I’ll choose to begin my story by saying that my deep dive into the study of movement was born out of complete necessity and then transformed into something I am now proud to claim as my passion as well as my life’s work.
I suppose I have always been considered to be an “active” or “athletic” person. I grew up playing a lot of organized team sports. I was fortunate to have a father that not only played catch and shot hoops with me but also introduced me to activities like skiing, snowboarding, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, all of which I am still passionate about.
In my early 20’s, after graduating from university with a degree in Somatic Psychology, I moved to Kauai where I studied various forms of bodywork and soon began working as a licensed practitioner. During that time I also worked as a kayak guide along the Na Pali coast as well as training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu most days of the week. And with any extra time I had, I was either backpacking, climbing, or trail running. I thought I was in the best shape of my life. But I was wrong. I ended up developing chronic back that eventually became debilitating.
It kept me from being able to work for weeks at a time. It kept me from going on adventures and doing the things I loved. It took away my identity and made me feel insecure that I could be a provider for my partner (now fiancé) or even adequately take care of myself. I became desperate and obsessed with solving the problem.
While it was something I had studied since I was a teenager, it was out of necessity that I became even more obsessed and passionate about nutrition, health and performance, and most specifically movement based practices. I studied the human body from a variety of angles and systems, and over the course of several years, was successful in eliminating my own chronic pain while significantly improving both my athletic and functional abilities. It has since been my mission to do the same for each and every one of my clients.
I have invested most of my time as well as my financial resources towards personal growth and development, mentorship, and health (with a specific focus on movement based practices). Over the last decade, I have attending courses, participated in programs and workshops, endless reading and research, etc. Some of the most rewarding investments in my experience has been serving in apprenticeships, some of which lasted longer than a year at a time. I have had the privilege and honor of learning from and even teaching with some of the worlds highest level instructors, movement specialists, mentors, and life coaches.
Some of these include unique and complex style of training with Linda Kapetanea, Jozef Frucek, and Martin Bosy of Fighting Monkey, intense circuit training multiple times per week (for years) with Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton in Kauai, climbing trees, jumping off waterfalls, and roughhousing with Rafe Kelley, moving barefoot through the Washington rainforest and learning very unorthodox and wildly creative training practices with the famous Mick Dodge, as well as continued extensive training with retired Special Forces Unit (Spetnaz) leader Vladimir Vasiliev.
There are many more deep and diverse mentorships with other movement specialists including Kaizen Taki, Dr. Jay Skidmore, and Cass Phelps who have hugely impacted my life and what I have to offer in my practice. I have also been trained in various modalities and had many incredible mentors outside of my movement specialty many of which centered around leadership, education, awareness, embodiment, and contemplative practices, continuing education in somatic psychology, as well as reintroduction, participation, and training facilitation of ceremony and rights of passage rituals.
This includes years spent both learning and working as a mentor for both youth and adults at Wilderness Awareness School, a lineage that includes teachings from Jon Young, Tom Brown Jr., and legendary Apache tracker Stalking Wolf. I have also had the privilege of sitting in ceremony with and learning many things from indigenous peoples and elders of various lineages including First Nation peoples. I have picked up powerful coaching tools from incredible pioneers in the field like Rich Litvin. I have gone through Leadership and Outdoor Adventure Training with Outward Bound in the mountains and rivers of Alaska. I have been personally mentored in different forms of conscious communication with experts like Alan Seid, Cat Zavis, and JP Allen.
As I reawakened to my body (and my heart), my connection with the ecology around me naturally evolved as well. It also had me become more curious about what it actually means to be human. This, in turn, led me down a path towards exploring what we humans have done for a very long time. In fact, it is a path I am still on today. I am grateful for how much I have learned and never imagined it would be so rewarding and take me on so many incredible adventures.
It took me to Central America for just under a year. Passionate earth warrior legends like my friend Stephen Brooks taught how to grow and raise food using methods based around permaculture and biodynamics as well as how to build a healthy and thriving community that strived to live in harmony with the land.
I studied Natural Building for years. I began this journey learning from our country’s very first natural building school, Aprovecho, located in Oregon. My journey continued to the San Juan Islands where I had one-on-one mentorship learning how to successfully run a homestead building shelters and practicing skills to successfully live off the grid which included working with and installing various forms of sustainable energy systems. The next step in my journey led me to Mt. Vernon and I had the honor and privilege of working with Sun Ray Kelley for just over a year building tree houses, tiny homes, and gypsy wagons.
I realize that this is becoming an exhaustive list. (The list continues and is long; I will eventually share many more of the people who have taught me and influenced my work on our reference page). The reason I chose to share all this with you is to show how many doors were opened to me through the world of movement. How many opportunities become available to me when I overcame my chronic pain and me and my body got to celebrate by going on adventures, and learn new things!
Today some of my favorite physical activities and hobbies include martial arts and self-defense, contact improv and ecstatic dance, acro-yoga, snowboarding, longboarding, standup paddle boarding, kayaking, trail running, climbing, tracking, exploring, harvesting wild edibles and other wilderness skills, building things with hand and power tools as well as wielding my mighty maul and hatchet to chop firewood. However, above all things, my favorite activity is my daily movement practice. This is where I learn about life, myself, and cultivate how I want to show up in the world.
Studying and teaching movement as well as personal growth and development has led me to a deeper, richer understanding of what it means to truly be alive. It has opened up doors of possibility and opportunity that I never thought possible. It has given me the opportunity to see as well as interact with the world in more beautiful ways than I could have imagined. And I want the same for you.