I have another announcement, one that is pretty big. Some may be shocked, and some, well, might say this is “the least surprising thing ever”. Yesterday, I quit my job in public relations and accepted the opportunity to coach lacrosse full time in Santa Monica, CA. I will be the head coach of a high school out there, and coaching for the Santa Monica Dragons/Fire Lacrosse organizations. What? How? Why? When? Yes, these are questions you may all be wondering, and I’ll try to do my best to answer.
First, I’ll try to tackle the why. You all have significantly contributed to this decision. Hearing from those that have reached out to tell me that I’ve helped in some way, whether that’s to motivate you to go workout, or helped calm your mind in the cage, or even the parent that told me I helped her better understand her own daughter. Helping people is in my core, it is what motivates me to be the best I can, it’s what fills my heart, as corny as it sounds it makes my heart happy, and why I am always so smiley after I coach or after someone tells me I helped them. That’s the interesting part about helping others, is that most of the time you help yourself in the process. For someone like me with mental health struggles, my happiness has to be a priority, because otherwise, clouds seem to find their way back with ease. So thank you all for helping me through this, and for putting smiles on my face, letting me share my journey, and embracing me through it all.
Even though I love coaching so much, I had this idea in my head that it’s not what I’m “supposed” to do. That it’s expected that I have x income, in x job.I’d see other peers and people quit their jobs and pursue what they loved, and I thought well they can do that but not me. I’d see people get up and move, and I’d think well they can do that but I wouldn’t be able to. I realized, we truly do get one shot at this thing called life. Why would I wake up every day to do something I like when I can do something I love, something that fills my heart and soul, that gets me excited. Instead of thinking not me, I started thinking why not me? Granted, it’s definitely a risk. For the first time in my life, my path is a little hazy. I don’t know where I’m going to be in five years, heck, I don’t know what my life will look like next year. Coaching full time could be too much for me, I could get burnt out, but I could also fall in love with it even more (more likely option). I simply don’t know what the future holds, none of us really do. What I do know is that I haven’t felt more sure about a decision in my life since I committed to play lacrosse at Stanford. I’m about to get to wake up in beautiful Santa Monica, California, coach and grow the sport I love every day, while also being able to empower and help girls in their own life paths. I’ll also be able to help with Harlem Lacrosse LA while I’m out there, devote time to training, and creating more content to help more goalies across the country!
This past fall I had the opportunity to co-head coach the Coppermine 2025 Black team, and this experience is what really pushed me to say yes to this opportunity. I noticed after tournaments and practices I was full of energy, while after a day of work I felt drained and exhausted. I realized that mentally, many of the girls feel the same pressure to play at a certain level that I did as a goalie even in 5th grade. Many times filling them with confidence is what they needed to push themselves, and if I can do that for more girls, of course, I want to. It was also a great experience because of the atmosphere and culture the club has created. Coppermine is definitely doing right by the girls, focusing on player development and smiles over scores of games. The coaches I worked with, the staff, players, everyone was just amazing and so welcoming throughout this past year. I can’t wait to hear how the team and club continue to grow throughout the years.
While yes, this is all great, there is absolute sadness that comes with this decision too. I am leaving my family again to go to California when they all just got used to having me home. I am leaving my goalies, some whom I’d work with on breaks home from college when they were in middle school, and now are committed to playing college lacrosse themselves. I’m leaving many of my friends, from both college and childhood. It’s almost like I’m leaving for college all over again. Thank goodness for cell phones and FaceTime, as I will be on them often (as if I’m not already).
So, how did this all happen? You see, the program director for the Dragons, Meghan Toomey, graduated with me from St. Mary’s High School in 2010 and after connecting with Meghan she told me all about what they’re doing out there to grow the game and I couldn’t believe everything was real. It all seemed too perfect, honestly, and it is. I woke up today with a smile on my face, and for a Tuesday, that’s rare. As I said, yesterday was my last day of work, and I’ll be heading to California in January. I’ll be spending the rest of 2017 with my family and friends, and coaching as much as I can. So if you want to schedule lessons, please reach out as I have a lot of time on my hands. In my immediate future, looks like I’ll be spending tonight getting dinner with one of my oldest friends and putting up Christmas lights with Mariah Carey playing (no it’s not too early). Thank you for hanging in through this long one, and look forward to continuing this journey of life with you all!