My sophomore year of high school I took a tumbling class. I was into martial arts and wanted to be able to do a back flip kick like I had seen in so many movies. Once I learned how to do a flip, was hooked. I continued with the tumbling classes, then became a gymnastics coach when I turned 18. I loved having a job where I could get there early and stay late to play around with learning new movements! When I graduated from high school, I went to Brazil for a year to learn capoeira. Finally I had found a martial art that satisfied my need for constant movement.
Throughout my time learning gymnastics and martial arts, I injured myself quite frequently. I discovered that I had an instinct for using pressure points to help with the pain and tightness caused by the injuries. I continued to develop this instinct as I learned new movements. I learned a pressure point that could relieve headaches, another that could help with a cough, and others. One day I gave a friend a back rub. The next day she wouldn’t stop talking about how much better she felt and told me I needed to be a massage therapist.
I enrolled in the massage therapy program at Body and Soul therapeutic massage school, where I completed training in Swedish massage. I was hired at Sveta’s Skin and Body Therapy, where I was given further training in massage for sports injuries and hot stone massage. I also got married and soon after we had our first child. I gave up being a massage therapist to search for something that would provide health insurance for my new family and after a few months of searching with no luck, I joined the U.S. Navy.
While I was in the Navy, I purchased Coach Sommers’ book “Building the Gymnastic Body” and a set of gymnastics rings. I hung them from a doorway pull up bar in my barracks room and began my journey into gymnastics strength training. After only a few months with this new training program I could do a strict muscle up and had also learned to do a few strength moves that the other guys around me couldn’t come close to doing. When I got out of the Navy, I worked in aircraft manufacturing for a while, and went back to coaching gymnastics for a while. Then I decided I wanted to start my own business. I opened a massage studio and began working on my personal trainer certification. I also started the exercise science program at Wichita State University. I earned my personal trainer certification in April 2016. In November 2016, I got accepted into the graduate school to earn a Master’s in Exercise Science.