Athena Camps turned 9 yesterday and I have been doing some reflecting on our journey.
Since the beginning, Athena Camps, my small business, has been through many phases – expanding and contracting. These cycles, I have learned, match up with my personal journey (I know, big surprise.)
2019 was a year of expansion. Athena Camps updated our look and brought on new talented women. I turned 50 whilst I tested out public speaking to grow my small business. In trying this on, I found out that I have only one speed – go big or go home (Again, no surprise there).
Of the many reasons I started Athena Camps, the main one is that I want girls to have strong female coaches that they can learn from, look up to and emulate. Like many entrepreneurs, I had a fire inside me fueled by personal experience. I was molested by my coach at the age of 14.
In 2011, I knew this was the impetus to birth Athena Camps, but never thought I would have the courage to tell my personal story. But since 2011, our culture has shifted. Back then, I couldn’t share this because no one was talking about this topic. I thought I was the only one, yet I knew deep down I wasn’t. Thanks to the brave Michigan athletes, our local sheros (you know who you are), and the Me Too movement, I share this with you today and have considered sharing it with a wider audience.
And this brings me to today. 2020 is presenting to be a contracting year. I don’t want to speak publicly about my story – but in the process of trying to “go big” I have healed on an entirely new level thanks to those who came before me. My hope is that the strength I have received enabling me to share my trauma will reach others so they do not feel shame and alone. Together we can do what we could never do alone.