During my final week of college in Vermont I sat at my desk tapping my pencil, pondering my future. I had an unusual decision to make. Would I claim a comfortable desk in a tall building, or would I take the business plan I’d just written up and head to the Mexican jungle to make my entrepreneurial dreams come true? My mind swirled around these two radically different directions for my life. I tied on my running shoes and headed out onto a wooded trail to find clarity.
Several months, and many long trail runs later, I found myself pondering a blank canvas of jungle on the Mexican Pacific. I was on a mission to prove to myself and to my family that I could create successful jungle lodge. My imagination was humming right along, but now what?
Not long after our arrival in this foreign and wild place, the difficult reality of my pursuit quickly sank in. I was overwhelmed by the challenge of getting a business up and running, particularly in the jungle of a developing country! Even the tropical birds and iguanas seemed to look at me like I was crazy and didn’t belong. Yet I wasn’t ready to give up and I realized that there was actually something familiar of being this far out of my comfort zone.
Then it struck me: this was a wonderful opportunity to really apply the many skills that I’d cultivated in my years as an athlete. I headed to the running trail once again and began exploring the dirt roads and trails around my jungle home. As I ran, I pondered the various athletic challenges of my life and the lessons I’d learned: sea kayaking 2,000 miles of the Baja’s Sea of Cortez, mountain biking the USA’s continental divide, running marathons and getting knocked around on the rugby field for six years… all of which taught me a few things! Namely, I developed the art of self-discipline, patience, determination, endurance, teamwork, leadership, focus, planning, balance and much more! Having developed these skills as an athlete, it was time to use them in the creation of my dream business.
I gritted my teeth and decided that my path of entrepreneurship would be my personal Everest. My athletic pursuits had prepared me for reaching the top. I also decided to focus less on the summit, and more on the journey and slowly moving forward. Each day, I committed myself to taking one step at a time; allowing myself to make mistakes and gradually grow stronger. I would gradually work my way onward and upward.
Five years later, I’m running not one, but two businesses! It turns out entrepreneurship suits me! The sports in my life prepared me for managing the trials of business ownership extremely well. The Tailwind jungle Lodge has become a wonderful and thriving destination. We host a variety of adventurous travelers and lead adventure tours (sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and hiking) as well as yoga retreats and yoga teacher trainings. I also now have my holistic health coaching practice, Jungle Girl Health, which enables me to help teach women all over the country to listen to their unique bodies and nourish themselves completely. Given my background and experience, my path also allows me to share my inspiration as I support them to follow their dreams! Talk about two amazing companies!
Even as I find success in entrepreneurship, I haven’t lost site of the role sports play in my day-to-day life. If you’re like me, feeling great and following your dreams is a priority. Sport, physical activity and nutrition play a huge role in whole health and providing the energy required to passionately follow your dreams, It’s important to start nourishing your unique body and building your nutritional foundation so that you can do all the things that you love! So, each morning as the sun comes up over the jungle ridge, I run my jungle trails, reminding myself of the power of sport, how far it has taken me and where my life is headed. The adventure continues! Are you ready to give entrepreneurship a shot? If you’re a sporty girl, you might find that you’re extremely well prepared!
>> Be sure to check out this free guide to start listening to your unique body.