I was born and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The majestic mountains, streams, rivers, lakes and forests are what I’ve always called home.
Sports were a passion for me growing up and I was blessed with a natural athletic ability.
I took up track and field in high school because I had blazing speed at the time. Somehow I got involved with pole-vaulting and my track career sky rocketed. I was the conference champ two years, regional champ 2 years, and won the North Carolina High School Track and Field State Championship in the event. I took my pole-vault career to a small university and was the conference champ for three years.
It wasn’t until after college that my life really began.
Less than a year after I graduated, I was at Duke Hospital donating 65% of my liver to my sister. She had a genetic liver disease known as Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC). Complications would arise and I would require 3 more surgeries in less than a year. I went from being a college athlete to learning how to do daily activities again.
The incision from the surgery severed the nerves in my abdominal muscles, and it took them several years to heal. To this day the lower two-thirds of my abdominal muscles are much weaker than they should be.
I had lots of struggles with physical and mental barriers. Depression tried to keep me down for a few years. If depression wasn’t haunting me, physical ailments were.
It’s been a long journey to get back in the shape I am.
More importantly I’ve learned how to conquer my fears. I’m chasing my dreams with every ounce of my being.
My most recent conquest being; competing on American Ninja Warrior!
I’ve wasted too many years being afraid to fail. Being afraid to live life chasing dreams. Unfortunately it took the passing of my sister for me to realize that our dreams are the lifeblood of our soul.
Her life was cut short by a disease. The last several years of her life were lived in pain and suffering. So I do not take my health for granted anymore. There are too many people in the world who never even get the chance to live a healthy life.
We must establish and maintain our capacity to exercise. Those who are devoid of the will to exercise are devoid of a healthy life. This is why I exercise, so that I may live well in hopes that I will inspire others to do the same.