Age: 51…but feel 21. I usually forget how old I am and have to actually think about it if someone asks me.
Good question…I’ve had a fitness company for the last 18 years and have 2 workout videos. I started a hula hoop fitness company 10 years ago and have traveled the US selling hoops/DVD’s at women’s conventions.
But after my son passed away last July, everything I was doing came to a halt, and I only wanted to do what truly mattered, to make a difference for him.
Currently, I am running the environmental non-profit that we started for him and doing public speaking on coping skills for anxiety, depression, trauma, and finding joy in the middle of that, along with writing three books. I’ve always worked for myself, so I like creating new products and ideas on my own time.
I’m currently working on several products for his non-profit and have completed his environmental coloring book called Help HudSUN save the world. I’m always open to the next adventure and have actually been in talks to start a wedding barn business.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a rock star. I would stand at the top of our second-story front porch and sing to all the neighbor kids. Later on, I was the lead singer in a band. Now, I still sing, but mostly karaoke.
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
My first job was working for my dad’s car dealership. I would help with promotions. One time I even ran around in a swimming pool to stir Jello for an event where people had to dive into the pool for car keys to win a car. I worked in a video store. I worked in a diamond store. I managed a restaurant. I was a Hooter’s girl, plus a calendar girl, and corporate trainer for them. I’ve been modeling and acting in films and commercials since I was 13.
What do you work toward in your spare time?
I have a hundred ideas and inventions. I like to think of new ways to make the world better and brainstorm with friends on our many ideas. I also spend a lot of time doing yoga and walking through nature. Peace is what I ultimately work towards.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning…I love to wake up with the sunrise every day, sit outside with coffee, and meditate.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my children. I’m also proud that even though my family has gone through losing my son last year, that we are all stronger for it and even more determined to make a difference in the world.
I’m also proud that I started my weighted hula hoop company and got myself and my products on Home Shopping Network (HSN), plus many other TV shows, and then oversaw and participated in the making of 2,000 hand-made hula hoops in three weeks.
What are you known for?
I’m known for being a free spirit and inspiring others to be free, present, and joyful, no matter what life throws at you. I asked a few friends and my daughters this question and this was their answer…also, that I’m known for hula hooping everywhere I go.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by authentic people who truly care about making a difference in the world. I’m inspired by their stories and what they’ve overcome to get to where they are. When I get down to the heart of someone else and we share our passions, I feel ignited to inspire others.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
Most people don’t know that I was accepted into a fashion merchandising and modeling school in Miami when I was 18. My parents decided I wasn’t ready, and so I didn’t go. Instead, I took an Amtrak train across the country from Illinois to Albuquerque and never came back.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
I applied to be an Insider on a whim. I stopped at the grocery store one day and saw Oprah Magazine at the checkout. Oprah was standing in front of an airstream trailer, and it caught my eye, because I had been shopping for a camper and thinking of how to simplify my life. I bought the magazine because of that cover and when I was reading it that night, I saw the ad to be an Insider. It resonated with me, so I applied and submitted it just moments before the cut-off time.
How do you live your best life?
I live my best life by being present and living in the moment. I’ve spent this past year traveling all over the U.S. Sometimes I just buy a one way ticket and go. I talk to everyone I meet and share stories. We always have a common thread and walk away like best friends. It’s those connections that really make me feel alive. I then share that feeling with others to inspire them to live their best life.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Grit by Angela Duckworth. It’s all about passion and perseverance.
What’s a day in your life like?
If I’m at home, I wake up with the sunrise, make coffee, and sit on my deck overlooking the lake. I sit in stillness and listen for a message and usually take a picture of the beautiful sunrise. I post the picture and message from the sun(son) on my Instagram in hopes of inspiring others with my message. I’ve been doing this for many years, but when my son passed away last year, it turned into so much more of an important ritual for me. After that, I eat some oatmeal, walk my dog, talk to my friends brainstorming our newest ideas, and work on whatever project I’m working on. I usually go to yoga in the morning, run some errands, Paddle board, write a little, hula hoop, paint, spend time with my daughters, work on non-profit ideas, and plan my next adventure. I never watch TV, so I just stay busy all day, creating whatever feels like the next thing I should do.
This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.