is like a river
Ever changing’ as it flows
And a dreamer’s just a vessel…”
“I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry…”
I am happy to say that I made a 14-year career out of working with marine mammals, and they were some of the best years of my life. Those moments with the animals will always be in my memory, and no one can take that away from me.
Motivation for rethinking my life came in the last six months of 2008, with the death of my father at only sixty-two years of age, and two miscarriages. In that crisis I relied on three important resources: 1) A renewed interest in religion and the power of prayer; 2) Support from my family and friends; and 3) Self-help in the form of physical activity, whether it was running, triathlons, CrossFit, yoga, dance classes, cycling, or swimming. I lost that desire to make shit happen in my world, after my losses. I knew that if I didn’t go back to “Sailing my Vessel” for my other passion, inspiring people through health and fitness, that I would never “reach my destination.”
When I decided to leave my “dream job” to go back to school to get my Master’s in Kinesiology, pursue my passion of coaching endurance athletes, develop a strength program specifically for endurance athletes, and aim to elevate San Antonio to be a healthier place, I got a TON of questions and comments:
- Why would you leave Sea World? That is a dream job.
- Won’t you miss the animals?
- What? We don’t get to see you swim anymore?
- I will miss you being here with us.
What I realized was that if I stayed in my “dream job,” would it be my dream job anymore? Why would I stay, if I weren’t as passionate or happy about my job? I needed to go back to that 7th grade girl from Wisconsin and make “shit” happen since it was MY DECISION to move on and inspire people on a daily basis through coaching: Mind, body, and soul.
As a triathlon coach and an athlete, I always tell my athletes – and I go by this motto as well: ”RUN YOUR OWN RACE.” Don’t worry about the athlete behind you or ahead of you. Concentrate on what your goals are for this race. If you look funny running, who cares? If you backstroke the whole time in the swim portion, who cares? You do these events because YOU CAN. YOU made the decision to do it. YOU are the one that is making “shit” happen.