My definition of who I am changed completely when my daughter left home for college.

It was a lightning bolt moment of realization that life was about to be completely different. There was a space opening in my life with exciting opportunities to explore. I spent the next eight years climbing mountains around the world and along the way, redefined who I am.

The mountains, as it turns out, have been all about finding me. I’m not sure I knew that at first. I thought it was a loop that just needed to be closed. I spent my college years working at Mt. Rainier National Park, had climbed Mt. Rainier several times during my summers there, and at the age of 54, wanted to go back and do it one more time. There was just one problem. I wasn’t in any kind of shape to accomplish that goal. I joined a gym, hired a coach to design a step-by-step training program for me, and got to work. By the time I stood on the summit of Mt. Rainier 4-½ months later, I was hooked by the exhilaration of seeing my hard work pay off. It was the beginning of one mountain after another.

Along the way I was learning important lessons. Life lessons about setting goals. About breaking those goals down into step-by-step action. I read incessantly. Self development books, motivational books, goal setting books, books about developing a winning mindset. I was in the middle of an 18-year piano teaching career and as I watched my students’ successes and failures, I became more and more fascinated with human potential.

In the fall of 2014 I was back in Nepal trekking for a month. During that month I had a lot of walking and thinking time. There was a glimmer of something that kept reappearing, fueled by a desire to pass on the tools I’d been learning along my journey.

The vision for You Have To Just Start was sparked by that glimmer.

It was a spark that just wouldn’t let go of me. I had been so fortunate to have support and mentoring from people who were generous with their skills and expertise. It was time to pass on the tools and experiences that had worked for me in my adventures and creating my own life beyond kids.

Clarity came with time, and with it, the desire to empower other moms to create a life beyond kids. I closed my piano studio after 18 years to focus on becoming a life coach, with the passionate vision of lifting up other women. Midlife is an amazing adventure, full of possibility and now it’s your turn.

To create meaningful change, you have to just start!

Some other things about me:

I live in Seattle, a truly awesome place. It does rain a lot, which gives us ample opportunity to test Gortex gear.

I’m a morning person, as long as there is coffee. A lot of coffee.

There are a lot of ones in my life – one very patient husband, one amazing daughter, one son-in-law, one beloved Bernese Mountain Dog and one quirky tuxedo cat. My guys. All deeply loved.

I’m motivated by quotes and images, inspired by human interest stories.

I believe we grow from challenging ourselves. I believe that every experience I’ve had in my life, personal and career, has led me to You Have To Just Start and the opportunity to empower you in your journey. Having someone to mentor you on that journey is … priceless.

My Mountain Adventures

These are some of the places I’ve climbed. Read more about my mountain climbing adventures in this blog post.

Nepal: Everest region

Nepal: Annapurna

California, USA: Mt. Whitney

Mexico: Orizaba, Ixtaccihautl

Alaska: Mt. McKinley/Denali

Argentina: Aconcagua

Russia: Mt. Elbrus


Ecuador: Cayambe, Cotopaxi

Tanzania: Mt. Kilimanjaro

Washington, USA: Mt Rainier