Day in the Life:
Amateur golfer Caroline Chisanga played competitive golf in high school and in college. She loved the sport and by challenging herself on the golf course, she pushed herself to excel in other areas of her life. She helped her high school team win the Michigan State Championship.
Then, one day, she put away her clubs and didn’t pick them up again. After some time, she sold her prized set of clubs and moved on to other endeavors. For twelve years, Caroline didn’t even own a set of golf clubs.
Her life took a series of turns, from meeting someone new, to having children, then to slowly losing her sense of self. After years of caring for her family and forgetting to tend to her own needs, things went from bad to worse.
She eventually found herself struggling to get by and living in a domestic violence shelter when she reached a breaking point. Caroline explains, ” I had given up myself and everything was about others. Things got really, really tough. Finally, I had enough and made a fresh start. I was determined to both turn my life around and to give my children a future.”
Caroline made a decision that she was going to do whatever it took to heal herself and make her children’s lives happy, healthy, and hopeful. Through this determination, she found the strength to file for divorce and start on a new path.
Caroline picked up a new set of golf clubs and began taking time for herself again. She lost 65 pounds after she decided to change her life. Ever day, she works diligently on her body, her mind, and her happiness. She shared, “I’ve been taking the time to learn, to play, and to experience life again.”
When she started golfing again after more than a decade away from the game, she was rusty, to say the least. “I was horrific,” she explains. “But I began working with a golf coach and a personal trainer every day and I’m getting better and better.”
Today, Caroline runs her own successful business within the golf industry. Her golfing career is advancing, with the support of companies such as Callaway. She is also giving back, as an Ambassador for Life After Domestic Violence. She is now even working as a golf model, which she would never have had the confidence to do before.
Each day, she uses the Owaves app to plan her health, fitness, golf practice, and mindfulness. “Owaves is a reality check for what you’re doing in your life. It shows you exactly what is going on and where you’re spending your time and what makes you better,” she said.
It’s Caroline’s goal to inspire others to change their lives, “I want people who are going through a tough time to set a goal and don’t stop until they achieve it. Everyone should find something they love to do.” Her organization, The Drive to Par, chronicles her story of perseverance and her journey on the golf course.
Location: Frederick, MD
Favorite Snack: Turkey bacon.
Favorite Exercise: YOGA
Favorite Book: The Good Wife
Favorite YouTube Video: Amazing Puffer Fish Creates Ocean Crop Circles
Personal Motto: Never Give Up… Never Surrender.
What’s your favorite way to Center?
I enjoy hiking or going for a walk. I try to find quality time with myself, sometimes shared with my kids, or my friends. I recharge by doing something I enjoy including going for a walk, working in my garden, reading a book, taking a long bath, and generally spending time on my happiness.
What gets you up in the Morning?
If my kids are not there looking me in the eye, my coffee is the first thing I think about! Totally not a morning person.
What is unique about your O?
I think everyone’s O is a feeling, something that brings you peace and happiness. Allowing yourself to feel what brings you joy and making space in life to embrace and execute that is the hardest part. What I enjoy is not what someone else will always find enjoyable, so everyone’s O is totally unique.
What’s your favorite healthy habit?
Stretching, it is like a thank you to my body. It helps me relax, focus and it feels so great to be limber. I stretch all the time, throughout the day. Also, drinking water with Lemon. It has so many benefits.
What’s keeps you motivated each day?
Knowing that I am instilling healthy values in my children and showing others that there is a way to change your habits and lifestyle, it is not hereditary. I would like to be the best version of me so I can to live a long happy healthy life of service to my universe.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Normal stress and anxiety, the things that any entrepreneur or business person has to deal with. It’s always a challenge to make time for yoga and the things that relax me.
What was your personal low point? How did you overcome?
At a certain point I had very low self-esteem, I was over weight (weighing about 215 lbs), and I did not see myself as a valuable person. When I realized that I have the ability to change my life, set my future, and change my habits that ah-ha moment hit! I wanted to be a person that I would be proud of and that my kids would look up to and admire. Today, I feel proud of myself and I am excited about the future.
What’s your best health advice?
Drink water, not pop/soda. EVER!
Owaves 101 is a blog series showcasing tips for work-life balance from fitness experts and successful professionals. Olympians, Ironmen, inspiring yoga teachers, physicians and clinical dietitians, among others, collaborate and share ideas in a common mission of leading healthier, fuller and more balanced lives.
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