Isn’t it funny how one decision can completely change your views on life?
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my study abroad in Australia, an opportunity given to all architecture students at Kansas State. It’s so hard to believe almost a year ago this month I was on a 14 hour flight to Brisbane, Australia!
To put it simply, between meeting new people to embracing a new culture and shaping my future career, the five months I spent attending the University of Australia were some of the best of my life.
Architecture may have been one of the reasons I went to Australia, but the Aussies’ love for Kettlebell Sport was something I wanted to embrace as well. Coming to Australia my kettlebell sport experience had been limited to one competition and a minimal amount of coaching. Before I left for the Land Down Under, I did some research on different gyms and coaches in the area.
Looking back, I was just beginning to embark on my journey to become a kettlebell sport athlete and I was only just beginning to fall in love with the sport. It must have been fate because before too long I found myself training under Jessica Pumpa at Bootcamps Australia. She was passionate about the sport and quickly became a great friend, coach and mentor to me. She pushed me to compete as much as possible while I was there and believed in me as I moved from training long cycle to biathlon. She taught me how to correctly snatch a kettlebell and helped me to understand how important relaxation really is to mastering the sport. Because of her mentorship, a love affair with a cold round ball of metal began that I would not have found back in the States.
Over the course of a few months Jessica had converted an Olympic Weightlifter and CrossFit athlete to an avid kettlebell sport lover. Looking back on it, I know that if I had not had the opportunity to train under Jessica I would not be the athlete I am today and would not go to bed every night dreaming of being a member of the USA kettlebell sport national team. A spark had been lit inside me and now a year later it has become a raging fire.
Aside from studying and training I met some amazing friends in the land down under. I met people in my classes, in the kettlebell sport arena and people at the gym. Although these friendships are now thousands of miles away I still talk to a few special people on a regular basis and I feel very blessed to have had the chance to meet such amazing people. The most amazing part this experience taught me is that no matter where I move I will always be able to find amazing people who love and support me.
If nothing else I left Australia HAPPY — happy with my life, with myself and ready to take on the world!
I left Australia a much different person than when I had arrived. I had become a determined athlete, willing to push herself way past her comfort zone to make her dreams come true, and I became an even more passionate architecture student, excited to graduate in May 2015. I had become someone not afraid of moving away from my beloved family.