Imagine it is Saturday afternoon; where can we find you?
I’m either at MODO Yoga getting my Bikram on or at Sandbar playing volleyball with my favorite guy.
You have an incredible relationship with your son Marco – tell us about him!
Marco is such a fun guy. I know I’ve known him his entire life, but sometimes I feel that he’s known me my entire life as well. We have such a fun and marvelous relationship. I’ve been falling in love with him and with life ever since we met.
For him it’s never a bad day, he is mindful, funny, analytical and always positive. He loves challenges and adapts well to change. He’s helpful and has been very independent from a very young age (although he’s just 12). He is practical, goofy, and my favorite person in the whole world, but of course that you might have noticed.
You moved to Cincinnati from Puerto Rico in 2015. What brought you here and what’s kept you here? What do you miss about home?
I came to visit my brother on Spring Break of 2015, applied for a job and got an opportunity to work at Children’s Hospital. It was a temporary position, but it was all I needed to “test the waters” and see if Cincinnati was a place that could work for us.
In the first years here, I struggled to find a reason to stay. I would look for any excuse to return home. I thought, after all, I was never going to feel at home in Cincinnati without the beloved ocean, but a lot was in store for me.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September of 2017, I was able to help friends and family because I was in Cincinnati. That’s when I started to see purpose in me being here. I discovered many things that I was unaware of, and rediscovered other practices that I had forgotten, like yoga. With it came gratitude, mindfulness, deep breathing, slowing down and taking the time to be here, “right here, right now”, the only place where everything happens, the only thing we need & what we always seem to be pulling away from.
From this place I discovered that there was nothing wrong with Cincinnati, and that here, I could have everything I had ever been chasing. It just took another set of things to do, a change of mindset, a little vulnerability, and a lot of courage. It’s really just a small token when you take into perspective that you only have one life to live and that you should be living it to its fullest. If you aren’t, you can always start again, as many times as you need to, while you’re still here.
To have a chance to take on new challenges, grow, get inspired, give back to those around you and gravitate towards things that resonate with a higher purpose one that has more to do with something bigger than ourselves, something that feels more like a movement and not just one action….this makes me very happy.
I miss Puerto Rico every day, the wind, the ocean, the land, the people, the food; I miss everything from “home” and for this reason I try to go at least every six months. But, as they say, home is where the heart is and Cincinnati is where I live, laugh, love and where I am, so home is here. Lucky for me, I came to the conclusion that there is nowhere else I’d rather be, and that is such a good feeling!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve broken my nose 3 times, two accidents and once during a stunt.
I became an Olympic Weightlifter and participated in the 1999 Chiba Olympic games in Japan!
I still have modeling campaigns running in a couple of places, including a commercial that both Marco and I casted for individually and ended up filming together!
I worked on a movie with Ben Affleck.
All-time favorite movie line, go. Why?
"There are only four questions of value in life... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love." - Don Juan DeMarco
This is where I got my son’s name from, Juanmarco. I guess it was a way of immortalizing this quote for me & for him.
How did you get here? What was it about ProLink that sparked your interest?
I liked everything about ProLink, but what I loved was that as weeks, months and now a year has gone by the core reasons why I chose to work here remain intact, if anything I have become more fond of our culture and values, we really are family here! You will be held accountable, celebrated for your triumphs and supported when you need it the most, and we change lives for a living. It’s what we do, and I love it!
When people meet you, they can immediately tell that you radiate positive energy. How has this helped you move through the moments of change and growth in your life?
When you are a child you pretty much do what you are told and are a reflection of your environment. In other words, positivity wasn’t always what I radiated, but it makes me happy to think that these days I can be a messenger of positive vibes.
Mindset is everything. “What you think, you become”. As an athlete, I learned this principle. We are the result of our thoughts and habits. When we practice activities that inspire us, this makes us resonate at a higher frequency and connect with our higher self (or the best version of ourselves). If I can be happier with myself, this allows me to be more giving with those around me; more patient, caring, loving and compassionate. In order to see things in this perspective we need to shake off all the nonsense and negativity that has become so acceptable in our daily life.
This perspective has allowed me to see opportunity in every event in my life. I try to be mindful of what serves to improve and what doesn’t, I just label it as “growth” inside my head and it has worked so far!