Loving Life & Living Boldly – “It’s how you handle the present moment that really can mold your future moments…”
I met Sara Schulting-Kranz in April while assisting at a course in Northern California. Her energy and enthusiasm were infectious but what really made me stop in my shoes and say ‘Whaaat!?!’ was a photo that a tourist on a whale watching boat took of her stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) with a whale. Sara recently went through a life-changing journey when her husband of 20 years dropped a bombshell on their family, resulting a transformational life and career change. Sara is now a life coach who combines her passion for adventure with helping others to be their best selves. Here is her story.
Tell us about yourself and your lifestyle.
My name is Sara Schulting-Kranz and I reside in Hermosa Beach, California. Originally I am from a small farming town in the Midwest, Black Earth, Wisconsin – talk about polar opposites. My lifestyle consists of being a mom, best friend, adventurer, athlete, family secretary, volunteer, the list is endless. The aspect of my lifestyle I cherish the most is helping others by combining life coaching and adventure. When you combine the two, powerful energies are created that empower people to go places they never thought possible. I would call my lifestyle ‘Loving Life & Living Boldly’!
I have hiked down into the Grand Canyon seven times. I have hiked rim-to-rim in one day, twice. I have summited Mt. Whitney, climbed Half Dome, taken my kids on a 6-week road trip where we visited eleven National Parks, I ran a 50 mile ultra marathon three times, I scuba dive, and I have participated in the paddle-run-paddle two times. That is where you SUP (stand up paddle) 22 miles from the mainland to Catalina Island, run a marathon the next day, and then paddle home the third day.
I also love to camp under the stars, make fires, cook, drink wine with friends, play board games and cards, relax on a boat, be silly with my niece and nephews, watch my kids play sports, talk ‘life’ with our family, and I love love love the Holidays. I LOVE family traditions!
Tell us about your past.
I have always been a person that loves adventure but even more so, loves life. I love trying new things, meeting new people, and helping others. I scuba dive, stand up paddle, run marathons/ultra-marathons, hike anywhere, love to road trip…pretty much, I will try it! Experiencing life by pushing myself to great lengths allows me to test myself and realize where I can really go with my mind, body and spirit. I came to a point where I loved having ME feel this awesomeness, but I really wanted others to feel it as well. That’s the former teacher in me coming out: believing in everyone and wanting everyone to believe in themselves.
What prompted you to change your life?
My best friend/soon to be ex-husband (yup, I put those two phrases together) came to me recently, after nearly 20 years of marriage, and told me he was gay. That was a turning point in my life. How was I going to go on? What did my future look like? Is it possible in society to be best friends with your ex after so much pain, and what would people think? How do you raise three strong boys in this situation? Then I realized something: you do exactly what you did when you took those last steps to climb Mt. Whitney, paddle 22 miles across the channel to Catalina Island, or run 50 miles in an ultra marathon.
You keep going. You keep putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t stop paddling, even when it hurts. To stop gets you nowhere. Instead, you believe in yourself.
You gain a new perspective when you are looking high from a mountain or paddling deep in the ocean with nothing but blue waters surrounding you. You realize that in the grand scheme of life, you are but a speck and shouldn’t care what others think or how they react. You are you. You make your own choices. You learn from what is given to you and, in return, you can teach others.
So, I decided to forgive my best friend. We decided together to continue doing what we do best: be the best of friends, support each other’s dreams, live large, and teach our boys what it is to love yourself and others unconditionally.
Will everyone understand? No.
Do I care? Not really.
But if someone, anyone reads this and feels an ounce of ‘Wow, if she can do that, I can do this’, then THAT gives more credit to this journey, and makes it so worth sharing this story.
How did you decide to become a life coach?
Once the healing really took hold and decisions were made, I realized how important it was to help others. I was a teacher prior to moving to California, so it’s in my heart and soul to help people. I love talking to and meeting everyone. I love hearing people’s life stories. But even more so, I always loved when I could inspire people.
Then a friend suggested that I consider becoming a life coach. I looked into it at 3:00 am on a Saturday and was signed up for the courses the week after. The classes were based seven hours from my home, requiring travel, but that’s where the support of my best friend came in: he wants me to be the best me, so he and my boys supported my decision 100%.
Tell us about a low point and how you overcame it.
I would say the lowest point along the way also became the seed to our greatest strength. When David truly hit the point where he needed to come talk with me about his sexuality, it opened up avenues in our ability to communicate that had never been there before. I will cherish our four days straight of talking at all hours of the day, hugging and comforting each other through our abundance of tears and little moments of laughter.
We walked in the rain, sat at the lifeguard station watching the ocean, while trying to make sense of life. At one point we fell asleep in the middle of the day on the floor by our bed. There was no sense of time or space, just a sense of loss and new beginnings. We overcame the loss and turned it into greater good by being ourselves. We believe in ourselves, each other, and the power of both of us together.
What has been the hardest part?
One of the hardest parts was knowing that we were going to have to tell our three athletic, awesome, powerful, yet super sensitive boys. Once we knew deep down in our hearts how to handle telling them, we knew that ‘we had this’. And when we did tell our kids, they handled it even better than we expected. We talked it out as a family, how this would look, what would change and what would still remain as is. We cried, laughed, and ended with one big family-of-five hug.
What are some of the things you learned along the way?
I learned how much, really how much, I love to inspire and help people! ALL people! Family, friends, neighbors, trail and ocean lovers, and strangers…who aren’t strangers for long! I love the positive shifts that are made with people. I love the growth that I see in people. I learned that I love helping others to be their better selves even more than I imagined. I realized how much strength and resilience that I have, and I learned that much of that strength comes from learning how to release pain patterns, living fully and deeply in everyday life.
What is something that surprised you?
Honestly? Not much surprises me anymore. Looking back, I guess my whole ‘life journey’ had surprised me. The ups and downs, the craziness and beauty of it all. Coming from a small farm town in Wisconsin, I would never have guessed that I would be here today, blogging about this life. That is a surprise, but also a very welcomed journey.
Did you meet any new people?
Since beginning this new life journey, I have met some of the most amazing people! First of all, I have met the ‘new David’, the ‘new Sara’ and our ‘new normal family’. We have all become new, better people because miraculous amounts of growth came from this life journey.
While taking my co-active life coaching classes, I met new friends from all over the world! My ‘new global family’, as we call ourselves. Meeting all of these people and touching new lives also inspired me to take action recently. Last month I was guiding ten people into the Grand Canyon for a two-night stay at the bottom. Prior to going on the trip, a woman in our group backed out at the last minute. So while hiking down the South Kaibab trail, a young woman asked if we would like her to take our picture. We obliged, and then I listened to my intuition and asked her if she would like an all-expense paid extra spot, and would she like to spend 2 nights/3 days in the canyon with 10 strangers!?!?! Natalie (the woman) ultimately said YES!
That moment created lessons in life, new experiences for all involved, limits/boundaries were pushed, and our group’s journey was more deeply enriched because our new life friend said YES and became a part of it.
How has this change affected you?
Now that David, the kids and I have full clarity and open communication in our house, the conversations we have are awesome, meaningful, and more loving than ever before. Trust me, we argue about stuff. I still get mad sometimes. The kids bicker. We are all human. But we are who we are, and for that, we love, respect and support each other more than ever. It’s how you handle the present moment that really can mold your future moments.
What does your new lifestyle means to you?
My new lifestyle means giving back. I haven’t gone through all that I have in life to not share my story and have others be inspired by it. I completed my co-active life coaching classes in May, and I will be going through certification starting in July and ending in December. My goal is to set up my business in blending life coaching and adventures, which will entail hiking and/or SUPing. It means the world to me being able to help others become the best that they can be while experiencing the challenge and healing properties of the trail or ocean. I look forward to championing people into making those bold changes, releasing their own pain patterns and overcoming obstacles resulting in a fulfilled and amazing life.
What advice would you give to someone else considering a new lifestyle?
I would give you one word of advice: GO FOR IT! JUST SAY YES TO YOU AND YOUR AWESOME, MOST EPIC LIFE! Don’t listen to your saboteurs, listen to your guide! Don’t stop taking those steps or pushing yourself that much further; watch what happens when you go all the way!
What’s next for you?
Building my client base and my business. I want to really empower people, so clearly building my business is key. And yes, I currently am accepting clients at a reduced rate while I am going through certification!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I would be a dolphin. For sure, a dolphin. They are protective, sweet, kind, caring and giving. The ocean fixes everything, and spending time with dolphins and whales means completion for me.
*Sara can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org