It all started when...
Born a happy, healthy, fat baby, into a world of athletics and art, I was never sick. Mobile, hyper flexible, strong, fearless, it was my birthright to fly, dive, fall, swim, ride, glide and climb with grace and ease.
So, fast forward, in the course of a few years recently, I've had 2 total hip replacements, hip dislocation, another partial dislocation, severe anemia, and arrhythmia. Then, the growths; a large breast tumor, multiple cysts, a calcified thyroid. A DSM diagnosis: bipolar I, OCD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, hyper sensitivity, and trauma, followed the death of my fiancé in a climbing accident, and my near death from hypothermia skiing off piste at night with my dog. We had a type 1 diabetes diagnosis for a while. Then, while trying to heal a deep contusion to the quad after a mountain bike crash that took me out of racing and walking, we discovered permanently damaged cervical vertebra with pinched nerves to the brain and bone spurs (a life of gravity sports). Daunted by waiting rooms, specialists, in a world of medicine I did not know or want to know, I submitted to the Drs., then outright rejected them and the entire system. For a moment.
This story is partially about negotiating with pain, loss, trauma, but it’s really just about change, adaptation, acceptance, surrender. We all have a life story that requires DECIDING how we interpret our experiences. This is life and death, wrapped up in a fairly ordinary story where the sky cracks open occasionally and things are remarkably clear.
I believe our intentions shape our outcomes, our habits rule our behavior and all of that can change the world if we become accountable for our own personal mental and physical health and consumption. I've made big changes in my health, by life, my mind, through the habits I inhabit....my patterns, the wakes I leave behind. This is why I'm here. To keep negotiating these patterns, read the clues and define my course.
It's about inhabiting the body you're in. As a sponsored Cat 1 mountain biker, back country skier, diving coach, Wilderness first responder, trauma yoga teacher , artist, and certified Integrated Health and Wellness Coach and Wilderness First Responder, I thrive on not competing in most of my favorite things I do: skiing, ocean swimming, surfing, mountaineering, climbing, yoga, meditation and art. I have competed in dance, gymnastics, skiing, track, ice-skating, swimming, and tennis, sailing and mountain biking; I've raced regattas in Venezuela, ice climbed in the Cascades, scuba dived with sharks, skied in Slovenia and sky dived. I believe in the art and implementation of play and the discipline of developing clarity about why we do what we do. From the early age of 5, my brain wrapped itself around a dance of movement and speed, adaptation and balance. I am interested in learning as much as possible about how the body and mind move in tandem through the elements of nature: getting into your body and mind and figuring yourself out.
Being a mom and coach, an artist and designer and athlete; inhabiting ALL of the hats is good. The juggling act is a luxury and gift, not a burden. I know living is a craft that is continuously changing form, morphing, asking us to solve problems, find new questions, adapt and be curious. From within and under these hats, I am also a Danish Viking, with a tenacious will to keep exploring, creating, and celebrating the spoils of our common victories.
I'm genetically flawed...Vikings are story tellers, athletes, artists, voyagers, and plunderers. My Viking journey is about exploring, but it's also about plundering my self, reconstructing my own life and rebuilding it. I'm here to tell my story and enable you to tell your story.
Stories leave traces in our bodies, grooves in our memories, imprints in our tissues; traces that define us and shape our decision-making; they become our identity, sometimes without us recognizing the work they’re doing. The grooves of time and experience are contours; some of injury, some of joy, deepened by breath, made into scars through experience, becoming graceful tattoos as we hold, retell and recreate the story to enable dynamic change. Untold, the scars fester, building deep scar tissue, pulling down blood, extracting healthy cells, recruiting valuable energy, quietly plundering other resources to support dead cell growth deep in our muscle memory.
Unless we mobilize those experiences and release the tension, the injuries will deepen their hold, keeping us hostage, until our story is mobilized and released. Our story is ours to tell. Or not. Wrapped in the semantics of our choice, we shift our weight, limping or flying, as we choose to determine where injury or joy is directed, how it’s remembered and what kind of legacy it leaves.
My athletic and movement career started at 5. Ranked 8th nationally in springboard diving by age 16, I took 5 NCAA Div III national championships.
I'm now a sponsored mountain biker, with 12-24 hour series championships, Cat 1 XC State championships. My soul thrives back country skiing and teaching my daughter to love the risk and reward of big mountains, the creatures and life that thrives in there, and learning who we are in the experiences we have in the mountains.
I race to learn more about myself. They're big opportunities to push my threshold and be surrounded by like minded people.
After graduating from Colorado College, and studying at 6 different art and architecture schools, built a business as an architectural designer and artist, exhibited cast glass nationally, showing my work in galleries in Santa Fe, New York and Miami.
Now, I coach by instilling dedication, humor, tenacity, endurance. Life itself is the endurance race. I provide people with TOOLS to get to know their bodymind so they can listen, respond, negotiate with change, and grow. I enable people to take ownership of their health and potential, to become not just healthier, but valid contributors and influencers in their own path towards their version of health. Currently, I’m writing a book on wellness, sleep, love, move, eat, rest, and innovate- those are some chapters. It's not a guide, but a document of my rituals and tools that helped to refine my perspective of thriving health.
But my real prize is my daughter, a 19 year old Computer Science major at Columbia University, who is a national award winning artist, musician, published writer, published photographer, model, intrepid skier, climber, plant based athlete, and health ambassador to her generation of overworked, stressed out, under slept college students.
I'm a volunteer yoga teacher at Maya’s Place, a home for women exiting incarceration, teaching yoga to women undergoing severely difficult physiological changes. I teach them to engage their parasympathetic nervous system, listen to their bodies and find some foundation of forgiveness and authenticity so they can recover.
The effects of yoga and meditation are well documented for performance, health and survival. Last year, my tried breathing techniques worked out well for me one difficult night at 9 degrees in the middle of winter when I caught a wrong turn skiing and spent the night out with my dog. Facing hypothermia, I tapped into Wim Hoff;s breathing methods. Using yoga, breathing and meditation, curled up with her under a log in single digit temps, I focused on subtle constant movements, different breathing patterns, while keeping her warm and maintaining the thoughts that reeled before me. As I was prepared for death, at about 0300, I heard Search and Rescue yelling above the sounds of the creek we were next to. They started a fire, gave us some peanuts and raisins, and we started the 3 hour ski out of the canyon, crossing half frozen creek dozens of times. I've had many back country adventures and misadventures, though this one I thought would take me out. I'm here for a reason- to be centered, to be grounded and help others find their true north, their equilibrium.
I’m working on a brain child- retreats for women so that they can build a knowledge base to navigate their health by building their health community. We want people to be able to establish their own thriving health blueprint, to dial that in, and go live out their wild dreams, while becoming leaders in their communities.
My injuries and hospitalizations have catapulted me out of my trajectory; and the lessons I've learned taught me to trust myself, to continue knowing myself, to keep bringing in the positive opportunities, and converting everything to growth. The newest chapter in this life is a recent injury that took 10 months to recognize, accept and through brief consultation with doctors and coach, start to resolve. I had trained and raced till near collapse. This journey continues to deliver experiences I assumed I had the tools to understand. This chapter is one of the most difficult I've encountered. Tapping into positive energy systems and sources that are clean, powerful, I started to heal. Now, I know that I can create that environment; I will heal. Health is not about eating well and exercising. It's about energy. The exchange of regenerative energy sources provides this fertile environment for new energy and healing to occur. We have the choice to opt in or not.
Exploring, mothering, racing, coaching, volunteering, navigating a business, and sponsorship commitments, I hope to enable and empower people towards working with their bodies, listening to their bodies, owning their thriving health and optimal living…so we can really just get out there, play more, and go after our dreams