My search for a team started in high school. As an athlete I always had a team: basketball, volleyball, track and softball to name a few. I was not a “top” athlete nor was I driven to be the best; I had a lot of energy, a positive attitude, and I was a motivator. I motivated my teammates to do their best and in return, they motivated me

During my junior year of high school, something happened that would impact my life forever. I was on the volleyball squad, on the B team, when it was announced that all six starters of the A team would be benched six games for attending a party. Suddenly, I went from watching the game from the sidelines to now the first half of the season resting on my quick setting hands (I was a setter). What happened in those six games was a miracle, we won! We won all of our games and tournaments. The B team was unstoppable. I felt amazing. I felt like a true leader. Colleges were starting to talk to me about scholarships. I felt needed. Unfortunately, the feeling was not reciprocated. The day the six starters were able to came back and play, I was taken out of the game by my coach. I would never play in another game that season. Devastated, I chose to never play volleyball again. I turned down scholarships and walked away. I was a teammate without a team.

After college, I was still searching for the right team. So, I packed up my things and started looking for my team on a private island off the coast of Georgia. I spent 2 and a half years here, learning so much about myself: a sense of personal responsibility, an understanding of my work ethic and so much about love and life. Yet, the team I was on was constantly changing and I quickly learned I was more interested in laying on the beach all day and surf fishing than really pushing myself to my limits. I needed a change.

My next move would take me to Telluride, Colorado (CO). This was going to be great, I thought! People in CO love outdoor activities like skiing, biking, and hiking just as I do. Sure enough, two short weeks after moving there, I found my new team at Alpine Bank, a local CO native bank. They were everything I was looking for – active, always looking to improve, and philanthropic; in my mind this was my forever team. Then, adversity hit. Halfway into my career at Alpine Bank I noticed my health deteriorating and I had no idea what was causing it. I was constantly sick, couldn’t hold down food and losing weight rapidly. Another two years would go by, more sickness, more weight loss and no answers. I needed to move and I knew the team I needed – my family. After five years of building a team and a life in Colorado, I moved back to Michigan to restore my health and find a new team.

After many tests, my family and I discovered the reason for my sustained illness; I had a peanut allergy. After taking time to restore my health, I went to look for a new team. However, finding my team in Michigan took some time. 

What was I looking for? I had specific requirements and traits: trailblazers, bold leaders, passionate and compassionate to name a few. The trailblazer in me wanted a team that was willing to create a new path, be the type of people willing to take risks and find alternative paths to goal, maybe even shortcuts. Bold leaders, the type of team that would stand behind one another when times get tough and see the bigger picture of what we’re trying to create. Passionate in everything they do. Having a fire under us at all times, a fire that would keep us going and one that ignites the next great idea. And finally compassion, to see the world through the eyes of others and give them a voice they may not have. After 7 years of refining and defining what my team would look like, I have finally found them at Fuse.

Looking back, I learned at a young age that I while I wasn’t driven competitively, I could still accomplish greatness if I set my mind to it. The real power of a team is surrounding yourself with those who exude the greatness you seek and I’m fortunate to have found that at Fuse45 with Karen and Sam. I knew the moment Karen pushed me from a split time of 1:55 to 1:47 on the rower that this team would push me to success in fitness, life, love and business that I had been looking for all my life. For that, I am grateful and as a member of the Fuse team, I hope I can help others find their team and learn what drives them.