Mental/ Physical/ Personal Growth
Growing up on a farm in rural Missouri, the only girl of 5 children, I learned the value of hard work and knew there was no option for me not to participate in any activities because I was a woman. I attribute much of my present day mental and physical toughness to my family, especially my parents. At the age of 18 I became a nurse working on the cardiac surgery team assisting with open heart surgery where I remained for 6 years. My decision to take the job was because I knew it would be extremely challenging and was told I had minimal experience and likely would not succeed. This time of my life was also extremely important as I discovered there was an entire world that I had no idea existed previously. I would listen to the doctors and other medical personal talking about current events, travel, fine dining, Broadway plays, and graduate degrees. I knew nothing about that world. My strategy was as a strong independent woman to “act” like I knew what the doctors and nurses were talking about and then at night secretly research these topics in the papers or go to the library to learn about this new world. I didn't have the luxury of the internet or iPhone because they didn't exist yet.
As my confidence grew in nursing and my knowledge of the world exploded, I realized there were endless opportunities for me professional and personally. So many things I wanted to experience; work nor motherhood was going to stop that! I realized the only limit was my ability to imagine it could happen. I worked nights and weekends so that I could raise my children, train for the Chicago Marathon, transition from a 2-year diploma nursing degree to a bachelor’s in science, and then ultimately obtain my masters in nurse anesthesia. In the end I achieved my goal of financial and professional independence.
Thirst for adventure
I must credit my thirst for adventure to the love of my life, my husband Jeffrey. He taught me that our imagination is our only limit to achieve or realize new experiences. We “dream” together which has led us to travel around the world, ride our own motorcycles 10,000 miles ( 16K kilometers) to Alaska and back, become PADI Master Instructors, and now a PADI mermaid instructor.