Growing up near the ocean prompted my parents to make sure I was water safe, and seasonal swim lessons turned into a lifelong connection to the sport of swimming. I started competing when I was around 7 years old and didn’t stop until my senior year of college when I was 21. I was 8 years old when I promised myself I would get a scholarship to swim in college, and ten years later I was living that promise in Laramie, Wyoming. It was a world away from the sunny San Diego days I grew up inside.
My freshman year I was sure I’d be a geology major. Two weeks later I was ready to commit to a degree in English literature. The next month, I officially chose chemistry. A couple of days later I had a change of heart (shocking) and went back to English, much to the dismay of my parents, who thought for sure I would never get a job with an English degree. All of this uncertainty was solved one afternoon in my advisor’s office. My advisor was a soft-spoken, bespectacled new dad named Steven, who’d grown up in the South and rooted for Ole Miss like it was his job. But his actual job was to root for us, the Wyoming swim team, and help us figure out how to balance our rigorous practice and competition schedules without forgetting that we were indeed there to get a diploma. That afternoon when I’d not-so-jokingly stated I’d never graduate at this rate, or if I did, I’d live in a box on the beach smoking pot and writing soliloquies, he listened intently as he always did. when I was done pitying myself, he just asked, “why don’t you major in business?” which I had never thought of before. Marketing, he said wisely, was basically just applied English. It was creativity and storytelling but for brands, in a business setting. So, from that day on I was a Marketing major, immersing myself in the 4 P’s and successful campaigns and brands I loved. Like any college kid, my life was unpredictable, and I was fortunate to have swimming, which gave me structure and friendships so deep that I remained grounded during what would become the most difficult year of my life in senior year. More on that later.
After college, I landed in Napa, California. I had basically scrambled to get a job out of college, and found myself in a tasting room at one of the oldest family-owned wineries in Napa Valley three weeks after graduation. Why, you ask? Because I knew I liked wine and thought it might be fun to live in a new place for my first job. Since that job I’ve learned a lot; I’m learning every day, and I’m excited to share part of my journey as a writer on the Sunday Shakedown. Whether I’m writing about wine, food, dogs, road trips, mental health, or staying fit a city that fries everything in duck fat, you can bet it’ll be a good time. If I’m not at work, you can find me swirling Cabernet and listening to Paul McCartney in my living room or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. Thanks for being here. Cheers!