You won’t believe it but I was a painfully shy child. I managed to get through my entire Kindergarten and 1st grade years without speaking more than 10 words. I grew up one of five in a family full of anxiety, which stemmed mostly from our lack of finances. The place I consistently found joy and refuge was in physical fitness. Through physical strength I felt more powerful and in control of my uncontrollable life.
Determined to create more stability, security and freedom in my later life, I turned my frustration and fear into a work ethic to beat all work ethics. I worked hard at school and work, and directed my energy to sports and physical activity as an outlet. Moving my body and being capable at sports made me feel strong and confident in a world where I often felt insignificant.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado, Boulder, I secured a job and began my career as a Certified Public Accountant with a top tier international accounting firm. Here I learned the ins-and-outs of running a highly successful business. I loved the thrill of creating within business, being strategic, working with smart people, traveling and the security that came with that steady paycheck.
Over time though, I grew tired of the endless days at my desk crunching numbers and fixing processes for businesses I honestly wasn’t passionate about. More importantly, I wasn’t impacting people’s lives in a way that was meaningful to me. As someone who loves to be a sounding board and solution finder for others and, a cheerleader at heart, I needed that direct ability to help people live better.
So after a few years toiling over whether or not to leave my secure, predictable corporate job and a career path that I had worked so hard to put into place, I took a leap of faith and dove into the fitness industry to follow my passion for healthy living and helping others live happier and more fulfilling lives.
After a couple of years working as a trainer in the industry I began to consider where my career would eventually take me. I had always dreamed of being the CEO of a company someday and didn’t see myself working for a fitness club for the rest of my life. I knew I had more to give, that I wanted the challenge of running and managing a business and developing a team of my own. When the opportunity arose to start a boot camp business with two of my friends, we instinctively jumped two feet in and I never looked back.
We went on to create an amazingly successful million-dollar fitness business and I was thriving on the ability to impact so many lives through my program as well as having the ability to mentor other fitness professionals through my business. I felt on top of the world, all of my dreams finally coming true.
Then… I become a Mom and life got more complex. I tried to make it all work. Hiring a nanny some days and taking the baby to work on others. I was trying to have the best of both worlds, being a working mom while being a stay-at-home-mom. Isn’t owning your own business supposed to give you more time freedom?
This was just the beginning of my crash and burn. Before my son turned one, I lost my mom to cancer. While dealing with the heartbreak and taking care of my newborn, the economy crashed, causing extreme financial stress in my business and strain between my business partner and I.
The true lesson was yet to be revealed however. What I discovered was complex. I had my second son, I now had a partner in my business who was less motivated than I and I was working like mad. I had a successful business and life from the outside but I was miserable on the inside. The lesson…external success doesn’t always equate to happiness. And health… isn’t always as simple as exercising and eating “healthy”.
So THE MOMENT came one day. The MOMENT that brought me here today. I was sitting on the floor of my son’s room. Here, I was running a successful health and fitness business and I was physically exhausted and so burnt out that I felt like I was falling apart. I had lost my desire to be physical and my body was failing.
I knew I needed fitness now more than ever, but couldn’t bring myself to take care of me.
I sat there a Mother. Watching my son play. And realized that if I didn’t change something he was going to watch me as I watched my Mother… unhappy, tired and depressed; angry at life, unhealthy and full of negative thoughts and emotions. I just knew that I didn’t want him to remember me that way. I would grow older and less healthy and not be the positive and inspiring example I wanted to be for him and his brother.
I knew in THAT MOMENT I needed to make a bold move. I needed to not only build a business and pursue health and fitness but I needed to heal myself. And.. reclaim my own power.
I was going to become a VIBRANT woman. A woman that my children could be energized by, someone who made them feel safe, loved, challenged, strong and confident. Someone who was present in their lives and who brought them joy each day.
My first step was hiring a life coach who helped me begin to focus on what I truly wanted (and needed) in life. After about 6 months of progress, I hit a plateau. My doctor wanted me to see a psychiatrist so he could prescribe me drugs for my anxiety and depression but I wasn’t really jiving with that concept. I didn’t want to live my life medicated. My coach suggested I see a holistic healer, someone who could evaluate my internal physiology to see where the breakdowns were happening that left me feeling fatigued, anxious and unmotivated.
After seeing the holistic practitioner and beginning my health plan, I started to feel more energized and optimistic about my life. I was able to muster the energy and focus to start to make change and rebuild my life. This is when my journey, belief in and passion for holistic healing began.
At the same time, I was presented with the opportunity to join a team of online health and fitness business owners through a company called Team Beachbody. I honestly didn’t know much about it but knew I needed to do something differently. I needed to find a way to cut down on my live training hours and business obligations so that I could reduce my anxiety and heal my body. My family needed the income though so I couldn’t give anything up without an alternative. Beachbody gave me the opportunity to take my expertise online to help more people and increase my income without adding live training hours. I could do the coaching work any time that fit my busy mom schedule. As my online business began to grow, I was able to cut back on live training and reduce my business offerings to only those I truly enjoyed.
As my kids began to grow I wanted more time freedom and flexibility so I could be with them at school events, practices and on their days off. I decided to focus more effort on my online business so that I could replace my “brick and mortar” business income and ultimately sell my boot camp company freeing up my time for family.
In 2015, I successfully sold EmpowerFIT Boot Camp to my good friend and mentee Kelly Scott who is continuing the legacy of “Training for the Sport of Life”.
Now I run a team of over 150 coaches from across the Country and help thousands of people each year through my online health programs and accountability groups. But what’s more…. I found a health and business support system through my Beachbody team. We are a “fit family” who support each other in business and in life. I get to run my own business, my way, but never feel alone in business. We’ve grown a ton as a team and have experienced some pretty incredible trips and adventures together while building our businesses and futures.
Over the last 5 years I’ve enrolled in several holistic health and nutrition courses and conducted many hours of self-study in this area. I’m continuing to grow my online coaching business and infusing holistic health practices and functional diagnostic testing to help people rebalance their energy and digestive systems. In the future, I will be creating online courses in the holistic health and weight loss area to educate others so they can take control of their own health, feel ENERGIZED and THRIVE!
Other Fun Bits
- I’m a former fitness competitor who competed at the national level in the Women’s Tri-Fitness series as well as the Fitness America, Fitness Universe and Galaxy Nova series. I am 1 of only 200 women who have ever completed the Women’s Tri-Fitness military obstacle course in under 1 minute.
- I’ve completed two Marathons (San Diego and San Francisco)
- I was a gymnast growing up and at 44 can still do a back tuck on the trampoline ☺
- Travel…it’s what I LIVE to do! My online business allows me to do this more now.
- I love to read books that teach me something or help me grow personally.
- Dancing is my guilty pleasure as well as coffee and a glass of wine.
- I finally gave up trying to be June Cleaver and embraced my inner Claire Dunphy!