I've been writing for The Odyssey for almost a year now and my readers have gotten to know a lot about me along the way, but I'm always surprising people with my skills, hobbies, and special talents. Some facts about my life are minimal quirky things I do, while others are huge life events that have shaped me into who I am today. For everyone that wants to get to know me a little better, here are 20 facts about myself.

1. I love working out

I'm not a hardcore gym addict, but I love keeping myself active. Some days I go to the gym and do cardio and lift weights, or I'll take a group fitness class, while other days I'll take my bike on the trails for a relaxing ride or I'll take my kayak out on the lake. Whatever kind of activity I do I do it because I enjoy staying active and pushing myself.

2. I have 2 cats

I have two cats named Mitterz and Squeaks. I adopted Mitterz as a kitten about thirteen years ago and I adopted Squeaks, who's about three years old, this past fall. I love them both to death! My favorite thing to do with them is cuddle with them in my bed in the morning.

3. I grew up living in the suburbs and on a farm

Growing up I lived in the suburbs of Chicago with my mom, but I also visited my dad in central Wisconsin on the weekends and on school breaks, so I grew up knowing what it was like to live near a big city and to live out in the middle of nowhere where our neighbor was a dairy farm.

4. I'm a seasoned airplane traveler

Since my dad lived about five hours away, I started taking an airplane instead of driving to see him. Almost every weekend I'd fly out of O'Hare International Airport to the tiny Central Wisconsin Airport. I started flying when I was thirteen, so many people say I'm a well-seasoned traveler.

5. I'm an outdoors enthusiast

My dad started taking me out hunting when I was three, so it's no surprise I love the outdoors. I love everything from hunting, fishing, gardening, hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding. If it's outdoors I'm doing it!

6. I wore a foot brace until I was 11

Growing up I went to physical therapy every week, I got Botox in my leg every several months, and I wore a leg brace a lot. It was all because my right side of my body is a lot weaker than my left side and those were the things I had to do to improve it. When I was ten I also had surgery on my leg that was supposed to help me from walking on my toes. Ten years later I still walk with a limp sometimes, but it doesn't really phase me.

7. I want to become a mental health counselor

I've had personal experience going to therapy and through that, I've learned that the right therapist can make all the difference when it comes to battling mental health problems. This is what inspired me to want to become a counselor. I want to help my future clients as much as my therapist helped me. I'm also really passionate about breaking down the stigma around mental illness.

8. I sleep with a stuffed animal cow

Even at twenty-one years old I still sleep with an old raggedy stuffed animal cow. I've had it for over ten years, but recently I lost it. Instead of not sleeping with a stuffed animal anymore, I decided to replace it with a new one!

9. I have a passion for horses

I've always been interested in horses! I took my first riding lesson at thirteen and I've been hooked ever since. I've learned how to ride Western, where I showed in timed and judged events, trail riding, and how to ride English, where I also learned to show jump. I still don't own a horse of my own, but someday when I have a farm of my own I'd like to get one.

10. I want to own my own farm someday

Like I said in #9, I want to live on a farm someday where I can call it my own. I love waking up to the sound of birds chirping without all the hustle and bustle of city life.

11. I'm an only child

I don't have any siblings and I absolutely love it! The stereotypes of only children are all wrong. Others think we are stuck up and selfish when actually I'm quite the opposite.

12. I enjoy baking and cooking

I absolutely love baking! I learned how to bake at a young age and it's something I'm going to continue to do the rest of my life. The older I get the more I've learned how to cook actual meals and the more comfortable I've gotten with trying new recipes. I wouldn't call myself a master chef, but I definitely like to get my hands dirty in the kitchen.

13. I have a semicolon tattoo

About nine months ago I got a semicolon tattoo on my ankle. The meaning behind it is a semicolon is used when a sentence could've ended, but the author chooses not. The same thing applies to our life. There are times when we feel like giving up, but we have to push through the difficult times.

14. I hate coffee

I hate the taste of coffee. Anything coffee flavored is a no for me.

15. I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan

I was pretty much born into being a Packer fan. My dad had me in Packer clothes before I could even walk. I love them so much that I actually chose to go to Green Bay for college. I went to my first packer game this past November and it was such a unique experience!

16. I'm currently reading "Whiskey Words & a Shovel"

I don't really have time to read for fun during the school year, but in the summer I like to read. Lately, I've been interested in poetry after reading "Milk and Honey." At the beginning of the summer, I did some research on books similar to Milk and Honey and I came across "Whiskey, Words & a Shovel." There are three books in the series and I'm just finishing up the first one, but the second and third are also on my summer reading list.

17. I love playing with fire

It doesn't matter what kind of fire it is; I love it all. I love making campfires, bonfires, and especially lighting off fireworks.

18. Ice cream is my favorite food

Anyone that knows me knows I love ice cream. It's just so delicious!

19. Country music is my favorite genre

I didn't start listening to country until sophomore or junior year of high school, but ever since then, I've loved it. I like everything from Jake Owen, Sam Hunt, to Zach Brown Band. Last summer I was lucky enough to go to a three-day music festival, where I got to see some of my favorite country artists!

20. My nickname is Toast

My dad's the only person that really calls me Toast, but that's all he calls me. He barely ever calls me by my first name. He used to call me Toaster Roaster and over the years it just turned into Toast.

Maybe you knew these facts already, or maybe you didn't. Either way, I hope you know the person behind the Odyssey articles a little better now!