I’m a female wrestler and soldier for the US Army World Class Athlete Program. I’m 22 years old and originally from Rio Rico, Arizona; a small border town. I’ve been wrestling since 6th grade on all boys teams throughout middle school and high school but competed at national events against females.
After high school I had the option to either continue my wrestling career at a college or train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. At 17, I chose to leave Arizona and my family for the training center and trained there for three and a half years before choosing to join the Army World Class Athlete Program.
Meanwhile at the OTC I was taking 15 credit hours at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, training twice a day and competing at national events. Life was difficult for my young self due to being so far from my family, having to live alone, figuring things out for myself and how to be an adult fairly quickly.
Once I started training with The Army WCAP team they took me in as one of their own and the team turned into my family away from Arizona. I went through Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training within a 6 month period and came back ready to dominate the upcoming season. After two tournaments back, I injured my neck and needed surgery to replace my Cervical 5,6 disc. That ended my 2018 season, but could have ended my career. Many people didn’t know if I would return after the surgery since no wrestler had ever had the type of replacement I underwent, so I’m sort of a guinea pig for it.
After about a year off the mat I competed in my first tournament back and won. I then had an opportunity to compete overseas in Germany and took 4th. As I’m continually working on getting better as a wrestler I’ve learned that there will always be an obstacle in my way of reaching my dream, but there will always be a way around the obstacle and my mission is to find that solution.