It's SO nice to meet you!
I'm a truth illuminator and joy seeker placed on Planet Earth to help injured athletes reclaim their happiness and feel like their best self again.
I know what it's like to be insanely frustrated and feel like I'm falling behind in life while being forced to sit on the sidelines after an injury. I also know what it's like to face the reality of having to retire from the sport that brought me so much happiness for many years.
During these seasons, the hardest part was knowing that I wasn't being myself but feeling like I couldn't understand why or how to fix it.
For better or for worse, several sports injuries and long surgical recoveries provided me with the opportunity to find answers and learn what it takes to find myself again -- and to rediscover the happiness, purpose, and confidence that I so desperately longed for... in and out of sport.
HERE'S HOW IT ALL STARTED
I begged my mom to sign me up for a soccer league starting at 5 years old. When I finally joined a team, it was everything and more that I dreamed of.
I was surrounded by coaches and teammates who cheered me on and believed in me.
I found an activity that was fun, came easy, and brought me success... lot's of it.
I worked my ass off every day, always trying to prove and improve myself.
I received lots of praise. Developed lots of confidence. And felt like I truly belonged.
I found leadership and power in my role as captain for my high school team.
And my "no-quitting" work ethic helped me to earn a spot on my school's varsity team in college.
Soccer became my life.
It was my self-esteem booster and stress reliever. And it was the place where I teetered more on the "success" end of the challenge/success balance.
There were some days when I dreaded putting my cleats on because the practice plan included 120s or a timed mile. And I thought about every other unpleasant thing I would rather experience instead.
But I still showed up. I slapped on my game face. I powered through. And always felt proud of myself and my body for making it through the tough stuff.
The soccer field was home to me. It was a place of self-discovery, self-love, pleasing other people, and winning.
But things got complicated
Whereas success came easy for me on the soccer field through high school, college was a different story.
I sat the bench for my first two years, which made me even more determined to work my ass off and prove myself so that I could finally earn a start.
That day came on the third game of the season in my junior year. I started the game, played 15 minutes, got subbed out, and did not play again.
The toughest thing for me was not having an explanation from my coach. I didn't know what I did "wrong"and I felt completely defeated.
So I marched into her office the next day of practice. She told me that I wasn't fast enough to be a contributing player that game, and you know what I did?
I busted my ass every sprint to show her she was wrong.
Emotions were flying high and me pushing my body to the limit for almost 2 hours, one-turn-and-pivot later I tore my first ACL.
I cried because I knew I would be warming the bench for the rest of the season. But I made a decision. If I couldn't be the best player, I sure as hell was going to be the best cheerleader.
And I was going to crush this recovery, because I had one more year left to play in college, and I knew it was going to be the best one yet.
It was. I had no question that I would return to play and show others that an ACL injury doesn't have to take your sport away.
And it happened this way because I had a world of support around me -- my parents, siblings, friends + teammates, an athletic trainer, physical therapist, and orthopedic surgeon who were all cheering me on along the way.
This ACL injury showed me that I'm capable of rising above the tough stuff and find success even when I get thrown a curveball.
And it sealed the deal on my choice to become a Physical Therapist specializing in Sports Medicine so that I could help other athletes return to their own badass season.
And then things got more complicated
I lived the PT student's dream in my first year of graduate school.
I made friends quickly. I started dating the guy I thought I would marry. I did well in all of my classes. And I found lots of joy playing soccer in a co-ed recreational soccer league.
Just when I felt comfortable in a new season of life, I tore my other ACL.
I didn't need an MRI to know what happened. My pain pattern was the same.
What I needed was a pair of crutches, a plan, and the same successful recovery that happened the first time around.
To my disappointment, God had a different adventure for me.
Four months into my recovery after surgery, I hit a plateau in my progress. My knee was chronically painful and swollen. I couldn't get full extension no matter how hard I tried, and I was miserable.
I was diagnosed with the first of 3 recurrent cyclops lesions, which required three more surgeries over the course of 2.5 years -- the last of which was another ACL reconstruction.
Cue the start of my "LOST" season
I didn't know it at the time, but I become so consumed with the state of my "failing" body and recovery process that I began to believe life as I knew it was over.
All I wanted was for my knee to get better so that I could get back to doing the things I love -- the things that made me feel like "me".
What I longed for was the connection to the people, places, and things that made me happy before.
But I didn't know how to get back there when my world felt like it was falling apart.
The only way I knew how to deal with overwhelming thoughts and feelings was not to deal with them.
So I withdrew from everything and everyone that I cared about, thinking that if I just worked harder and put more effort into my knee, everything else would fall into place.
And if I could keep everything inside, I could protect everyone else from being burdened by the same pain that paralyzed me.
And then My world fell apart in every way possible
Just when I thought I had lost enough, I began to lose so much more.
It turns out then when you push everyone else out, you don't get closer... you actually feel even further away from them.
When I already felt like I lost myself, I lost the relationship with my partner. I lost friendships. My grades tanked. And my motivation was nowhere to be found.
I could barely get myself out of bed in the morning.
And when I finally felt like I reached the bottom of a deep dark hole of despair, I knew I needed help.
I tried to do it all by myself in every way I knew how. But it wasn't working.
I decided that I couldn't live this way anymore. It hurt too much.
And I made a commitment to myself to do whatever it took to find my way again.
For my friends. My family. My career. And myself.
I did the one thing I never liked doing
I asked for help.
When I took the brave step of hiring a Healthy Mindset Coach, I started a journey that changed my life for the better in every way possible.
I learned that what I was going through was an identity crisis.
And the reason I felt like I couldn't grow out of it myself was because I didn't know how to. I had never experienced something like this before.
Because my coach walked a similar journey in her own life, she knew what it took to help me find myself, my happiness, and my purpose again.
For the first time in a long time, I felt seen, heard, and known -- like I was exactly where I needed to be.
And I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I believed I would get through this. And I did.
Even more, I learned that what felt like a painful journey of uncertainty, disappointment, and loneliness was actually a crucial turning point in my life.
Everything wasn't falling apart. It was actually all coming together.
In a bigger and better way than I ever imagined.
why I coach athletes like you
I started my professional career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, when I thought that my ultimate purpose in life was to help people physically heal after an injury so that they can get back to the things they love.
I hadn't yet discovered that a sports injury can totally change the course of life as it once was, and some people don't make it back to their favorite activity.
Or if they do, it takes a painfully long time that can often be filled with overwhelming grief, sadness, loneliness, and fear of the future.
When I experienced this myself, I realized that there is so much more to a sports injury than "fixing" the physical body.
Because every athlete is a human too. And when thoughts and emotions start to speak loud, the recovery process can be complicated and delayed... leading to chronic pain, impacts on body image and self-confidence, and feeling lost and confused when the plan goes off course.
Given my own experience with healthy mindset coaching and sifting through medical research about the mental and emotional component of sports injury, I've learned that every step of my journey has prepared me to live out my truest purpose -- which is helping injured athletes to skip the line on frustration and anxiety and jump into a life that makes their heart sing -- even if their role in sports has changed.
I know and believe that it's 100% possible for you to find happiness and fulfillment again, even when you're sitting on the sidelines or retiring from sport earlier than you planned.
I know because I've done it.
I also know that I am a human being just like you -- I'm not a magical unicorn.
Which means that abundant love, joy, and a life filled with passionate purpose is fully possible for you too.
The way to get there the fastest and most efficiently is not by trying to muscle through it yourself and hope that when your physical body gets better, everything else will fall into place, too.
No.. the way to make it happen is by committing to doing the inside work so that you can find alllllllll of the happiness that is already inside of you.
It takes unbreakable support and guidance along with compassion and accountability.
And as your coach, I do exactly this. When you commit to doing whatever it takes to reclaim your happiness, I show you the way to your most badass self from the inside out.
So that you can feel at peace, in control, and insanely happy even when curveballs hit.