Hear Me Roar
I Love My Life: Because I have really learned to slow down and savor it. I love working hard, playing hard, and appreciating the smallest things brings me happiness like the view of my vegetable garden at sunset; the first sip of coffee in the morning; the colors of a thunderstorm against the bright green marsh grass in summer; romping around with my dog, Olive. Creating space for myself to slow down has really given me so much joy.
I started surfing: When I was 15. I’ve always felt very drawn to be immersed in the ocean. I think the ocean has a very deep healing power, and calls us to draw near it when we need it. Connecting with nature to heal and regenerate is so important to me.
If I couldn’t surf I would: There have been a few times in my life when I wasn’t able to surf. Still, I usually found myself at the beach, body surfing with swim fins, collecting shells, soaking up the sun, playing with my dog, taking photos of other surfers. It all makes me pretty happy!
My most memorable wave: My mind doesn’t remember waves. When I catch a wave, I check out, similar to meditation. I have loads of memories around the conditions when surfing, and it’s hard to say what the most memorable conditions were —they’re all so special. From the first time I surfed with my now husband (which was actually our first date!) to days of perfect and fun conditions with my friends, to intense and more challenging conditions that pushed me mentally and physically, to sailing through the Pacific of Panama on a surfboard—it’s the moments I remember. There are so many!
The hardest thing I’ve ever done is: I’m lucky enough to feel challenged quite often; without that I would probably feel bored. Recently the hardest thing I’ve done is launching my first ready to wear clothing line, Azalea. It has taken a lot of hard work, long hours, and persistence, but it’s a really fun, new experience. Azalea clothing is classic and daring; it easily transitions from the beach to date night.
I could never live without: The love and support of friends and family, my connection to the ocean and nature, espresso, matcha tea, and good, organic dark chocolate!
I’ve always wondered… how can we do things better? Drastically reduce or eliminate single use plastics such as grocery bags, plastic cups and straws, and the way products are packaged. These plastics break down into tiny pieces and find their way into soil, ocean water, digestive tracts of sea life, even sea salt that we consume.
My last Ah Ha! moment taught me: Perfection is paralyzing. Just let go of what it should look like, or what it should feel like, and embrace what it is and let it be. Go with it…whatever it is.
My biggest accomplishments thus far: Building and starting my two businesses, Flo Massage and Azalea Clothing, being healthy and fit, and finding my husband. The bond we share is so special to me.
The women I look up to most: I am inspired by quite a number of women. I think they may all share similar qualities. They’re hard working, kind, feminists, gentle and strong, active in their communities, independent, fit, they know how to relax and have fun and play. Most have experienced something heartbreakingly dark and created beauty from it, which I think is a really incredible and admirable quality to possess. It’s easy to believe that because something happened to you that crushed your spirit that now you may not deserve to be the best version of yourself. The women I admire show that beauty can still rise from ashes and struggle, which I think is a true testament to the spirit of all women.
People have no clue I can: Do the worm! You know that cheesy dance move?
Three personality traits I’m proud of: I genuinely care about people, I’m persistent, and I’m positive and hopeful even when something seems impossible.
What do you think is important for women to do for themselves? Women are really good at managing so many different things, house & home, work, kids, and family. It’s easy to get lost in that. At Flo Massage, we help people get back on track by checking in with their lifestyle habits. It’s incredible how sometimes little tweaks in your daily routine can make a huge difference in overall wellbeing; things like hydrating, eating well, and sleeping well. One thing that often gets overlooked is making time to play. I think it’s important for women to find activities that they are wildly passionate about and carve out time to play daily or weekly. When we play, or do something we are passionately enjoy, it really helps us to regenerate emotionally, mentally, and physically. Staying healthy is such a multifaceted thing, and there’s so many ways to heal and get better. It really is a lifelong journey.
I am currently roaring about: Over the past few years I have gotten really involved in preventing offshore oil drilling along our South Carolina coastline and the east coast by working with the Mayor of Beaufort, Billy Keyserling, OCEANA, and the Coastal Conservation League. Oil drilling and seismic testing are back on the drawing board again, so everyone is working their hardest once again to prevent it from becoming a reality on our coastline I was really pushing for the plastic bag ban to go into effect, and I am happy to say that will happen this November. We’re currently orchestrating a huge clean up on Hunting Island. The ocean and nature don’t have an audible voice, so it’s very important that we as a community speak up for them.