10 things you don’t know about me: and I am a little scared to share.
- I quit drinking alcohol and I am over 30 days alcohol free.
I have been wanting to stop drinking alcohol for a while now. Call me sober curious, if you will, but I always found a reason to have a drink. Deep down, I wanted to better respect my body, my mind, and myself better, and with the evidence of the negative impact alcohol has on the body and brain I knew I needed to change.
One of the main reasons for this change was because of the impact alcohol has on anxiety.
From the Huberman Lab podcast: “People who drink consistently (even in small amounts i.e., 1 per night) experience increases in cortisol release from adrenal glands when not drinking so feel more stress and more anxiety when not drinking”. This podcast episode really opened my eyes to the effects of alcohol, even for people like me who only regularly drink in small doses. Since I stopped taking my anti anxiety medication in August 2022, I wanted to set my mental health up for success which meant no more alcohol.
This has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
- I was diagnosed infertile by multiple doctors, but I became pregnant at 19 (while using birth control).
Trust me, I was as shocked as you are… oh did I mention I found out while I was 5 months along? Oh what a story that was. I went from infertility diagnoses, grieving never being a bio mom, to a doctor’s appointment because I peed my pants in Walmart only to find out I was 5 months pregnant… Fun fact: my oldest daughter won world cup snowboarding medals while in my tummy at 3 months pregnant! I have 2 girls and my family is whole!
- I’ve been with my husband since I was a senior in high school.
We’ve been together for almost 9 years! Marriage has been relatively easy, but this year after my second Paralympics we hit a rough patch. My constant traveling, living with my in-laws, and stress of the Paralympics our communication skills were lacking. We decided something needed to change and we started Emotional Focus Therapy therapy which led to weekly date nights, then lots of personal healing. We are still together and our relationship grew deeper than it ever has.
- Snowboarding is my second highly competitive sport.
I grew up doing multiple sports until the age of 8 when I landed on gymnastics. I had a natural talent for it and a passion that drove me to work hard. I moved up the levels incredibly fast and after my cancer diagnosis at 14, I retired as a level 9 gymnast. I mean technically I didn’t get to my first competition at level 9, but I had the skills so I claim it! I was on track to a college scholarship which was my dream!
- I hate being in and living in cities.
I grew up in Louisiana, while I’m from the city of Baton Rouge I spent the majority of the time in the gym or in rural parts of the state. I feel so anxious in cities which is why I live in the middle of nowhere Montana and love it!
- When my hair isn’t dyed fun colors I don’t recognize myself… and I don’t like it.
I have had purple, blue, pink, kinda gray/green hair since I was 21. I dyed my hair back to natural (black) for my wedding and I will be honest, I hated it! I didn’t feel like myself which is super ironic considering it’s the hair I was born with. Maybe my hair dying freedom came from being a cancer patient or maybe it’s an act of control over my life. Either way I love having dyed hair!
- I am a natural early bird but since I was a kid I have been a night owl (kind of).
I used to love waking up early, having a quiet morning to myself but now no matter what time I wake up I have the cutest shadow awake with me. I figured I should let my 2 year old shadow sleep in, so I do too. She’s a light sleeper, like me, so even my best effort tip toes awaken the doodle bug, so I sleep in now. I do however still go to bed early, so I guess you can say I get my full 8 hours every night!
- I have a degree in business and elementary education.
I panicked in 2020 and decided I needed a degree so I got my bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I have yet to need it or use it, but since my 6 year old found out I could be a teacher she’s been begging me to teach at her school, so I think I have some part time substitute teaching in my future.
- It took me over 5 years of hard work to love my body.
I never loved my body. I remember hating the smallest of small rolls on my stomach when I sat down as a young girl before the age of 10. I had body image issues during my cancer when I gained weight necessary to survive. I hated my body post amputation even more, because now it felt useless. It took me 5 years of looking at my body in the mirror and vocalizing the parts I love, doing activities outside of my comfort zone, journaling, and healing past trauma to find peace inside my own skin. Body image issues and eating disorders never go away. They are parts of you that require compassion, acceptance, and sometimes reworking the program to feel good again but they get easier to manage.
- A frog is my symbol that I am on the right path.
Ever since I was a little girl I loved frogs. I don’t really know why, but I have stashes and stashes of frog symbols and pieces. My mom adopted the frog, too and we now both see it as a sign we are on the right path. If we are ever in between a decision and we see a frog we do whatever choice the frog was in. For instance: when my mom moved to Utah with me in 2013 to pursue snowboarding, the apartment she was looking at had a frog shower curtain. We moved in shortly after. The frog has never failed us.