Updated: May 19, 2018
With all of the growth and changes I've been through in my past two years as a coach, I often just assume that many of you know where I came from. But how could you? Most of you I've met after I started coaching, and even if we knew each other before, I have moved, changed communities, refocused, and uprooted my life more times than I care to count (who am I kidding....I'm working on 30 moves in our current home, most across the country or across oceans).
When I left college, I had lived in Louisiana when my dad played for the Saints, back in Oregon during all off seasons, then to California when he was traded, to New York living at West Point Military Academy when he coached football there, back to Oregon for school......well traveled and ready for more. I loved being near family (wherever they were), I also love new experiences and places! Travel and sports have directed my life for as long as I can remember.
When my husband and I got married, our first post was in Germany, and he was quickly deployed. I was living in Germany, very few friends, but with a job that gave me tons of vacations and being payed to be in Europe....it was the best and worst year of my life, worried about my husband coming home, but also getting to travel with new found friends who also didn't have kids (yet ;) ). I found my friends through an awesome workout group and the US army Europe Volleyball league I found (finding these groups is my MO when I'm in a new place...now you know my secret).
Bring it back to having a baby via c section in Germany (A lot of feels for another post!), and moving back to the US to Georgia, having another little one, this time a VBAC waterbirth (again soooo many posts could be made about having 2 kids 2 and under), moving when she was just 6 weeks old to a part of Washington state where we knew noooooo one! This was the roughest patch. The part where I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. The part that, looking back now, I realize I had post-partum depression, but back then I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I didn't have any energy or strength to put on a smile. I cried at the drop of a hat (or at the throwing of a child's tantrum...). It was awful. I felt like I was trapped in someone else's body. But then I got a wake up call that truly saved my life and my kids' early childhood...I found out again when my littlest was just 4 months old that I was pregnant with baby number 3! Surprise! I mean, we always wanted 3, but still, surprise 😂 This little bean helped me realize that something had to change! I started working out, I started eating a little better (but still....ice cream). I had met exactly 1 friend since moving there, and she unknowingly helped me through this incredibly difficult time. Thank goodness for the energy I had that day I went out to meet her...basically a blind date of friendship setup by a mutual friend. It's amazing what taking a simple chance can do for your whole life!
So long story long, by the time we moved yet again back to Portland (YAYYYYYY!), My youngest was 6 months old, but this time I had the mindset and the tools to really recreate me, to help others understand their value, to see the benefit in what sports, movement, camaraderie can do for your mind! And I'm so freaking thankful that its brought me here to meet all of you!! I'm so so thankful!
Here's to taking that one chance.