In life, it is easy to miss your defining moments if you are not paying attention.  For me, I didn’t realize what my moment was trying to tell me until several years later.  Here is my story…

My heart was pounding, palms sweaty, an undeniable knot of nerves was growing out of the pit of my stomach. The near deafening cheers from the crowd made concentrating a challenge all its own. Looking over my shoulder and scanning the crowd for the calming familiar face of my coach I could see the State Track and Field banners being whipped by the wind in the corner of my eye. Our 1600 meter relay team was undefeated that year but on the shoulders of this race sat our 2nd consecutive team state title. We had to win this race to win state. Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes and just for a moment everything stopped. The cheering fell silent, my nerves vanished, and I could feel the slightest little grin appear in the corner of my lips. “Here we go Christine” I said to myself. “Just run because this is what you love and let the rest happen.” In that moment began a love affair with athletics that would never end.

Sitting here now looking back I wish I could have stayed in that moment forever. Throughout both middle school and high school I was a multi-sport athlete. Admittedly, however, track season was the highlight of my year. Incredibly successful as a team, we went on to win three consecutive Class B team state titles and set several school records, many of which still stand. Granted, we had a team of incredible athletes but our success was driven by something much deeper than raw athleticism or talent. We loved our coach, each other, and most of all the sport. We ran from the heart and because we loved to run.  Not knowing it at the time my high school track career taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life.

After graduation I had several offers to continue my track career at the collegiate level but decided to focus my energy on academics. Cutting athletics from my life only reiterated how important it really was to me. It was as if I had left part of my heart on the track after graduation. No longer able to resist my love for athletics I began focusing on training for a marathon. I am now more convinced than ever that athletics will always be a driving force in my life.

Athletics are not my only passion in life, however. I have also taken a keen interest in the happiness and well-being of other people. I am most often described and very soft hearted and loving. Through my experience I have found the most happiness and satisfaction when helping those around me reach their goals. Moments like these are what led me to pursue my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Being able to bring a psychological perspective to my interactions with people has helped me connect with them on a deeper level and with a higher degree of understanding.

About two years ago I began coaching a young girl during her first high school track season. When I initially agreed to help her run I was not completely sure I would be of much assistance. It had been a few years since I had run competitively and was no longer a sprinter but a marathon runner. However, when I met her for our first session everything I had learned and loved about my track career came rushing back to me. It was as if I never moved on. I told her everything I knew about form and pacing. I even shared some running strategies with her that I had learned from my experience as a runner. Already having a few jobs, it was not the monetary aspect of the relationship that fueled my dedication to help her.  It is my sincere passion for each and every day I get to spend helping someone reach their goals. The same sincerity has encouraged me to locate a point where my hunger for the world of athletics and my desire to help others converge.

The point of convergence of these areas mysteriously appeared to me as I became largely interested in working with those who are just as driven by fitness and athletics as I am. I began searching for a career path that could fuel both of my passion for helping others and athletics at once. My search for the perfect job led me straight to explore both Sport Psychology and Personal Training. Being a very hands-on person, I knew that I wanted to be in the field working with athletes and exerciser working to reach their goals.

Watching athletes struggle on a day-to-day basis with all kinds of issues has made mental training very personal to me. I know what it is like to have injuries and mental blocks push you to question why you are even an athlete at all. I aspire to help remove their frustration and restore the passion that initially inspired them.  Several years and many experiences later I can now fully understand what that moment on the track taught me.  By doing what I loved, even the most challenging and stressful days on the track were some of the best of my life. Dedicating my life and my career to helping other athletes experience that feeling, if only for a moment, would be a dream come true.   Having added personal training and fitness to my career path I have truly found a combination that I love.  My favorite quote reads, “When it becomes clear that no one else shares your level of passion you are right where you belong”. My passions are to support athletes and exercisers in the quest to create strong and consistent mental strength to learn what it really means to take ownership in controlling their performance.  As well as, support exercisers through the process of living happy and healthier lives and reach their fitness goals.

These passions lead me to join the Sport Psychology Masters Program at John F. Kennedy University where I earned my degree and complete my American Counsel of Exercise Personal Training Certification.  As a Mental Training Consultant I will have the opportunity to work on implementing mental training skills that can be put to use in the lives of athletes. Some of the mental aspects of the game that we will work on include; self-confidence, self-awareness, focus and concentration, motivation, goal-setting, relaxation and activation, team building, communication, imagery, etc. just to name a few. The essence of mental training is not only learning to be in control of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors, but also recognizing how to alter and adjust these areas in order to perform at your most optimal level. Having mental skills to fall back on and integrate into your sport is an essential part of the game for athletes at any level.

With my Personal Training Certification I have the opportunity to work with athletes and exercisers in reaching their fitness goals.  These goals can range anywhere from shedding a few unwanted pounds to developing speed, quickness and agility for improved sport performance.  By working one-on-one in fitness if allows the client to receive a personalized program design specifically for their goals.  Together with clients I am able to discuss just what those goals are, develop a process of steps to reaching each goal, and provide support and accountability for them as the strive forward.

I am excited to have a career as a Mental Training Consultant and Personal Trainer with athletes and exercisers.  Finding to aspects of sport and fitness that work together so well and are both passions of mine fills my work day with what I love. Currently I am working as a contractor with a company called Comprehensive Solider and Family Fitness providing resilience and mental skills training for the United States Army. I feel blessed and humbled to work with the Soliders in the United States Army. Working with teams and individuals on their physical and mental strength will always be a passion of mine and I am so excited to have a career doing what I love.


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