I was born and raised in Athens, Ohio but I call Durham my home. My wife and I moved here about 7 years ago and we completely fell in love with the area. We ended up buying a house about four years ago and have transformed it into our little paradise here in the Triangle.
When I am not giving massages,I take walks with my dogs, spend time with my loved ones and anything that is music related! I have a deep love for travel and connecting with new people and new places. Oh! And I can’t forget my new found love for Sudoku, it is so addicting!!
My career inspirations definitely still come from my original instructors, Jeanie Faulkner and Mark Cullen. They have expanded their careers with passion and care, and have made the world a better place. I feel that they set the tone for my entire career. My dad also inspires me and is a big part of why I took the leap to start my own businesses. He is an entrepreneur too and has done an excellent job creating and running small businesses throughout his career.
On a personal level, I think that it’s more of experiences that inspire me. When I travel, or take a class, or encountering someone who has such good energy it radiates the room. Being a good friend and person inspires me. Making a difference on even a small scale.
Now I won’t say I’m perfect and keep up with doing healthy things every single day, but I do strive to feel happy about the day that I had and be ready for the next. And most of those things are what I said I enjoy doing in my free time, especially playing with my two furbabies Marco and Opie.
This past July I decided to take my mental health treatment in full force. I took time off work and went to the mountain. I think that was the best decision I’ve ever made. So I definitely want to inspire others that it’s okay to take the time you need for yourself.
I went to school originally for psychology at Ohio University, after the first year I realized it was definitely not for me. Not the psychology part, but the way of learning. I needed more hands-on experience rather than a lecture full of 200 people in the room. When I decided to switch careers, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew there was an amazing tech school nearby, Hocking College, and I saw they had a massage therapy program. I signed up two weeks before classes started. I remember the first class I had was Aromatherapy and my instructor took us outside to find herbs for us to turn into oils. I knew at that moment I was exactly where I was supposed to be. That feeling of, “I found my calling” sunk in for the first time, and it for real brought tears to my eyes! I couldn’t wait to discover more of the industry.
My biggest challenge was passing my massage therapy test to get my license. Since I was a kid I have always struggled with major test anxiety; anxiety in general. I could tell you everything about massage, but when it comes to answering it in a multiple choice test, I totally freeze. I used to look down on myself because of this, and I really wasn’t sure if I was ever going to pass. But my friends and family kept reminding me how talented I was at massage and so I continued scheduling the next one. It was extremely hard for me and I kept it a secret. NOW, I use my challenge to remind other students that it's okay if you don’t pass the first time, the second time, and even the third. It doesn’t make you a bad massage therapist. Keep going. In the end, you will end up reaching the goals you never thought you could achieve.
Well definitely being someone in the LGBTQ+ community, I do know what it’s like to get “those looks”. Almost every time Lauren and I have gone to get a couples massage and its two women walking in, you can tell that the energy has changed. There is now an “elephant in the room.” I wanted to create a space with the right therapists to where no client will ever have to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and/or sexuality.
I also have many clients who are part of the queer community. Listening to what struggles they have gone through has reassured me that Durham needs Auroraflow.
I would say, holding compassion for yourself and your body. When you do that, you will realize that investing in your own wellness is one of the best things you really can do for personal growth. Because you are worth it. You deserve to have a massage after a long day working in the construction industry, or a relaxing Facial after you’ve taking hormones and are now able to grow a beard! And wellness doesn’t just mean treatments that you can get from Auroraflow. I am always happy to recommend talk therapists, yoga instructors, acupuncturist, nutritionist, psychiatrists, books that have helped me, podcast that I love, and even certain social media accounts that I follow with awesome wellness tips and cheer. It’s all important.