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Hi, my name is Catie Manning. I feel like I should have a name tag. Take a seat. 

No, I am not an alcoholic nor a person who is entering into therapy. I am what you call a dreamer. A doer. I am a fighter. A motivator. I am no nonsense. I am a person to which sees the sky as the limits as far as passions in life go. I see myself as constantly evolving. I am frequently morphing into a better version of myself. Like the layers of an onion, as a layer sheds a new fresh one appears. Each layer a little more refined than the last one.  I see myself as becoming.

Becoming implies a sense of future. It equally implies an undertone of “I’m not there yet” with a small flair. The word becoming encompasses a sense of classy feminine qualities and a sense of hope! It never ceases to amaze me what I am becoming. Still the same ole Catie, but with upgrades and additions. Maybe some wisdom and humility?

When I was younger, I wanted to become anything and everything under the sun. Growing up, I was raised Catholic with a very loving, tight knit, and supportive family. I was always involved with physical activities and sports. It began with gymnastics which transformed into a cheerleading affair. I ran track and played softball. I was and still am a competitive person within reason. In high school, I was a three sport varsity athlete and played softball for recreation over the summer time until I graduated.

softball trophy

I was accepted to Indiana University-Bloomington Indiana for fall enrollment in 2004. I made their co-ed cheer squad which taught be a lot. You see, my cheer coach was very nurturing and had high expectations for her squads. After that first year, I was moved to the all-girl squad for the remainder of my three years at IU which was more competitive and really felt that where I needed to be.

Academically, I began on the path for a business degree. Found out quickly that was not my cup of tea. Catie Manning, a NUMBER CRUNCHER? No. I knew innately I was a people person. I was destined to work with people. This is where I found telecommunications. I enjoyed the creative and versatility of this degree. It was broad spectrum. It had options! From the business side, legislative end, TV, advertising, public relations…endless possibilities! I found it hard to narrow that one down. It took one commercial to spark another direction…what about sports media? It marries your passion of sports with another passion of media. Seemed like an amazing fit. So I put my explorer boots on and off I went!

As a junior in college, I acquired two very instrumental mentors and they helped network with the great ESPN. I sent a resume out and applied for their internship. I received the internship, but was unable to accept due to an injured wrist; however a second opportunity of epic proportion presented itself. I worked the next 6 years with both Winter and Summer X-Games. Yes, I loved that opportunity and found out that I didn’t want to work sports media for the rest of my days.

the author in her cheerleading uniform

Upon graduating IU in May of 2008, I took a brief month off. I then began working at the company Accu-Label, Inc. as Sales Support and Marketing. I spent the first couple of months really analyzing and getting my bearings. I literally applied my degree right out of the gate. I began trying to figure out the best market mix for our line of work. It also allowed me to be creative within limits. It gave me flexibility. Then my role started to shift and more was added to my plate. I began to manage a sector of business which is both cutting edge and that is where I had to learn to balance. I was becoming more able and efficient. It was effortful and yet, I thirsted for more hands on creativity.

Upon more discernment, I decided I wanted to go back to school for Cosmetology. I enrolled in Ravenscroft Beauty College in fall of 2012 and completed the program while working full-time. I went to work in the morning followed by school in the evening. I completed a program that on average should have taken me 15 months to finish in 13 months. I enjoyed it greatly. I will take my boards on November 9th, 2013 for the state of Indiana and proceed onward and upward! I couldn’t be more excited!

the author and her coworkers

I am still becoming. I am in awe with the path that I have been given. I give credit to God for that one. I think each of us have our own path that is revealed to us in due time and it can be hard.  The unknown factors make it hard.  It was through much discovering the strengths and gifts He gave me as well as an appreciation for the journey called life.  I couldn’t be more appreciative or blessed!

-Catie Manning

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