I began working at a physical therapy clinic as a physical therapy tech in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During that time, I received my personal trainer certification and then started a personal training business specializing in strength, sports conditioning and rehabilitation after patients were discharged from PT. It was during this time that the pull to massage therapy overtook me. I had long been told that I should go to massage school because I loved to touch, heal, and work with people. So in 2006, I graduated from Northern New Mexico College's Massage Therapy Program. After passing my National Massage Therapy Board Exam and receiving my New Mexico state massage license, I went on to Boulder College of Massage Therapy to complete there 6-month Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Massage Certification. Man was that tough!
I then added massage to my business, continued to play tons of sand and indoor volleyball, train and massage clients for the next few years. In 2007, my Air Force husband and I married and 2 months later, we moved to Okinawa, Japan. For the next 3 years, I massaged my way across the island, coached volleyball, track, played beach volleyball and we traveled all over Asia. It was during this time, that I discovered a love affair with the ultramarathon. I ran my first 50K (31.1 miles) on a neighboring island, Miyako-Jima. It started an obsession! I have since run ultramarathons in New Zealand, Alaska and Mongolia, Japan, Utah, Hawaii.
Next up on our military move list was North Pole, Alaska. While in Alaska, I was the Lead Fitness Instructor for Eielson Air Force Base's Group Fitness program and taught Boot camp, Pilates, Muscle Pump and sometimes, Spin. I also became the Strength and Conditioning coach for University of Alaska, Fairbank's Women's Volleyball Program. I loved that job! For fun (and competitively), I played a TON of sand volleyball and my dog, Jake and I, spent hours and hours in all weather, temperatures (our coldest run ever was -42F, yes I mean -42F) and seasons exploring trails with and without snowshoes, throughout Fairbanks and North Pole while training for Ultramarathons.
Don't be jealous, but we were then stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii! There I found myself as a new mother, a job that took some getting used to, as becoming a mother was not an easy transition for me. I continued my sports and fitness journey in Hawaii by playing competitively in doubles sand volleyball tournaments, running trails, racing, offering massage, leading bootcamps for Dumbell Fitness, and finally, becoming a certified birth doula. How did that happen? Well, I had an incredibly challenging, 34-hour labor with four hours and one minute of pushing. My midwife was incredible, but because she was also responsible for many other birthing mothers at the same time, there was no one to stay with me and help realign my son who was positioned every way but the correct way. An experienced and knowledgable doula would have known what to do. She could have shown my wonderful husband how to support me, positioned my body so our son would realign correctly, dealt with the pain and kept me calm. Because of my traumatic birth experience, I ended up with a small case of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which caused the first month of our son's life to be wrought with anxiety, doubt, guilt, and sadness. It was because of this experience, that I realized I NEVER wanted a mother to go through this. If I could help fill her memories of her birth with thoughts of love, support and calm, then I will have done my job.
After Hawaii, we were off to Las Vegas, Nevada where I taught fitness classes, offered personal training, ran, played volleyball, served as a masseuse to the spectacular and amazing Pararescue team at Nellis AFB, and assisted a mama or two in birth and lactation support. I also found Crossfit in Vegas and began competing as a masters athlete. And man do I love it!
Next we found ourselves stationed in Alexandria, Virginia. I loved coaching and competing in the Crossfit community there, the fall leaves, the Potomac river, our wonderful neighbors, and my massage clients. I began working on a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science there.
Our current adventure is here in Spokane, Washington. I find myself engaging in the usual activities: Trail running, more sand volleyball, studying, massaging, and coaching. We have even built a garage gym so I can train clients one-on-one or in a small group setting. Sports-specific training, rehabilitation, adaptive and elder fitness are just some of the things I am looking forward to offering in our gym. Come join me for fun and maybe even a little fitness!