At age 4, I began swimming competitively and was in the water almost every day. I qualified for 2000 Olympic Trials at age 13. By the time I reached high school, I was world ranked in several events, with my specialty being the 1500m freestyle. I was recruited by several NCAA D1 programs, and decided upon the University of Florida. During my time as a Gator, I was a three-time NCAA All-American and helped lead my team to four top 10 NCAA finishes. After competing in my second Olympic Trials in 2004 and finishing my college career, I retired from swimming to pursue a career in Recreation Management.
In 2011, I experienced my first of many complex partial seizures. After several years of searching for an answer, I was officially diagnosed with Epilepsy in November 2014. This was one of the hardest times of my life. I did not understand how or why this happened to me, and how I was going to live a normal life. Eventually I figured out how to manage my seizures by understanding my triggers and finding the right medication for me. I discovered the world of triathlons and have used that as an outlet ever since.
While training for my first half Ironman in 2018, I experienced my first tonic clonic seizure while at home alone. This was terrifying and was a major setback. After meeting with my doctor, we discovered that heat is also a trigger. I refused to stop doing the sport that I love, so I had to work to find ways to train for these extreme endurance events while also managing my Epilepsy. In 2019, I completed my first full Ironman at Ironman Texas. At my second Ironman at Ironman Florida in 2020, I was first out of the water in my age group. I am two years seizure free, and plan to complete my third Ironman at Ironman Texas in 2021.