International Women’s Day

She’s a goddess. On International Women’s Day, I salute the most influential woman in my life who also happens to be celebrating her birthday this weekend: Dotsie Bausch.

We met 17 years ago on a 5-hour training ride. Initially, our relationship began as business when Dotsie became my first pro sports client. But two open-hearted, purposeful Pisces quickly became loving friends. I guided her media disclosure about the eating disorders and recreational drug habit that nearly took her life. She used the platform to help females (and males) around the world struggling with their own eating disorders. Dotsie closed her cycling career by stunning the world with an Olympic silver medal-winning performance at the London Games at age 39, the oldest athlete ever in her discipline to medal, and she did it on a plant-based diet. Again Dotsie used the spotlight, but this time to help change and save animal lives.

While I used to have to push her to do speaking engagements and social media, today she speaks around the world as the voice for the voiceless and is a powerful influencer. Her TEDx talk has inspired hundreds to adopt a plant-based diet and it was the impetus for me to go vegan after 25 years as a vegetarian.

She launched her first nonprofit, Compassion Champs, in 2017 and two years ago, founded Switch4Good, uniting athletes to spread the dairy-free message. We’ve both grown and changed over nearly two decades of friendship, but what hasn’t changed is the way we support, encourage and empower each other.

Long before appearing in the documentary film “The Game Changers,” Dotsie changed my life and I’m forever grateful.

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