Recently, my “value” was questioned. It hurt my feelings and made me reflect a lot. This prompted me to do a writing assignment for my processing and evidence. It was really rewarding to write down the change in trajectory that often gets forgotten when we are so busy building and withstanding.
At 17 I wanted to be a Physical Therapist. My uncle had recently died of brain cancer and he had an amazing career as a PT. I was inspired by him and all thing sports.
At 18 I declared my major as Kinesiology. I never questioned that area of interest.
I played 4 years of Division 1, collegiate water polo where I learned resiliency and persistence.
I volunteered in an adaptive physical therapy facility, doing both aquatic and land therapy for people who were managing traumatic brain injury, stroke, amputations and other mental/physical challenges. These people changed how I communicated, challenged my creativity and opened my eyes to humbling realities. It was my first experience working with “special populations.”
I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, unsure of my next steps, but knew Physical Therapy wasn’t the direction I wanted anymore- I simply didn’t want to be in a clinical setting. I had an internship at a strength and conditioning facility and it appealed to me, so I studied for and got my CSCS.
I took a job doing personal training where I had to learn on the job, my first client of the day being at 4am. Split shifts and no idea what I was doing.
I then took a job over an hour away from where I was living and commuted until I could afford to move closer. It was in corporate wellness in a privileged setting, the expectation being high quality customer service and corporate “attitude.”
I worked there for a couple years.
Then I took a job managing a smaller corporate wellness facility with a totally different demographic of clientele, opening my eyes to my own privilege. I learned how to lead and worked really hard to improve the facility and advocate for the employees.
I did this job for years, while also working as an assistant coach at a Division 1 college. I made so many mistakes, with the great responsibility of leading impressionable young women. I poured my entire heart into this job.
While working in D1 athletics and corporate wellness, I also got my Masters degree in Coaching. I wanted to learn how to connect, critically think, communicate with intention and facilitate an intentional culture. It wasn’t about the X’s and O’s, it was about leadership and earning trust- I knew this education would translate into any job I took. I graduated at 8 months pregnant.
I had Cade, resigned from the corporate wellness job and coached at the college for another year with him strapped to my chest. I cried a lot, knowing this wasn’t where my heart was anymore.
I resigned to stay at home with Cade. That lasted 2 weeks before I realized I would be too lonely and needed to do something “beyond motherhood.”
I created a small group of personal training for women. This grew in 2 months to 8 women. By 3 months I had a program people were actually paying me for. And I loved the community and culture I was creating as a healing and connection effort.
It kept growing, while becoming a narrowed focus.
My own athletic and rehab experiences helped narrow the focus to working with moms. This was almost comical, as “mommy fitness” made me roll my eyes. From the beginning I wanted to work with athletes- at whatever level they were at.
I invested in mentoring, continued education, joined an organization and left it even at the expense of “losing exposure” because it no longer resonated with my heart, messaging and education.
I kept coaching and writing, my most important form of continued education. I was posting a lot online, and then meeting random strangers who would message me asking for help. I would get on the phone with them for free, respond to emails meticulously.
This wasn’t sustainable.
I started blogging more, posting more. Then I launched my first online program/course as a way to consolidate information for the emails I was getting.
Then I realized, I would have the most reach if I could connect to other coaches… Because coaches are the ones leading the athletes who were emailing me.
After and incredible amount of change of direction, sweat, anxiety and so many tears, I launched a 42 hour online course for coaching professionals. I was 7 months pregnant.
Now there are coaches all over the world who understand how to work with athletes like me, and everyone who had been reaching out to me over years, desperate for guidance.
I created who and what I needed.
This is my evidence. This is (part of) my worth.
My growth and effort is not thanks to any one person, job or opportunity.
My worth is an accumulation of work experiences, of failing, of saying yes a lot, and learning to say no sometimes, too.
My value is from caring enough to do everything for free, and then recognizing my own worth and learning that I AM an entrepreneur and SHOULD make money for my family from the work I’ve put in and the learning I keep doing.
I’m still paying back my student loans.
I’m still investing in continuing education.
I am still creating.
I am learning how to be a mother and entrepreneur and trying to be good at both without one being at the expense of the other.
My heart cannot be questioned. It just can’t, and I know this confidently.
Writing this isn’t to prove myself to others; it’s for me, it’s my evidence to refer back on anytime someone wants to discredit what I do or how I do it.
This is my current reference point for my own processing when my feelings get hurt and when I feel totally inferior, wanting to shut down.
It’s also a timeline I’ve never written or shared, as I was afraid of how this would be perceived. Still am.
But if I can’t value and share my own work, story, perseverance and the history that keeps building my heart, soul, and business, who will?