To me, PASSION and personal connection is the key to everything in life. Being in High Performance for the past 17 years, in Rugby for over 25, has taught me that knowing myself, teammates and athletes is fundamental to a successful team and culture.
My playing career included a lot of high level 7’s, some territorial teams, multiple clubs, a university team and traveling to over a few dozen countries to play. Sadly it was cut short, way too short, by a small injury that turned into a massive career ending one. A 5-year, 7 surgery ordeal, rewarded me with a shiny new knee 30 years too early. Although it was one of the hardest things I have dealt with and deal with on a daily basis, it allowed me to influence my life in other ways with other opportunities. For the past 13 years this meant working with the USA men’s national 15’s and 7's team as well as multiple high level select side 7’s teams.
Through two Rugby World Cups and the Rio Olympics, what sticks out to me the most is not our wins or losses, but the stories that unfolded through the people around me. I can vividly remember the looks on players faces when they got injured, or what they were wearing when they got cut from a World Cup squad. What they said or where they were when something traumatic happened. The nights I stayed up talking about family issues or what was going on in the world.
My Injuries and the experiences around me led me into almost an addiction of learning about wellness. How the mind and body work together, and using this knowledge to better myself and those around me.
This thirst combined with my passion has pushed me to go to every managers, coaching, or referees meeting that I could. It drives me to take notes at every film and training session at every national team assembly and world series stop I attend, though I have stopped playing long ago.
Currently, I am the first person in North America getting certified in Elite Athlete Wellbeing, which treats the athlete as a whole and takes into account all the elements that surround them; purpose, family, culture as well as their physical bodies. My goal is to combine all of these elements, to challenge our current thought processes. Every day I get more excited about the knowledge I will be able to help influence and integrate into our sporting culture. My intent is for sport and our organizations to care about ourselves and our athletes, not just because it makes a team or culture more successful, but because it’s also the right thing to do.
I’ve been fortunate through my travels to have been exposed to so many amazing experiences and cultures. Yet there is still so much I feel l need and want to see. This desire to continuing my education, expand my knowledge and experience, has taken me to over 35 different countries. I love experiencing new places, as well as revisiting old ones (you can take me to Paris anytime you want!)
I found through my travels, I was developing routines and systems,finding products and resources for the best way to live on tour and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I noticed I was sharing more of the products and ideas I was using and answering questions of how to get over jet-lag or to get on different time zones. Since I'm on the road more than I am at home, I started posting about these things as people kept asking.
My injuries have led me on an ongoing, never ending journey. It started with exploring my own body mechanics, branched into nutrition, gut and brain health, sports psychology, meditation, importance of rituals , how we speak to ourselves and others and how to ACTUALLY listen to others. The effects of stress on our minds and bodies, and learning that stress is our OWN no matter what it is to someone else.
I started my path in bodywork, massage, yoga, functional movement, training and recovery, which is always evolving. I am always excited to be challenged or taught something new and invite everyone to explore this path with me.
My passion is in player welfare and wellness, how people are treated, the value of having a PURPOSE, standing up for what you believe in, and treating people, all people, with respect. This has become my MANTRA.
With TORI and our platform, I hope to bring all aspects of my experiences to you and influence a change in old ways of thinking by giving OPTIONS for new ones. Because Rugby has become my career, my challenge has been to find balance between work and enjoying these experiences. Having gratitude for the people and places around me, and finding that harmony is key. I am striving to achieve this, and know being functional and fashionable while having a little fun along the way while doing this is achievable!