Do you think you’ll stay in your current gig awhile? Why or why not?
I am not sure. I've been on tour for seven years now, and this lifestyle can be a pretty demanding suck from the other parts of life. I have missed my dog, missed watching the seasons change, missed so many weddings and baby showers, missed a normal dating life, because I'm always moving. I miss weird little things, like decorating a house and having a fridge and doing laundry in a washing machine that doesn't have a quarter slot. But on the other hand, I love seeing the country, I love taking in and exploring the country, I love scenic drives, and I love shaking up my routine. I love having family and friends in every city across the country, even if I only get to see them once a year.
No matter the pros and cons of the lifestyle of professional disc golf, my original passion in the sciences always pulls me back towards my education and research. I can't wait to go back to school and get some more degrees, and I can't wait to delve back into the world of natural science. Even with this intense draw to the life I had before disc golf, it feels like a strange time to walk away from the sport after the crazy explosion in growth during the past couple of years. We'll see what the next couple years look like. I'm trying to really listen to my intuition, but after going with the flow for almost ten years, it's taking some practice and getting used to.
Were you close with your family growing up?
Oh yes. I feel so lucky to have a good relationship with my family. We were really good at spending time together, especially in the outdoors. We had a little boat we would take out every weekend, we spent vacations camping, and we spent afternoons playing outside in the backyard together. My mom would wake me up for lunar eclipses and we would catch lizards in the yard, and my dad taught me how to throw a castnet. My siblings were the most fun to grow up with, they are the funniest people I know and are still my best friends on the planet. I literally can't fathom life without them.
As it relates to disc golf, I learned about the sport in college through my ultimate frisbee team, and immediately introduced it to my family (we love yard games like cornhole and bocce). Before I ever even considered competing, the only disc golf I ever played was with my immediate family on holidays! We would escape the rest of our family (lol, j/k), and spend the afternoon slinging discs and laughing on one of the local courses. My entrance into disc golf competition happened one Thanksgiving while playing around with my mom, dad, and two siblings. Someone from a local league was like, "Woah, three women playing disc golf?!" He invited me to a local bag tag event, and that's how my career in disc golf started.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
I went to Bonnaroo in 2006 right after graduating from highschool with a big group of all my best friends. I know nostalgia is too real, but when I look back on the line-up, I know it isn't just nostalgia that remembers Radiohead, Beck, Bonnie Raitt, Oysterhead, Soulive, Bela Fleck, and a constantly mobile Rebirth Brass Band second line ALL in one weekend being THE BEST EVER! Radiohead has been my favorite band since I was 15, and their guitarist, Ed O'Brien, described their headlining set as "one our favourite shows ever," and, "probably our longest ever set.. the groove was good, the night was hot and we were feeling it." It was the best show of my life cloaked in one of the best weekends of my life.
What do you think makes someone a “good person”?
Care for other's lives, especially those who are in greater need of care. People who take notice of pain and suffering and struggle and go out of their way to help. People who think about the future, not just themselves in this moment. People who think about their impact on those around them. People with awareness. Also, people who bring joy, humor, optimism, inspiration, and energy. People who encourage those around them to embrace themselves and love themselves.
How do you define beauty?
I believe beauty can't be defined. I see beauty as being different for everyone, because beauty makes you feel, and not everyone feels the same way about everything.
For me, beauty is intricacy and variation. Beauty is time spent. Beauty is noticing that a moment is fleeting and appreciating it all the way to the end. Beauty is connection and meaning. Details in nature, learning the complexity of ecosystems, seeing people get lost in their hobbies, seeing the product of hard work, the way a breeze sounds in a pine forest, the way swimming feels on your hair, getting lost in laughter, choosing someone and having them choose you.
If you found out today was your last day on Earth, what would you do?
It depends on where in the world I am, but generally, I think I would try to find a body of water and go swimming. If no water, I would walk as deep as I can into the nearest wilderness and spend time observing what's around me. And on the way to these adventures, I would stop at a bakery and buy everything they have, especially the cookies.
If you could do anything, besides what you're doing now, what would you do?
I used to play a game with a friend on long drives called 9 Lives. We would talk about all the ways we could see ourselves spending our lives if we weren't on the path we were on now. I could have no trouble dreaming up 30 lives. A marine biologist working on the Great Barrier Reef. A fly fishing guide in Alaska. A dive master in Indonesia. A professional longboarder in Hawaii. A textile merchant in Egypt. A boat captain in the Caribbean. You get the idea. :)
What makes you feel at peace?
Solitude. Time in nature. Music. Learning. Practicing hobbies. Flow state in sports. Scents. Spending time one-on-one with people. Sitting next to bodies of water.