Posted: February 24, 2023
Full disclosure, I never planned of owning a business. Growing up, I did not want to be a career girl. I struggle to answer the question “Is owning a business everything you expected?” because I never EXPECTED to own a business, so I really don’t know how it is supposed to make me feel. My plan was to do the AT thing for a few years, eventually, get “drafted”, check the NFL box, and settle down shortly after. Well, I checked the NFL box much sooner than expected and found myself staring at graduation with no plan, no career, and no job opportunities because it was 2020 and the world was in the middle of a pandemic.
I do believe that everything happens for a reason even if it means applying for over 40 jobs and getting declined or rejected from all of them because most athletic trainers were furloughed. I hate rejection. I am used to working hard at something and getting the results, position, and praise. Rejection is humbling. But I have since learned it's what you do with it that makes all the difference.
While finishing up grad school and after graduation, I found myself settled down with children other than my own because I had gone from after-school nanny to full-time caregiver… overnight. These cuties taught me joy, structure amidst the chaos, unconditional love, how to dream and imagine a better tomorrow, and that whether working in professional sports or with kiddos the purpose is the same- I am called to love.
I went from seeing the world through my fast-paced and selfish lens through the pure eyes of a 5, 3, and 1.5-year-old. In between episodes of Bubble Guppies, Zoom kindergarten, multiple walks a day, and potty training, I began to recognize that our youth need positive influences in their lives. They need hope. They deserve consistency. Change starts with these beautiful, sweet souls. I thought I would be most impactful working with collegiate or professional-level athletes, but as I began to plan for opening a business, I realized I was creating a safe space for our youth. For the kids, I had the privilege to know and love during my college years, their friends, teammates, and a whole generation.
Twenty-five is not one thing I thought it would be. And sometimes that is hard. Many times I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t have a plan to follow, and doing things for the first time can be awkward and most times doesn’t turn out at all how I had anticipated. Yet somehow the surprise of my everyday life is so much better than anywhere I could’ve planned to be at this age. Often, I recognize that “the plane is being built while flying”. It is chaotic. It can appear disorganized. It may seem non-traditional. But to say I was not being shaped for the unexpected life I now call reality in the unseen moments of diaper changes and teaching a child to walk would be a lie.
Milwaukee Movement is continuing to be built and grow into more of the core it’s being each day that doors are open for business. It is not perfect, but no one asked me to be. It is uncomfortable and that is okay. Because Milwaukee Movement is not about me- it is about those that I get to love and care for through the vein of athletic training. I have found that the messages I used to speak over my littles such as “be brave”, “take chances”, “love much”, “laugh often”, “say you’re sorry”, and “we have so much to be grateful for” are now phrases that I have to learn for myself because I need to offer myself the same grace I do each athlete, patient, adult, child, and teen who walk through my door.
My heart has been softened and my eyes opened to changes that need to be made in my industry. For now, I have said goodbye to the sidelines. I have battled with vulnerability and strive for courage. I ask for help and need others to help identify where I am weak. I have learned to let go. I stopped trying to fit in with the boys. I strive to become confident in my identity and my purpose. I am navigating what it means to have public influence as my private self would prefer that no one would know what I am doing. Because I live with the purpose of loving others, my world has been opened up. I am much more than an athletic trainer. I am an advocate for the next generation. I want to be a positive influence for females in athletics. I am fighting for women to have a seat at the table in leadership. As a female, I can own a business AND have success. Emotions do not make me weak, instead, because I am compassionate and nurturing I am able to offer a quality of care that is not demonstrated by many of my male counterparts.
I am grateful for these past few years and the opportunity to own Milwaukee Movement. I am grateful for the change in plans that happened post-graduation. I am forever changed by the sweethearts that I got to care for during college and daily during a pandemic. They have changed my perspective for the better and showed me the world through the eyes of the next generation. My current reality is far greater than the small plan I had for myself years ago. I am better because of the MOVEMENT.