anxiety

Is There a Benefit to Being Anxious?

I was driving when I got the call from my doctor, “Could you pull over so we could talk about your results?” I pull over. “Your tests have come back positive. You have breast cancer.” At that moment my world stopped… my mind immediately went to the horrific experience my mother went through 30 years earlier with colon cancer, which eventually resulted in a very …

UCLA Championship Banners

It’s More Than Bragging Rights

I’ve never flipped, never been able to do a pull-up, and have a fear of heights. How the heck did I become the Head Coach for the UCLA Gymnastics team; one of the most prestigious athletic programs in the country? The short version: I grew up studying classical ballet and piano. I was dancing professionally out of high school and heard UCLA needed a dance …

Miss Val behind fountain.

GET TO vs HAVE TO: Perspectives from my Chemo Spa

I GET to go to chemotherapy. I GET to have poison shot into my vein that will hopefully kill the cancer in my breast. It all started when my oncologist said, “You’re going to go through a year of chemo and surgery, but you’ll be fine.” I went home, sat on my couch, and E-X-H-A-L-E-D… then it slowly hit me and I started chanting and …

Heart shaped hands

The Importance of “You’re Welcome”

“We can do not great things, only small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa “You’re welcome” is the dance partner to “Thank you.” Think about a time you said “you’re welcome” to someone’s “thank you.” It felt like you had a “moment,” a small connection with that person, didn’t it? A sincere “thank you” offers a pause in the discourse of an interaction with …

Book

“Thrive” by Arianna Huffington

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington I am obsessed with this book. I literally wake up in the middle of the night just so I can read one more chapter, which is actually contrary to what the book is hoping to achieve. I met Arianna Huffington at UCLA in April when she was here promoting …