Same Path Traveled Different Journey Part 6: #whyIswing

As a trainer and coach, I always want to know my clients’ why, the what for, . . . the deeper reason why they are working with me. At first, it can be as simple if dropping some weight or fitting into a pair of jeans, but I usually find there are deeper reasons why behind their goals, even through their goals are GOOD!

It wasn’t till Strength Matters posted the question “why do you swing” wanting to know the reason behind many people’s swing. Right away I thought, I swing to help with my sport. I posted this picture at the beginning of the water ski season, now with it is the end of the season I find I am asking myself do I have a deeper reason behind my swing then just for off-season training? If I am asking my clients to discover their “why” or “what for” I thought I would share my reasons.


I swing for my mom; she has been the one who has always believed in my dreams and my wild hippie-gypsy spirit. Without her I would not be the woman I am today! She has taught me there is a powerful source living within me! It is through the power of believing I will be able to unleash this source.  This power has lead me to have a passion for exercise, health, movement, nutrition etc!  But it is only a result of my mother leading me to discover my passions and most importantly this power that is bigger than life.  She has taught me how trusting and having faith in this power leads us to your passions and the process of discovering your true strength. She has taught me so much about power strength, and living life with passion,  but most importantly she has taught me to stand for my beliefs and for those who I love.

It is now my turn to demonstrate to her all she has given to me! And this is the reason I swing for my mom.

A year ago, my mother went into brain surgery to remove a tumor.  Leading up this event was her neck and back pain.  After two different MRIs, it was confirmed she had a herniated disk at C6- C7. For those who may be wondering what do those letters mean if you were to bend your head down toward your chest it is the main vertebra you feel at the base of her neck.

To the doctors and my parents surprise there a tumor trying to make itself a home in my mother’s brain.  This was a blessing in disguised!  The surgery was an easy success! Yes it was a huge success, but that was the easy part.  Recovery has been a different story.  My mom was not only recovery from a major surgery but she was and is still trying to heal her neck.  She decided one surgery was enough and she was going to heal her neck with the holistic approach.  Because of where the herniated disk is located it has caused her shoulder and hand tremendous pain.  She continues to fight this through chiropractor, massage therapy, acupuncture, and pulse therapy.

The cost of the surgery and the fact she has maxed out her insurance coverage, I am asking for your donation to help my mother fight this battle of regaining her health without another surgery.

Knowing she gave me this amazing gift of life, I cherish this gift through my health.

I will be doing a kettlebell swing for every dollar donated to help my mother to be the best she can be pain free! Clink here to see how you can be apart of this!

Most importantly, I am committed not just my health and my mother’s but to your life’s health. I swing for you to know life is amazing wonderful life and we are to enjoy this gift through this complex amazing bodies of ours.

I SWING for my MOM


My mom is my why S- She is my

Passionate, strong, W-warrior

Who continues to I- inspires me to live life to the fullest

And lets N-nothing get in the way of

The G-Greatness she continues to see in me.

Same Path Traveled Different Journey Part 4: Houseless but not HOMEless

If we are Facebook friends (if not lets be friends!) you may have seen the post I wrote about a month ago. I didn’t know how else to start this post so I thought I would add a little more to who I am and this gypsy spirit of mine.

Many have said have I needed this time away and travel to do a little soul searching . . . or I have been asked what in the world am I doing with my life?

The best answer I can give is I am being a gypsy. As a gypsy, she knows who she is and who she wants to become. Seattle is my HOMEIt is through the journey she takes steps closer to the women she knows she is created to be. She is not searching for her soul for it is her soul that is leading her down this wild adventure that she can only travel. So what may have looked like a little soul searching is by far what I have been doing these last couple of months. Being this gypsy girl, I am chasing my dreams and enjoying the journey.

I have not been doing any soul searching but I have been searching, I have been wandering with purpose, wondering where do I fit in this dynamic world and how to share my passions?

Coble Ski School is one place where I feel I can fully embrace my crazy spirit to water ski. When I am there I have this pull to be part of the health industry and fitness. During my time at Coble Ski School even I consider this place home, I longed for something more.

Once I was back in Seattle, I joined an amazing company Athleta, empowering women to be fit and fashionable. Being the athlete and gym rate, I usually don’t have time to go shopping. There the women helped me embrace my style as an athlete and as a woman. Even though this was a short chapter to my story, I am grateful for what it taught me.

Women need women.

During past 8 years I have been in many cases the only female. Through college I worked at all boys camp (more on that later). Post college I was the only full time female trainer at the gym. Then during my free time, I found myself water skiing but again surrounded by men! It wasn’t till this year I realized I needed more women in my life. Women like my mother, my sisters, and women like Rachael (see previous post) who embraces each other to be each other’s best! Whether that is through fashion, or at the gym.

Knowing I belong in fitness I started looking or “wandering” to find a place where we would embrace each other! Talking to many people throughout the Seattle area I was able to find my TRIBE at FUELhouse!

It is a team of amazing women coaching the art of living a healthy lifestyle. I have only been there very little this past month and I can’t believe I found my tribe! Working with women who have the similar philosophies on training and nutrition is so uplifting knowing I am not the only one who has these beliefs.   I have already learned a lot from each one and I am excited for our journey together!

Admit it or not we are all wanders, looking for our tribe. You don’t have to travel across the country like me; you could be driving to and from work or picking up your kids, but still wondering where do you fit in this world. The only way I was able to find my tribe was trying different work environments on and seeing how they fit. But to know if it is a good fit for you, you need to know who you are and your beliefs.

A tribe is a group of people with a common interest like: exercise, religion, gaming, s etc. Once you have found this common interest it unites you and the group as one creating an amazing community.

My gypsy spirit lead me to my tribe and I am excited to have found my home.

Do you have your tribe?

Same Path Traveled Different Journey Part 3: little times of inspirational influences

Waiting anxiously as we drove onto the ferry. As soon as the car came to a stop, my two other sisters and I, would race up the stairs for the outside point on the ferry. All bundled up with the sea breeze blowing our hair, we would be there for the entire ferry ride with the anticipation of our destination: The Hodgson Family!


Being the oldest of a family of five (two sisters, and two brothers), I always longed to have an older sister to look up to. Rachael Hodgson in my world was my older sister. She also is the oldest of a family of five and we share a kindred spirit. When our family would go visit the Hodgson across the Puget Sound, our time there would be spent her braiding our hair, painting our nails, and most importantly getting the newest fashionable hand-me-downs from the Hodgson Girls. She always made us feel like we were her little sisters.


When home in Spokane, my sisters would still put into practice all she taught us or at least we tried to. Many times we would be playing with our Barbies and think that the Barbie doll was designed after Rachael’s stunning beauty and only hoped we would be able to grow up to be somewhat like Rachael!


Our visits centered around Rachael’s sporting events, her graduation from high school and soon her wedding. No matter what special event she was about to embark on, she always made each one of girls feel like we had an important role to play in her life. Deep inside, I wanted to do the same someday! Make others’ feel like they have important role to play in life.


As I started to embark on my special events in life, Rachael was there always with full support believing in me knowing I had a special role to play in other’s life.

My senior year of High School, I felt like I was walking in her footsteps through my athletics and special events. Again Rachael was there in full support sending me her beautifully hand crafted cards of encouragement simply to be me. During my first couple of months in Seattle after graduating college, she was confident I would succeed in both my career and water skiing when others may have thought I was a little crazy with my wild ideas.


Rachael's view when right before I going to rip up the water !
Rachael’s view when I about to rip up the water

During my time in Seattle, I was able to share my love for water skiing to her and her adorable little girl Olivia (at that time she was about almost a year old). They came to the lake and were able to watch from the boat! I was beyond excited! It was more than just water skiing it was an opportunity to show Rachael how she believed in my dreams has helped to be who I am today.


Rachael Hodgson has empowered many people through her life through small inspiration acts of believing and seeing others to their full potential.

She is  still an inspiration as she is now fighting colon cancer.  She continues to shine with her confidence and positive, radiating smile through this difficult time teaching all of us the value of life.

Now it is my turn to return the favor and make a difference in Rachael’s life!  Help me return the gift of life ensuring Rachael knows her times of inspiration influences has impacted  in our lives forever.

Here is where you can make the difference and read more about her journey

True Iron

Iron is what they named their first-born. It started out as cool name stemming from the husband completing two Ironman’s, but eventually came to embody things they wanted for their son, whether he will be an athlete or something entirely different: strength, endurance, well rounded, strategic, self-challenging. Their son can be anything he wants, but Iron definitely is his name.


Shannon Mayo is the mother to Baby Iron, through our time working together I have had the privilege to watch her demonstrate True Iron. At first Shannon came to me two years ago with an injury from running. We focused on improving her hips while at the same time we focused on strengthening the hips to keep her pain free for her runs. We were able to maintain her healthy running habits and she started seeing the benefits from strength training. She soon wanted to increase her program from once a week to twice a week.


As a trainer this was music to my ears! I was so excited to help Shannon, as she was striving continually to improve her health. We were able to really focusing on her strength training to improve her optimum health. She did everything from front squats, dead lifts, SL RDL, renegade rows and her favorite Bulgarian splits squats. As we progressed her strength training, she started feeling the benefits in her runs, in her toned body, and in her energy.


One day as we where discussing her new goals for her training program, she told me in confident how she is ready to be a momma and her and her husband were tying to get pregnant. It took all my strength to hold my excitement hidden so others would not suspect anything. I was behold thrilled for Shannon! It was not much longer Shannon confirmed she was pregnant!


Being her trainer, I knew I had to change some of her program as her body started to change. At first, we kept everything the photosame. Since her body was already accustomed to the program I knew it would be safe to continue with it until her baby started growing more. A lot of the changes where just the type of exercises. Instead of doing planks we did standing or kneeling core exercise. As the baby grew we shorted the range of motion with most of the exercises but where able to keep to a similar routine. The main thing we focused on was her lower body strength, squat particularly. I knew she would need her strength during childbirth. Squats are the perfect exercise during pregnancy opening up the hips, decreasing back tightness, and developing leg strength. This was Shannon’s response after giving birth to her son.

Lower body strength training kept me strong and ready to handle and recover from childbirth. Although not intuitive at first squats felt great and relieved pressure., the more pregnant I became squats helped me cope with contractions. It feels awesome to know I could train right up through my entire pregnancy and kept running through 6 ½ months.  I loved the words of encouragement from my trainer and other women at the gym that cheered me on. Body is already bouncing back faster than I expected.”



Shannon is a strong workingwoman demonstrating pure iron as she defined it: strength, endurance, well rounded, strategic, self-challenging. She is able to balance a demanding job with her strength training and her long runs (injury free). As her life has significantly changed with Baby Iron, she will be an amazing mom as she teaches her son how to live up to his name in every way even if he is an athlete or something completely different. This concept of True Iron is some thing we can all adapt to our lives. Strength. Endurance. Well rounded. Strategic. Self-challenging.


Thank you Shannon for your dedication to your health and your True Iron!

photo 1

Western Regionals

Water skiing has allowed me to travel to many different states meeting new people and creating life long friends. I have discovered through these relationships, each place I have traveled feels a part of home to me. I am always excited for the next adventure and discovering new places, but I look forward to return to the places I consider home.

Home is not a building; it is the love from people you surround your life with and the inspiration from each other. Colorado is one of my “homes” and I am excited to return again next summer for Western Regionals.  Thank you everyone for such amazing experience! Could not have done it with everyone’s love and support.  THANK YOU

Thank you PRO Club and Vitalire — live with passion –

  • Excited to be part of the Vitalire Team – inspiring other to live with passion (northwest clothing company)
  • Encouragement from coworkers to apply and their help with the application
  • Clients encourage me, seeing them achieve their goals, challenges me to do the same

Thank you Seattle Water Sports (SWS)

  • Mark Lord for always making time for me and coaching me here in the Northwest
  • Hooking me up with the  best ski equipment and good advance during the season
  • Introducing me to Northwest Ski community and letting me drive his clinics

Thank you Water ski Community and Family and Friends – Tournaments: Sun Basin and Western Regionals

  • Love the support that comes from the ski family atmosphere at Sun Basin.
  • Many memories as a child in Colorado with my grandparent, always dreamed of skier there.  Blessed to have my first ski experience be western regionals.
  • Through my family and friends support it inspires me to do my best on the water.

Thank you Coble Ski School

  • Big Thank You for April taking a chance on me hiring me when I did not even know how to ski the course
  • Truly I could not accomplish anything in this sport without her support and the coaching from her amazing staff.
  • Excited to be part of her team and help others learn the course, just like I did three summers ago.

Contribute to Mom – Coble’s Ski School

This past weekend I was able to make a trip across the state to visit my family in my home town, Spokane WA.  Family has always been an important part to my life.  I was thrilled to go home to spend mothers day with my mom Elizabeth Willard.  My mom has always been there for me cheering me on with the various sports I competed in.

During college I had an opportunity to travel to Maine to instruct water skiing, nervous to leave Washington, it was my mom who encourage me to pack my ski and make the trip across the country.  My last summer there (2009) my mom was able to come to visit me for a couple of  days.  We made tons of memories and had great adventures together.  My mom has always been and still is my number one supporter to achieving my dreams.  She encourages me through many “pep talks” (as a coach to an athlete) helping me follow my dreams.    Thank you Mom for all your support and love.  I would not be where I am today without you and how you have raised me.

Through my mother’s encouragement to travel to Maine seven years ago, it opened a door for me to attend April Coble Ski school for the summer of 2010. Words cannot describe the level of fun I had there.  I learned a tremendous about skiing and life.  Being able to work side by side with April Coble was inspirational.  She is a professional athlete, a business women, a wife, and a mother.  Seeing how she balances her different roles, made me realize the importance balancing things you value in life.  Since then I have been able to return for a week during the summers to help April’s facility. This weekend I will be leaving to make another trip across the country to North Carolina to work and learn more from April.  April Coble- Eller

Welcome to the Family

July 25 2012

Wednesday, I was able to share my love for water skiing with my grandparents who are from Denver.  Now some of you may know how I am the only water skier in my family, so to share the sport with any member with my family is such a blessing. Water skiing creates a family environment due it being a family sport, and I am always excited to have my family be part of the sport in anyway. It made my week.