I come from a tall family where long legs are one of our hallmarks. “How tall are you anyway?” is a question I’ve heard since I sprouted up in junior high. And in those early years, it wasn’t a question or topic I especially liked. At 5 feet 10 inches tall, I often towered above my classmates especially with the few inches added by my heels. Awkward, a bit shy and wanting to fit into the crowd around me, I learned to round my shoulders forward, slump down and lean on one hip to shave off a few inches. (You can see this beginning to happen in the photo with my dad.) It wasn’t until college that I began to realize my height was a positive, family attribute and something to embrace.
However, it would take my own coaching experiences to shift my shape and story. I discovered that standing up straight, claiming my full 5 feet 10 inches and putting my shoulders back, not only improved my appearance, but also how I felt and behaved. I was confident, strong and emboldened! This simple practice was my first experience in working through the body as a vehicle for change and transformation. Now today the mind/body connection informs and supports the work we do at 5Ten.
Another core aspect of the 5Ten name rests in the beauty and power of the ocean. I grew up spending one glorious week of summer vacation with my family on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The four of us stayed in a small cottage that was bare bones – no air conditioning, no TV, no phone and no appliances beyond a stove. We swam and rode the waves, we went crabbing and fishing, we searched for shells and spent our entire days on the beach. Life was simple, easy and fun. And it taught me how to relax, unwind and just “be present” to the natural ebb and flow of nature. This connection to family, tradition and nature grounds me and 5Ten today.