To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nationin order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. – Confucius
A Chinese proverb says, “Every great journey begins with a first step.” I grew up in a tiny town on the west side of New Jersey near the Pennsylvania border, called Stewartsville. The 2 story house with a full attic and basement sat on an acre and a half lot with it’s own spring water! We lived there until I was 16 and then we moved a half hour south to Milford, NJ, near the Delaware River. Yes, we lived out in the boonies and growing up we rode sleds down a neighbor’s hilly cow pasture in the winter and water-skied and swam in the river from April to October. I graduated with honors and competed in track and field, cross-country and basketball.
After studying television/film communications and journalism in Pennsylvania, I spent eight years living abroad. I modeled and worked in TV commercials in Hamburg, London, Capetown, Milan and Paris, which is where I studied French and French history at L’Universite’ Paris-Sorbonne. Because of my media background and fluency in French I was allowed to travel to Togo where I worked with delegates from England, France, and the United States to oversee the African country’s first free elections. I never thought much about politics growing up; in fact, like many Americans I took voting for granted, then I saw first hand people in an undeveloped, poor country waiting for hours in line on a Sunday believing that their vote might bring about change. Now I no longer take our right to a democratic election or any of our freedoms in America for granted, as Plato said, “The penalty for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
I moved to New York in 1995 and auditioned (along with hundreds of other girls) to co-host a show on ESPN. With an audition tape I cut on my VCR, I was called in to meet producers. After a few camera tests, the director said that my audition tape was the worst he had ever seen but that it was a good thing my personality came through. I started co-hosting the show “Men’s Journal on ESPN” and the show took me throughout the US. I learned to rock climb, fly fish, white water kayak and white water canoe, mountain bike and ride horses (just to name a few). After the show went off the air (but not before finishing two NYC marathons), I decided to try my luck in Los Angeles. Needless to say it took me a while to land a job (whether it be in TV, film or a restaurant) so in 1997, at a friend’s request if I competed in and after 5 grueling days, completed my first adventure race, New Zealand’s “Southern Traverse”. I was also part of a two-person support crew for Andy Petranek’s team that competed in the Raid Gauloises in Ecuador. I was hooked and I continued to do sprint adventure races and mini triathlons as well as host OLN’s “Gear Guide”. I also co-produced and hosted the show “Wild Women Outdoors” for Artemis Productions, “Racing the Southern Traverse” for OLN and produced and wrote a mini documentary on “Wyoming’s Mystery Dinosaur”.
Then in 2002, I was hired as an on-camera reporter for Fox Sports West where in my first year I won an Emmy for “outstanding sports reporting in Los Angeles.” I covered the Angels during the 2002 World Series season, was one of Fox’s main Mighty Ducks correspondents during the 2003 playoffs, and covered the Lakers throughout the 2003 season. After the birth of my daughter, I retired from Fox having earned six Emmy nominations and one statue in just 14 months. On the urging of a dear friend, Cori Stern, I directed a non-profit called The Next Right Thing, where we brought kids in from countries where they could not receive the life saving medical care they needed, but visas became harder to get for the children; so we decided to put our efforts in other places.
I ended up running Father’s Field day, Athletics Day and surfing classes at my daughter’s school and continued my daily workouts which were always varied. I finished an Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2013, did a few century bike races and triathlons. But things weren’t always great and as much as I wanted to run away from things like I did when I was younger, with a husband and child….I couldn’t. I went through bouts of depression and thoughts about what am I doing with my life and when our daughter was 12, I decided to take acting classes again. There’s that saying “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” well, I am thankful to have been given the chance to have a small part on the Netflix show Love and am excited about the next opportunity.