It Started with Family
I have always had a “can do” attitude for myself and applied that to Steven as well. As I became involved with sports, I encouraged Steven to become involved as well. He started with swimming. (I can take no credit for that because I can barely float.) Since then I encouraged his involvement in many of the sports I enjoyed: golf, flag football, bowling, floor hockey, and powerlifting. I think my belief in Steven’s abilities has contributed to the person he has become and the things he has accomplished. I know Steven’s impact on my life has been one of the biggest influences in molding me into the person I am today.
Steven didn’t just impact my life, but also that of my immediate and extended family. My parents, my brother, my aunts and uncles and most of my cousins are all involved in Special Olympics as coaches or unified partners. My mom says that my involvement with Special Olympics could be the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I totally agree. She is a huge supporter of all that I do. Special Olympics has molded me into the individual I am today. I guess you could say I was born to do this.
My Special Olympics Coaching Journey
My journey began as a unified partner in golf. Bowling and flag football followed shortly thereafter. Over time, I realized that being a unified partner just was not enough for me. I wanted to do more; soI became a coach. I now hold Special Olympics coaching certifications in golf, bowling, flag football, track and field, floor hockey, and powerlifting.
For me, being a coach does not mean just showing up and teaching athletes how to perform better at their sports. A special bond exists between a coach and their athletes that will forever stay true. As I got deeper into my special needs training career, I started to notice some major changes in my life. I was not only teaching them; they were teaching me.
In 2014, I coached the Minnesota Special Olympics golf team at the National Games in New Jersey. After this, I coached the USA golf team at the World Games in California in 2015. I have had the privilege of meeting athletes throughout Minnesota and the country who inspire me to do more.
I now hold certifications in Personal Training and Personal Training of Special Populations. I want to help special needs athletes get in shape, eat healthy, prepare for the upcoming season in their sport, and live a better all-around healthy lifestyle.
Built on Bravery Training
Fitness and wellness have been the central focus of my life ever since I was young. I love the challenge of pushing my body to new performance levels and understand the importance a healthy lifestyle plays in my athletic endeavors. My desire is to share that passion and be a high-level source of fitness and wellness inspiration among the special needs population.
The hallmark of Special Olympics athletes is their bravery. It takes a lot of courage to face your disabilities head-on and choose the disciplined path of an athlete. That’s why I chose the name “Built on Bravery.” I am continually in awe of the courage and bravery that I see among the athletes in my special needs training programs. Bravery is the foundation for greatness. They have that. Through Built on Bravery training, we can build on that foundation together to reach new levels of fitness, wellness, and performance.
AFPA Certified Trainer
AFPA Certified Sports Nutritionist
Special Olympics Certified Coach
Certified Personal Trainer of Special Populations