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Showing posts from 2015

On: Hopeful Olympic Dreams


I think my story really begins the night I watched my mom skating on a seven-foot by eight- foot homemade ice pond in our backyard. The space was illuminated just enough by a small floodlight and I could see her from my bedroom window; she looked so pretty.It was one of those misty nights so it seemed like the air was thick and maybe even visible in that single beam of the light shining in her direction. I was seven years old then.

Little did I know that my first experience with ice skating would spark a 12-year drive towards an Olympic dream. Over the next decade, I spent hundreds of hours perfecting technique, and my parents spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on skates, competitions, ice time, and coaching fees. Nine years after my first day on the ice, I was an international and national medalist, and my desire to reach higher filled me. In 2000, my climb to the top was halted. I learned hundreds of intricate things during my push to find my ultimate potential, one of th…

#Rendezvous --------> (Part II)

To fully understand this part of the story you must first read the prequel


The house of cards began to fall. As I reaffirmed my version of events, I was more sure than ever that I believe in love. I believe in the idea evolving in love with ever-changing conditions. Impermanence making all life possible, all love possible.  But I also believe in other people, they are the true silver lining of living a human life; people - delicate, unique, people.  And above all, I believe in commitment--define it for yourself, value it as you wish but don't be a hypocrite. I was being a hypocrite. 

I decided that, I will bolt myself to those rare unique people I find and I will be right there for 300 years. I will! My version of commitment is  longer, thicker and more gritty than dirt in your mouth.  I believe in the scariest of desires and all versions of emotional security, counterfeit or otherwise.

I asked myself, what could be so important in this world? It's nice to achieve but why…

On: Rx: Self-help

I have an urge to share a story...

 About 15-years ago just before heading off to become a student at Michigan State University, I  started self-medicating; it was alwaysa bit of an indulgence, my secret weapon. Afterwards, I felt a variety of things that I liked: happiness, inspiration, calm; it was a way to harness chaos for me. Now, you might be wondering what I was doing to pacify my nerves....  we're getting there. I chose that phrase 'self-medicating' for a reason, I chose it because it has a negative stigma in tow, I chose it because I redefined it for myself, and I hope my story might help you redefine it, too.

This story is not dictated by my fear for worries. Perceptive is a powerful thing. This drug of choice was called writing and it didn't have any side effects, stigmas or regrets. It comforted me just like the warmth of anxiety and just like burn of alcohol but it was about embracing daylight and by giving my mind a creative, all-consuming activity, I rende…

My advice to younger me

A tribute to my friend

I write letters, I think they are the most unique and unrepeatable gift you can give to another person. It takes time and creative verve to articulate feelings into words. It’s pure devotion.

You should know that you are beautiful, you have an innocent and hopeful soul, and you are my kind of people. Each time we re-connect, I am amazed at how inspired I feel; you renew my faith in people, in hope, and in living an authentic life. You allow me to see and remember the value of disclosing our flaws, owning our mistakes, and the merit in celebrating who we want to become. We have one chance at human life and that mystery is gorgeous. 
I celebrate you and the speed with which you choose to learn and grow, take your time, Liz; it’s so worth it. Live to the point of tears and live beyond your anxiety, transcend your fear and allow evolution. Learn to manage all the harsh, complicated bits of life with grace and choose only the battles most worth it. I learned that self-…

My big sister

Dearest Auts,
You were my example, I’ve watched you pass through the phases that make up the maturation stages of a young life ... and by that observation, I have learned so much.

Having a sister is pretty darn cool. You taught me how to outsmart and outwit  both situations and people. You also taught me when it was necessary and wasn’t ... because sometimes, you said, "you have to know when to wash your hands and walk away." You taught me how to make mistakes and how to convince everyone else that it had happened gracefully.You taught me how to dance like both a teenager and our mom, you taught me how to do terrible, unidentifiable impressions of people on TV and you taught how to emulate style –even if it was Kurt Cobain’s…

You taught me how to extract the calm reaction out of dad and how to glide past mistakes while only freaking out in private. You taught me all kinds of things, you showed me a blueprint…a starting point and I’m so grateful, because without you ahead of m…

Sport as ART by: Neil Shearer Photography

Sport as Art is a project from sports and active lifestyle photographer,Neil Shearer. It is an exquisite collection of black and white images showing sports men and women from two different perspectives. 

The first is an intimate portrait of the athlete with the aim of capturing the emotion of their chosen sport, whether that be fear, determination, joy or something else entirely.

The second captures them frozen in motion ... the moment, highlighting the unique skill and strength required to perform their sport. These images aim to give the impression of motion, leaving the viewer to admire the extraordinary ability of these athletes. 

I was lucky enough to be involved with this project when I met Neil through a similar interests network. We planned at time to meet up at my performance venue to capture the moving images.  With the help of my performance director and also by kind permission of Stageworks Worldwide Productions, we were able to get these 4 stunning shotsl, I've include…


I have many core beliefs.  One of those beliefs is the idea that "PRACTICE MAKES IMPROVEMENT " perfect is subjective.As I sat practicing my writing, I drifted off into my imagination, and I thought…have I always wanted to be a writer? The answer is no. I had always gravitated towards it; I kept elaborate journals and was painfully loyal to the books, quotes and articles that made me feel something; I even studied journalism in college but there wasn’t this sure feeling that I wanted to be a writer -- per se. Now, in retrospect, I see that I wanted to be a storyteller. To be CRYSTAL CLEAR, that’s different than being a writer. You can write about something and have it be informative, intelligent, and educational even. But a story teller will write something that transcends simple avenues of communication. A storyteller will connect, they will relate, they will make a difference. A storyteller is the teller of stories, they can write informative, intelligent and educational th…

HOME is where the MOM is

My mom and I... we are alike yet very different, probably in equal amounts. In any case, we have a special bond; she raised me, installed my buttons and sure knows how to push them.  She's a mystery, like I'm admiring a dangerous cougar in one moment and then running for dear life in the next. At this moment, it is my greatest hope to be as effective of a parent as she has been.

They are supposed to love you, but more importantly, they are supposed to raise you, teach you and leave you ready to leave the nest armed with all the important life skills rendering you capable to survive and thrive. CHECK!

This morning we were driving together; it was a chilly, fall morning before the sun even got out of bed. Even the sun has more downtime than her. "I'm just so tired all the time," she said. We were in conflict about what temperature the car should be, I called her a post-menopausal monster, we both giggled.

My poor mother, her words were still hanging in that space wi…

An Open letter On Mental Health

Please read the prologue to this letter Read ME
So here’s a letter to myself, my brother, my cousin, and anyone who needs an advocate.

Dear YOU, I know how you feel, (I know … we’re not supposed to tell people that because it’s insensitive,) but I’ve spent my whole life being overly sensitive and I just need to break that rule. People need to feel like they aren’t suffering alone. You aren’t ALONE.

Of course I don’t know exactly how you feel. I can’t fathom the places you’ve gone and the exact amount of pain on a scale; I can’t hear your thoughts or know about your particular type of aftermath. But I can know that how you proceed—from now on—should be up to you. Your health is yours, as is your future. It should not be chosen solely by a doctor or statistic or range. How you prefer to feel should be up to you, and there are professionals with integrity out there who will help you achieve that.

I had to learn to love myself, it was a process. It was the biggest, scariest, value add I've…

On: Anxiety & depression; you're not alone

I am someone who is naturally anxious and also someone who has survived through a debilitating phase with depression. I am someone who believes in treatment and recovery.

I am also someone who has a brother who has suffered through psychosis which originated in axiety and sleeplessness. I have a cousin who took his own life. I am someone who is very much like more than a few other ‘someone(s)’ out there. I am not alone and neither are you.

I am not professional, and I AM NOT A DOCTOR…
BUT I am a communicator. I have something to say about the topic of mental health. Together we can remove the stigma!  I have educated myself and want to start a conversation not just because of my personal experiences but because I feel somewhat let down. I see a world afraid to talk about mental illness and health systems world-wide which are saturated with individuals not invigorated by helping people overcome thier issues, but interested in treating symptoms.

In my opinion, many mental health professiona…