I have been involved in fitness since birth… I was quite literally born into it. My parents were top triathletes in Hawaii, and my mom continued racing while pregnant with me. After I was born, they used me as a “baby baton” and would hand me off between transitions. We moved from Hawaii to Reno, NV in the mid-90s where I would reside for a majority of my life. I was involved in team sports throughout my youth, but I wasn’t exceptionally athletic in spite of my pedigree. However, I found a passion for fitness in high school.
I signed up for a Strength and Conditioning class in my junior year (mostly to get out of PE), which was my first encounter with a barbell and I took to it immediately; the faculty noticed that I lifted “pretty well for a girl,” and recommended me for a student liaison program where I helped coach a visually impaired student in the weight room. That experience I what first sparked my interest for coaching.
As my passion for fitness was growing, my issues with drugs and alcohol were growing as well. My substance abuse problems began round the age of 15 and I wouldn’t shake them for a decade. I spent my junior and senior year of high school using and drinking excessively, and tallied my first (of three) DUI offenses among several drug related charges. After I graduated high school in 2006, I continued my education at the University of Nevada. While the drinking and drug use carried over into college, it seldom affected my academic abilities. I didn’t skip class (partially due the lovely ankle monitor which tracked my whereabouts that I had to regularly wear) and I had a high GPA. Despite being what most would call a “trouble-maker”, I wasn’t ever a deadbeat.