Dear Self

Self Image: How YOU perceive yourself, can be very different from how the world sees you. It has the ability to make you doubtful OR confident in your abilities and ideas.  Created over time, it is often shaped by experiences and events with significant impact on your emotional well being.

  • What you think you look like.
  • What you believe others think of you.
  • What kind of character you think you portray.
  • What kind of personality you think you have.
  • What you think are your strengths and weaknesses.
  • What you perceive your social status to be.
  • How much you like yourself or think others like you.


A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Self,

You were uniquely designed. You are one of a kind.  You were not meant to be like anyone else.  You were created with certain features that no one else can reproduce, you were gifted with  talents, skills, strengths and weaknesses that all serve a purpose.  Your genetic build up molded you into the divine creature that you are.  Your ability to digest personal experiences and prompt critical thinking continue to set you apart from the crowd.  All the things and people that hurt you along the way are blessings in disguise. Your pain will break you down, yet it will build you back up stronger than before.  You are a young girl who feels lost in a big world, but your curiosity, perseverance and stubborn heart will  mature you into a fierce, unbreakable woman.

The other girls who laugh at your muscles and call you a man are jealous, insecure, and calling you names out of immaturity and a lack of knowing themselves.  The boys that laugh at you because you are taller laugh because they haven’t hit puberty yet and don’t like feeling inferior to your strong stature.  Your parents’ unhappiness and divorce is not your fault.  Your economic status does not define you or your future.  The other kids with unending allowances and financial support did not get that way because God loves them more.  Your standardized test scores will not make or break you.

You will not find happiness in boys.  You will not find happiness in alcohol or drugs.  The size of your clothes and the weight on the scale will not depict the number of genuine friends you will have in life.  Your failures will not define you.  The world may not understand you or see your heart the way you do.  The way you see yourself will create your reality.  If you hate yourself, you are incapable of loving another soul.  Learning to love yourself will be the most important thing you will do in this life. 

You will find happiness in loving yourself.  The number of genuine friends in your life will be weighed by the amount of love you are capable of giving and receiving.  In order to understand yourself, you must love yourself first.  There will not be happiness in your reality without love in your heart for the person you see when you look in the mirror.

Do not make decisions based on the opinions of others around you.  Do not place emphasis on materialistic items in life, for these things will add no value to your soul.  Hold onto your grandparents tightly.  Attend family dinners, play with your cousins, sit on your mom’s lap, day dream with your siblings and invest in relationships with family members.  Don’t get caught up on friends “liking you” for they will come and go, but family is forever.  Make memories, be silly, laugh hard, and don’t sweat the small things.

Dear Self, I love you.



2016 in a NutShell

  • Rang in the New Year in Osaka, Japan.
  • Sold my Jeep, bought a Honda Civic.
    • In order to drive to Redlands CA from Camp Pendleton CA 3x a week.
  • Joined a LifeGroup with Shoreline Church.
  • Started morning devotionals and grew in my spiritual relationship with God.
  • Started a Blog.
  • Matt and I survived a deployment together. (Our relationship became much stronger)
  • Qualified for the California regionals with Team CDR.
  • Finished 2nd for military athletes in the CrossFit Open.
  • Place 4th at the California Regionals.
  • Became a Battalion S4 Logistics Officer.
  • Promoted a Sergeant to Staff Sergeant.
  • Promoted a Gunnery Sergeant to a Master Sergeant.
  • Served as the Officer In Charge of a Tactical Skills Package.
  • Went to New Orleans as a guest speaker for the Delta Life Fitness’ Annual World Con.
    • (Watched a fellow Marine transition out of the Marine Corps in order to run his dream business)
  • Watched one of my best friends carry and give birth to her first child while her husband was deployed.
  • Finished 7th place at the CrossFit Games with Team CDR.
  • Moved in with Elizabeth Koch and her amazing three children while her husband was deployed.
  • Spoke at Lincoln Middle School to an after school program.
  • Met Theresa Larson, Nicole Napoli, Lauren Schoener and so many other amazing people that have changed my life.
  • Attended the Marine Corps Ball with my Grandfather.
  • Started my own business…. Valkyrie Performance
  • Helped (5) women achieve their short term fitness goals and continuing to work towards long term.
  • Hosted my first women’s leadership seminar at 5.11 Tactical.
  • Became a 5.11 ambassador.
  • Traveled to San Francisco for the first time.

While these are the highlights of my year, I want to genuinely express to everyone that with the highs came lots of lows. There were several days where I doubted myself. I doubted my abilities to be an effective leader and balance everything going on in my life. I doubted my abilities as an athlete and often times told myself that I should give up and wasn’t good enough to compete at the level I had dreamed of.  I doubted my relationship with Matt and told myself that he was better off finding someone better, someone who wasn’t as messy and as crazy as me. I doubted whether or not I was worthy of God’s love and a relationship with him.

For the first time in my life,  I lost a loved one.  My grandmother passed away.  Matt and I awoke to a phone call from my older sister who relayed the news.  I immediately burst into uncontrollable tears and experienced my first panic attack.   We almost lost my grandfather shortly after her passing.  I witnessed him literally almost die from a broken heart.  I saw the my whole family in a world of pain.  Her funeral was beautiful and hundreds showed up.  As the family walked in, and I counted the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren I thanked God for bringing her to this earth and for the family she created.  Returning to regional training in preparation for the Games was extremely difficult for me.  I found myself randomly crying during training as I felt the pain of her being gone.

In November, I injured my shoulder from over use and under recovery.  I was out for a month, and was forced to realign my game plan as an unexpected obstacle came my way.  In this time I was able to shift my focus from what it had previously been and became thankful for the new journey God had taken me on.

2016 was a year that I will never forget.  I’d say it was the best year of my life, because it’s the year I came to really know Christ, and the year that I let go of childhood/teenage hurt that I had been holding onto for over 10 years.  In coming to know Christ, I really came to know myself, and I began to understand his purpose for me.   In this life I will set goals, make plans and prepare for the future, but I finally understand what unconditional love is and because I have felt it, I am now capable of giving it to others.