I figured I would start with a photo because a photo is worth a thousand words and thus is fitting for the long story. The photo below is of me (so that you know what I look like) and my sister Bre (because she has more swag than I do).
I was raised in Dayton, Ohio, USA. For those of you who don’t know where Dayton is or for that matter Ohio, I have included a very helpful map below showing where Ohio is and the somewhere where you are is (courtesy of the artistic sis).
I began my schooling at a small (< 48 peeps in my graduating class) K-12 private school (Miami Valley School). Needless to say I did not have the largest group of friends, but those I did have are friends for life. Over the course of my first 18 years, little else besides family, friends, soccer, and being a nerd have consistently defined my life.
Although it may seem I had rather limited existence, at various moments over the course of my youth I participated in sports ranging from gymnastics, to swimming, to squash, ventured from the Galapagos, to Austria, to Hong Kong and dealt with the pains of divorce, the passing of a grandfather, and the end of the relationship with my first “love”. All in all this left me very prepared for the next phase of my life as a student-athlete at Princeton University where I almost immediately made a name for myself (2011). Freshman year in an attempt to show off my dance skills during the intermission of a BAC performance, the following occurred:
During my time at Princeton I learned the importance of doing what you love. Entering school as an economics major, I was following Princeton’s glorified path towards the golden egg (a finance job). Thanks to some guidance from true friends and the desire to try something new I discovered another passion of mine, computer science!
A new passion in hand, the first 3.5 years (2011-2014) at Princeton I spent my time doing too much of some things and too little of others (if you know what I mean). Along the way I would join The Ivy Club where I would meet three of my best friends (Nick, John, and Carter). Nick, John, Carter and I had the pleasure of partnering together to start a company the spring of our junior years. We called the company the Ivy Research Council and were nothing more than 8 Princeton students and some dogs in a house trying to build something special.
In many ways, choosing to enter the world of entrepreneurship the summer before my senior year was a way of finally giving up on my lifelong dream of playing professional soccer. However as the summer wore on, I found myself waking up earlier and training harder than ever before. I guess dreams don’t go down without a fight. Returning to school that fall I went on to have my best soccer season yet (2014). I led the nation in goals and points, but more importantly I won an Ivy League title with a group of my closest friends.
That winter, I dropped out of school without having been invited to the combine (unlike most Major League Soccer prospects) and focused on my training. Fortune was on my side as injuries to those invited before me landed me a spot in the combine at the last minute (literally was about to get on a plane to another event). I was eventually drafted by the Montreal Impact and earned a contract a couple weeks later (February 2015). I barely expected to make the roster my rookie season, but what do you know, I made my home debut in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Even crazier, this happened…
I had reached a new high. Two weeks later I would reach a new low. In my second MLS game I tore almost every ligament in my knee (ACL, LCL, MCL, IT band, hamstring). I was trapped in a bed with what I was told could possibly be a career ending injury or if I was lucky a twelve month rehab watching on social media as my friends celebrated the spring of their senior years, graduation, summer travels, and the beginnings of their new lives.
I made the decision to stay in Montreal for my rehab in order to be with the team. I don’t regret this decision as I have many fond memories from my year there, but it did make it more challenging when I decided to re-enroll in school that next fall at Princeton. Without online courses, I was forced to do the best I could to keep up with classes after finishing rehab in the afternoon on my own via textbook while emailing all of my homework to friends to turn in back at school. I would fly back to Princeton for tests (oddly enough that is what I am doing now as I write this). I will graduate in the spring of 2016 after completing my thesis (which is related to the MLS so hopefully I can post some interesting findings on this blog).
Thanks to the hard work of the medical staff in Montreal and grueling rehab hours, I was able to get cleared in only 8 months. Thus as we enter 2016, I am left with a new lease on life. Princeton classes completed and fully healed, I look forward to my first full professional season, continuing my involvement with the Ivy Research Council, and of course populating this site with the many things that bounce around my mind.