I finally made it!
May 16th, 2015 I officially walked across the stage at Kansas State University and received my diploma after five gruelling years of architecture school. I graduated with a hard earned Master of Architecture and minor in Regional and Community Planning. I can honestly say the last five years have changed my life and I look forward to my future endeavors.
The real surprise is this: Me, a kettlebell sport athlete. As a freshman in college I never expected that I would graduate five years later as an avid Kettlebell Sport and Olympic Weightlifting athlete. Back then all I was concerned with was getting to class on time and what I was going to do on the weekends. Between school, being a part of a sorority and hanging out with friends I didn’t think much about anything else.
The journey to becoming the athlete I am today really began the summer after my freshman year — it criss-crosses perfectly with my college career, too. My mom had been Olympic Weightlifting and doing CrossFit for a year or two, but I was very hesitant and virtually uninterested in joining her. She brought me into the gym that summer just to have something to do while I was home for three months. After my first few workouts I was hooked. It felt good to get off the couch!
As I started my fourth year of schooling and fell in love with architecture even more, I also fell more in love with the sport. This as I was given the opportunity to attend the IKSFA level 1 taught by Coach Rudnev. I had such an amazing time there and was really introduced to Kettlebell Sport in the best possible way. Sergey Rudnev was so inspirational and kind. He inspired me to get involved in the sport, which eventually led to the obsession I have today.
Another crucial thing happened during my fourth year at K-State. This time, it involved leaving for a mandatory (this was a fun sort of mandatory!) study abroad to Brisbane, Australia. While there, I made up my mind to serious begin my training for kettlebells as well as my shift my focus to my future career in architecture. Life was getting real. (For a full recap of the experience and my awesome coachJessica Pumpa, check out Looking Back: My Experience in the Land Down Under).
Once I had made up my mind to seriously begin training Kettlebell Sport my life changed a ton. I had to learn who to say NO, a lot, to friends and family. Gone were the days of just hanging out with friends and only worrying about school. I was now an athlete training to meet goals bigger than what movie I was going to see on Saturday night. School was always the first priority, but training become a close second and after counting in time for sleep and eating there wasn’t much time for anything else.
In many ways the priorities in my life have changed but for the better. I have real goals — sport and life related. As I look toward the future I know that there are two things that I want to accomplish. First is begin working in my career as an Architect and the second is to make the USA National Kettlebell Sport Team. My dream is to see Kettlebell Sport continue to grow and to help get more children excited about the sport. The future lies with youth and if the USA wants to be truly competitive on the world stage and I hope to help make this happen.