I knew I had to write this book, but that it would require the best of me to do so. As I examined my life, I didn’t want to expose myself by sharing my accolades and joys or admitting my own pain, especially by articulating it to the world. Yet, a little voice within kept prodding me, reminding me that this is something I needed and wanted to do to help others strive to be their best and alleviate stress.
While I sought my dream of swimming in the Olympics, I learned and grew in ways that I wouldn’t have expected, and I enjoyed experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Throughout the process of training and performing, I gained tools and insights that later helped me cope with a debilitating chronic illness. Life threw me some unexpected—and seemingly insurmountable—obstacles, which allowed me to learn how to heal my mind, body, relationships, and spirit. From triumphant highs to heartbreaking lows, I eventually found balance, wisdom, and peace.
As my life drastically changed—I went from being an Olympic athlete to struggling with a chronic disease—I decided to pursue a career that focused on health, human potential, and relationships. I explored tools to understand what drives us to be our best and how to feel content in all areas of our lives. As I dug deep within, I found my truth. I discovered new depths within myself that I want to share with you.
By being honest with you, I hope that you will be encouraged to open yourself up and trust the process of exploring your personal journey—to be true to who you really are. This book will help awaken you to lost aspects of yourself, become more aware of your impact and importance, and commit to decisive actions that will help you live your best life, one designed and fulfilled by you. It will be an adventure: exploring the outer world while contemplating the inner world and learning what really motivates you.
Using my professional knowledge and experience, and examples from my personal journey, I’ll help you realize your own power and how to maximize your potential. By offering steps and solutions to help you live your dream life, I will guide and challenge you to thrive rather than survive. My goal is for you to reclaim your spark, the spirit that knows who you are and what you want.
You’ll be inspired to do what you always wanted but may have been afraid to try. As your bigger vision comes into focus and you find and commit to your true path, you will go deep within and attain your best, your true self. By altering how you choose to live, your life will be forever changed. You can live each day as if you had it all right now.
The caterpillar can’t imagine the butterfly, but as he grows he learns how to live from a place of radiant beauty and magnificent power. As the sages knew long ago and the lucky ones still discover: Life, if you live it right, keeps surprising you, and the best surprise is yourself.