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September 2, 2018

My Tattoo Story: Four “First” Tattoos, Two Days Before Traveling the World

Tattoos are not for those who fear commitment or suffer from analysis paralysis.

I should preface this somewhat “impulsive“ sounding title with the fact that I’ve had most of these tattoos drawn for 10 years.

So why the week before we set off on our year of world travels? In short, it felt right. Kind of a “now or never” type of choice. I thought about our travels, and thought about getting them after we came home. My response to this thought was “why wait?” There was no reason to wait. I knew what I wanted, where I wanted them and had a tattoo artist in mind.

I’d have to come up with an excuse NOT to get them.

I saw myself regretting not having the tattoos on our year around the world. So, my friend Paige set up the appointment with her artist and we got it done. Get yourself some assertive friends if you don’t have any. So, it may have looked like an impulsive decision – four “first” tattoos with interesting timing. But it was thought out, promise. 

Not only did I have them sketched on paper for years; you better believe I’d drawn them on my body in various locations to see where I like them best. Hupomeno has been sketched on my shoulder, spine, foot, wrist (vertical and horizontal) and forearm (where it ultimately ended up). That brings me to tattoo #1 – the longest standing idea.


I didn’t go to church until my sophomore year of high school. To be honest, I didn’t KNOW Jesus, I mean really own my relationship with him, until I was 21. My church had a Summer church camp for the high schoolers called Great Escape. Every year it had a different theme. My first year was themed “hupomeno.” The Greek translation is to persevere, endure and sustain. That was the definition my camp was based around.

After further research (which is important if you’re going to get a foreign language sketched on your body forever), I found that it also represents patience and remaining steadfast. Endure, sustain, persevere, to be patient – they are synonyms. And I have needed, and will need, to practice all of them until the day I die.

Like I mentioned, I drew this sucker up when I turned 18. I didn’t just want a cross tattoo, although I’ll probably get one someday. I wanted something more symbolic and personal to ME. Those church camps were the start of my walk with Jesus, and to be honest, it makes for a cool looking tattoo. Am I right?


I LOVE the look of Roman numerals. Always have. Cheerleading has been an influential part of my life for 15+ years. Over half of my life. The plan was always to get SOMETHING to represent it on my body. Believe it or not, the sketch was a stick figure toe touch or pyramid before fellow coaches and myself came up with 5678.

The placement is just as meaningful as the tattoo itself…

I mean come on…It only made sense. If I must explain, we wanted the tattoo to be seen. Preferably by our athletes. It’s ironic, and kind of sappy that we didn’t get the tattoos (Paige and I) until the year Paige closed the gym. And if this tattoo in the clap position is not perfection…we must question whether perfection even exists.

I am sure you can imagine, we have our arms up quite a bit when coaching. We calp, we snap, and this area of our arm is often facing the mat. So there you have it. The perfect placement.

Next up,


My baby barbell might my my favorite tattoo.

I debated where this little guy was going to go for a long time. My neck? Rather fitting but then I can’t see it. Not ideal. My thigh? Ya girl loves thigh tats and it would have been a tiny, barely noticeable placement. Also fitting because my love for the barbell is largely connected to the use and strength of my legs. But I don’t see my legs often and it just didn’t feel right.

So, I went with the “I want to see it and for it to fit in with my other three tattoos,” mindset. Simple and logical. On my wrist, in a position that it will be seen if I wear a watch (which is everyday).

My baby barbell was the first tattoo completed, and it is pure joy to me. It represents what I have spent years of my life doing and always plan to. It’s a huge part of how I impact the world and leave it better than when I found it. Which brings me to my last and most recent tattoo design.

     the world

I’ve always been fascinated with the globe and world map. Growing up, we had a spinning globe. I’d spin it as fast as I could and stop it with one finger; then I’d image what that place was like. Zimbabwe, Greenland, Brazil, the Indian Ocean. I’d do this for what felt like hours. Oh, what kids did with boredom before electronics came along.

I always imagined having a “world Travel room” in my house (p.s. I don’t own a home). As a little girl I pictured trinkets from all over the world. On one wall there’d be a giant world map, with pins of where I’d been. I can still see the room that my eight year old self imagined.

Who knows where a child’s ideas and dreams come from?

My grandma was a world traveler. Maybe it was that. Ariel the little mermaid collected trinkets, maybe it was that. Whatever inspired my love for the world map, it was strong enough to get it sketched onto my body for life.

I thought it was rather appropriate to pull the trigger a week before we set off for our year of traveling the world. Don’t you think?

There you have it. My first tattoo(s) at 28 years old, a few days before taking off to travel the world for a year.

It was the right time for me and my ink.

You do you. Get the tattoos you want, when you want. Or don’t get tattoos. WHATEVER. The point is, you get to choose.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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