I got introduced to web development in 1999 by a high school counselor when I needed to sign up for an elective. After one class I came home and begged my dad to go buy me an HTML reference book. One semester later, I became a teacher’s assistant of that same class, and have been an authority on the subject ever since. I like the challenge of presenting content to the user in an efficient way while considering all the possible obstacles that may prevent the delivery of the content.
Around the same time as my introduction to web development, a friend of mine showed me a few yoga poses. The experience showed me the value of observation, experimentation, and finding multiple ways of achieving the same goal. After some time, I found Iyengar yoga, a method of practicing yoga with emphasis placed on alignment. In much of the same way that jQuery is a framework for accessing and manipulating the DOM, Iyengar yoga is a systematized framework for understanding and coping with the human body. This framework is especially important to me because my body suffers from the effects of Cerebral Palsy, a neurological disorder resulting in poor muscle tone and muscle memory.
Living with Cerebral Palsy can be isolating, but it has encouraged me to shape my life in unique ways. Because the symptoms of individual cases vary widely, treatments may work on some, but not on others. I have learned to become a creative problem solver in my day-to-day life, always refining my methods and resisting habit.
I feel lucky in that I have embraced the practices of web development and yoga, two practices which are better informed from my experiences living with CP. I am not the most knowledgeable web developer, and I am certainly not the most disciplined practitioner of yoga. Living in Portland, Oregon, a town filled with knowledgeable developers and disciplined yogis, I realize I am one talent among many. However, I believe I have a competitive advantage over many due to my CP; I know, intrinsically the value of adaptability, responsiveness, and integrity. I consider these values in all my facets of life, which makes me a valuable asset in any strategy meeting, as well as in the trenches.
And when I am not web developing or yoga practicing, I am with my dog and friend, Suzy. She is a gentle dog with a passion for sweetness. We recently moved to Portland from Nashville, Tennessee. We love all the coffee, dogs, and weirdness that this town has to offer.