“It is impossible said the pride, It is risky said the experience, It makes no sense said the reason…Try it the heart whispered.”
You can read about my credentials later on, but I wanted to share a very brief story of how I got to be where I am and doing what I am doing.
I grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, a place that people really recognize now, but that wasn´t the case back then (that makes me sound old, I´m not old..!). Life was simple. I played sports…lots of sports. I played outside. I caught bugs and lizards and climbed trees and played on the beach. It was a great place to grow up.
When I graduated from high school, I went on to West Point. If you ask any graduate of the Academy, they will likely have mixed feelings about their time there, but ultimately admit that it was good experience. That also applies to me. I played Rugby for a year, Equestrian team for 3 years (captain my senior year) and participated in the combatives team for 2 years. I graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in Sociology.
Because of head injuries that prevented me from continuing, I was medically retired from the Army. My biggest questions was obviously, what now? I had not thought about what to do if I wasn´t in the Army.
I was recruited to do logistics management. It was an easy fit for a young officer and I did really well there, despite not liking it at all. I was longing for the life experience I felt I had missed out on and a bit of freedom. The long hours and demanding work environment in logistics just was not cutting it.
A friend of mine from high school had gone to China for some time and seemed to really enjoy his experience. So, I took my TEFL online and applied for jobs. I didn´t really care where I went, I just wanted to go somewhere other than where I was. Advice to anyone from a warm, tropical climate: do your research before you just move somewhere.
I ended up in Changchun, China.
If you don´t know where that is, that´s ok…lots of people I meet from China didn´t know either. It is incredibly far north and the coldest place I had ever been. Still, the people were amazing and it was my first time living abroad. I made lots of friends, traveled a bit and in general enjoyed the expat experience. I stayed 8 months before I decided it was time to go back to the U.S.
I was again at a loss as to what I wanted to do. I had been contacted by the CIA oddly enough. I spoke to the recruiter a few times, but it didn´t interest me. I actually ended up back in logistics…for 2 months…before I quit.
Luckily for me, two friends of mine had a kiteboarding school and they needed an instructor. I had some experience coaching (though not kiteboarding)…and I could kite…and they were willing to teach me everything they knew. My only condition was that I wouldn´t end up homeless!
Kiteboarding started for me in Savannah, but took me to Miami, Aruba and eventually Chile where I started my own school.
Coming to Chile was never in the plan, but some of the best things in life are unplanned. I had this cute, shy, chilean kiteboarding student on my third day in Aruba. He came to a party on the beach that evening and we really hit it off. A little over 2 months later, I moved to Chile.
I tried to continue teaching kiting full time, but I was no longer living next to the beach, but a 3 hour drive from the teaching spot. So, I got into coaching CrossFit. I had always trained, though CrossFit was relatively new to me, but coaching came easy.
I own my own kite school and performance training for CrossFit. In January 2017, I started my Master of Arts in Sports Coaching.