My freediving roots, PFI (Performance Freediving International), organizes an annual competition where, in 2007 I attended for the 2nd time and re-set my USA record for No Fins to 44m/145ft. That held until Ashley Chapman came on the USA freediving scene! I am forever grateful for my friends at PFI, who introduced me to the sport, and encouraged me to compete; all the time coaching and supporting me as I explored my potential.
The lone female of 5 athletes from the USA Freediving Team invited and honored to compete against Japan for a Dynamic No Fins competition they were recording for a variety show. From the hotel, to the training and competition pools...everything AWESOME! One of the most memorable trips of my llfe - they treated us like RoCk StaRs and we ended the trip proper w Shabu Shabu and Karaoke!
My 1st USA Record for No Fins at 43m/142ft. I had dear friends who were my safety for training, and then coach in the competition. I set out to break 3 USA records that trip - I finished with one; and learned a hard lesson about getting over-zealous in the pool disciplines. Still, I look back and love my focus in training, and state of mind in that US Nationals. This was definitely one of my favorite competition experiences.
Attending Metro State College of Denver on a soccer scholarship, Jewels continued her aquatic lifestyle through lifeguarding, pool management, and teaching swim lessons ~ eventually earning her degree in Biology and Education.
After learning to SCUBA dive in 1997, Jewels’ passion for aquatics and education only grew. She fueled her passion through professional diving courses, then left her dream job as part of the education team at the downtown aquarium, and went to live the island lifestyle teaching SCUBA diving in Cozumel, Mexico.
In 2006, Jewels took her first freediving course and immediately began competing internationally. Now, as a former member and record holder of the USA Freediving Team and 29 years of experience in aquatics education, she considers herself a retired competitive freediver, finding the joys of freediving instruction much more rewarding.
Seeing the heartbreaking changes on the reefs due to plastic pollution and climate change, Jewels founded the Mermaids for Conservation team to help educate and inspire folks to live ecofriendly and plastic-free. Being an educator at heart, she hopes the global team of mermaids will make a difference to save our seas!
Growing up at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Jewels dove in to the aquatics industry by lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons as her first job. After joining the swim team when she was 6, and endless summer hours spent at the pool, it just made sense to intertwine her love of the water with a professional career.
I was a member of the 4-athlete USA Women's Team for the World Championships. We won the silver medal ahead of Japan for bronze, and behind the Russians with Natalia Molachnova taking gold. I had my deepest dive in competition, but pre-dive stress lead to a tense performance, and a squeeze injury that would come back to haunt me later...ending my competitive freediving career, and changing my perspective on the sport - and Life - forever...