Three words: Experience, Compassion, and Empathy
I have always been an active person with a taste for adventure. I originally joined Army ROTC in college because I longed for personal development and was spending most of my college money on skydiving. ROTC filled my need to contribute to something greater than myself, while also providing excitement. The real hook for me was how my physical conditioning was an important part of my job. I gained plenty of experience: from jumping out of planes, to flying helicopters, to rappelling out of helicopters, to pushing my physical limits, to leading some of the finest men and women in the country.
During my second deployment from 2003-2004, I lost some good friends in combat, was dumped by my serious boyfriend after he returned stateside, and my cat died. We never had a solid redeployment date. Each month was met with the disappointment of not coming home, but hope that the next month would be the one. Finally, in January of 2004, we came home. I felt “off”, but tried to reintegrate into society. During a training run that summer, I experienced a total body shutdown, complete with a debilitating round of Epstein-Barr Virus and an ulcer. I went from an athletic go-getter to scraping by at my job and life. I sought out various forms of treatment to heal my body to include counseling, chakra cleansing, clinical aromatherapy, network chiropractic, and even talked to a psychic astrologer. I felt as though my body was in a good process to recover, but was not ready to take on another round of chronic stress. In preparation for my 3rd deployment in 2005, I had a complete meltdown. During a field training exercise, I was pushed beyond my limits, and lost control of my emotions. Diagnosed with depression, I had to relinquish my flight status to get help. I went on prescription drugs on the recommendation of the Division psychiatrist and psychologist for a brief time and loathed every second of it. Some Army friends playfully named me “Wack Job” (supportive, eh?). My on-again-off-again boyfriend of 3 years decided that he could not be with someone so unstable and dumped me. Yes, this was the same one who dumped me while I was in Iraq, lesson learned. I felt that I had hit rock bottom. My career and personal life were in shambles. At that point, all I cared about was getting my body back to a functioning state of health. It was time to get selfish.
I found a new motivation: to get better and share my path with others. Instead of seeking VA Disability and being miserable on medication, I opted to reclaim my life. Step one was to lower my stress levels. I was reassigned to a non-deploying unit, so I could focus more on my recovery. I sought out the VA clinic in Austin as the military providers at my post were deployed. Once a week, I would drive down to Austin for sessions in counseling and biofeedback. After my appointments at the VA, I would get a deep massage and zero balance session with David Lauterstein. I found that the combination of biofeedback and body work really helped my body release deeply stored stress. Through a long and tumultuous process, I found my way back to a thriving state of health and returned to flying. By the time I fulfilled my active duty commitment in 2007, I was back. I entered the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), where I spent the next four years in a combination of part-time and full-time status. My experience in the TXARNG restored my faith in the military. I got be a mentor, an Officer Candidate School instructor, work in community relations, and eventually found my way back to the cockpit. The culmination of my military service was as the commander of the Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter company. I had reached all of my military goals, and when I left in 2011, it was on excellent terms.
My time beyond the military has been filled with new adventures. I attended The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin in 2007 to help my body process residual stress. I took courses in Clinical Aromatherapy, Neurofeedback, Reflexology, CrainioSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release, and Reiki to expand my knowledge and offerings. I also found CrossFit and got certified in their Level 1, Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, and Endurance courses. I went back to school and earned a Master’s in Exercise and Sport Psychology with a specialization in Cognition and Neurological Development. I met and married the man of my dreams and we now have an amazing son. I originally fulfilled my need for camaraderie with CrossFit. I trained and competed with the team at CrossFit Cedar Park in 2011 and 2012.
Just prior to the 2012 CrossFit South Central Regionals, I found out I was pregnant. The team made it through the weekend and earned 5th place. My pregnancy was not magical. I had a pretty rough time, but was fortunate that nothing was serious or life threatening. After our sweet boy was born, I expected my body to snap back quickly. While it did appear that way on the outside, my insides were a mess. I looked fit, and could still throw some weights, but something always felt “off”. Within the first year of his life, I finished grad school and started my own company. A few months later, I was down for the count with adrenal fatigue. It took over a year of acupuncture, functional medicine, chiropractors, supplements, yoga, meditation, CranioSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release, and Bodytalk, for my body to really process what it needed to heal itself. It has been a long journey, and I know it is far from over. We can never become resistant to illness, injury, and dis-ease, but we can repair ourselves. The journey continues, and I share these words not to complain or ask for pity. I share these words for the person reading this who thinks they are alone. I share this so you know that someone else understands.
I have personally experienced the amazing resiliency of the human body. I have worked in a male-dominated career field, complete with horrible bosses. I walked away from a well-paying job with benefits and a nice retirement package to make a huge career change and do what is true to me. I strive each day to find a balance with motherhood and career / family / friends / self.
I use a holistic approach with my work. The spiritual journey and evolution is an ongoing endeavor. CranioSacral Therapy can connect to the deepest parts of our body which has been found to influence several physiological systems. Often therapy sessions will leave you such a state of relaxation, that your body can heal from the inside. It is my passion to help you take the steps to reach your optimum potential in health, wellness, and happiness. START HERE
Wishing you best in health,