IN HER OWN WORDS:
I dreamed of becoming an All-American and an Olympian.
I knew I had the talent and grit to make it happen.
And sometimes I would show that talent.
The key word: sometimes.
Sometimes I would shine.
Sometimes I would win races.
Sometimes I would hear “congratulations” at the end of the race.
Yet, other times I would disappoint.
Drop out of the race after leading.
Give up on myself.
It was heartbreaking knowing I had potential but I can’t tap into it.
I didn’t know how to tap into my potential.
My inconsistency in my performance was embarrassing.
I sometimes pulled through for my team.
Other times I would disappoint my team, myself, my coach and my parents.
I felt like a “head case.”
Deep inside me I didn’t have the confidence.
I struggled believing I was enough.
Mentally strong enough.
In the moments of pressure, I would crumble.
That’s a nasty feeling in your gut, knowing you have something inside you, but you don’t know how to let it shine.
I hated that feeling. I felt hopeless.
I had the talent to reach my dreams, but lacked the mindset skills.
I lacked the mental tools to make my dreams happen.
I pursued a Masters and PhD in sport and performance psychology – trying to figure out myself along the way.
After graduation, I landed a great job as a college professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato and helped our Master’s program become one of the best in the country.
It was rewarding.
I love mentoring the next generation of mental performance coaches.
I had big dreams for my professional career just like my running career.
Big dreams that I loved to think about.
Big dreams that I kept secret.
I didn’t do much to make them happen.
I knew I was playing small with my life.
Why was this theme of playing small with my life a reoccurring theme for me?
I got back into running, because I needed time to myself.
And started to run and train for marathons.
It gave me back that pursuit of a goal I had developed in college and high school.
That grit I didn’t capitalize on as a college athlete was deep in my soul.
When I showed my grit, I felt alive.
I got 3rd in my first marathon after my boys were born. Then I won another.
It felt incredible to work towards a goal for months and months and then actually crush it on race day.
Finally….I could say I was mentally strong.
But was this it? Was training and racing what was missing from my life?
I still felt like I was playing small and struggled to understand what my true calling was.
On April 15, 2013, I understood what was missing. I had just finished The Boston Marathon.
I had crushed it, owned the course. It felt like those few moments in college where I was able to show my potential. I was on a natural high. I ran a life-time race and pushed myself mentally and physical.
“Finally! I reached my true potential.” I thought.
It felt freeing. A wonderful feeling to finally make it happen.
Then suddenly my race did not matter.
I heard a loud noise that I couldn’t make out. Then sirens.
I could see the finish line from our hotel. I turned on the news.
“There has been a bomb at the Boston Marathon,” the reporter said.
“What? I am right here!”
I was trying to make sense of it all.
I went to some deep places reflecting on my life.
Wondering if I was going to make it home to see my beautiful boys, Carter and Blake.
There might be a bomb in our hotel since we are near the finish line.
I felt terrified.
I asked myself three pivotal questions that changed my life that day:
• Why am I here?
• What difference am I making in this world?
• Why do I do what I do?
That day was a turning point in my life. A crucible moment.
After that day in Boston, I started making different decisions.
I began a journey to understand my calling and purpose.
Reading books about purpose and attending personal development seminars.
I began choosing courage each day. I began getting out in the world with my business as an entrepreneur. Taking bold courageous action each day. Each day, I ask myself, “What can I do TODAY that is uncomfortable?” This daily question has led me to do things that were once scary for me. Like writing and publishing books. Working with professional athletes and teams like the Minnesota Vikings and the United States Olympic Track and Field team. And speaking to thousands on the virtual or in-person stage. I now own my purpose and calling. Reminding myself of my purpose each day and making decisions from my purpose. The purpose of my life is to be connected and inspired, to guide others to play and life FULL OUT, by providing wisdom and the truth.
I know I am here on this earth to live a life of service.
My mission is greater than myself.
It’s easy to get in your own way and limit your potential. I know this from experience.
It’s heartbreaking to know you have more.
I still get in my own way from time to time.
But, I am able to get unstuck quicker.
I love helping others on this journey to overcome their own limiting beliefs.
Realize their life’s purpose.
And live a bigger vision for themselves.
I feel like I have truly stepped into my destiny.
Have you stepped into your destiny?
Remember this, any vision is possible and you can build it!
Any destiny you want, you can have. And yes, YOU can build it!
My hope for you is that after having me speak to your team or group, hiring me as your coach, reading my books, or listening to my podcast, you'll feel more confident reaching for big dreams you've secretly been too afraid to shoot for.
That you'll feel as capable internally as you project externally.
That you’ll get a clear vision of your destiny and sprint towards it.
And that finally, you'll have the tools to overcome the next roadblock that tempts to throw you off your game.