We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Schoeller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tara, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
I grew up in Minnesota in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Whether boating, fishing, waterskiing, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, wild ricing, or just floating, my parents instilled a love and appreciation for enjoying the great outdoors on lakes and rivers. Therefore, being on water is second nature to me and has always been my happy place. In fact, everywhere I’ve chosen to live over the years, has always been near water; even when I lived in NYC during graduate school at Columbia University. I lived near the Hudson River and took daily walks/ runs to exhale and breathe. Water is so fluid in nature and teaches us to ‘go with the flow’ during all seasons of life. I integrate my love of water and nature in my Just Love SUP paddle and yoga business on a quiet cove on Lake Lanier. My 3 girls named the cove that we paddle on, Mermaid Cove. We truly embrace all things ‘mermaid’ when we are at the lake or at the beach. There is a mindful calming and exhale that occurs naturally on the gentle waves of a lake or ocean. We can’t control the wind, water or waves that come our wave, but we can choose how we ride the wave and embrace the different rides in life. I often teach this point during my yoga portion of a SUP class. Don’t paddle away from the waves; paddle into them and find your balance.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My proudest job is being a Mom to five children. They are my blood, sweat in tears and they motivate me daily to want to role-model what it means to take risks and follow your dreams. No matter what. Just because you are a busy and dedicated Mom, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of helping others in your community. I worked really hard for my degree and I am grateful that I’ve been able to find a way to continue using it while still prioritizing motherhood and my family. I have always been someone who values community and helping others in need. I have worked PT over the years as a private practice clinical LCSW social worker around my family schedules. It fills my cup helping others in need and I have found that in my SUP seasonal summer business, I feel the same pull. To help others feel the calming effects and joy of the nature and water. For so many, it is there first time ever being on water! It is so amazing to watch others overcome a fear or try something new or cross something off their bucket list.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow, I love this question! I would definitely take my visiting friend to the water, either north on Lake Lanier or South to the Gulf of Mexico. Both are so easy to access from Atlanta and I feel blessed to have the best of both worlds living here. I usually like to plan ‘off the beaten’ track places to visit. A fun vineyard in the mountains with live music, an amazing hike to a secret waterfall you can swim under or maybe an overnight to an Alpaca llama treehouse right in the city amongst bamboo forest. ( yes this exists in the ATL!) I love hanging with people who are open-minded, fun, thoughtful, artistic in life and those who don’t sweat the small stuff, because it usually all is small stuff. In the big picture, I think we have to surround ourselves with people who lift one another up and who take risks facing fears and finding JOY in life.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give a shoutout to my husband who became certified with me two years ago; he is my favorite SUP partner date on the water and he helped me through a difficult season of my life. I had lost my Mom and best friend after a long battle of caring for her during her breast cancer decline. Her final words to me before she died, were ‘Just Love’. After a year of grieving, I decided to pour my grief onto the water and into something new. Life is too short not to! So, I got my SUP teaching certification, purchased my fleet of rental boards/ gear and got to business forming my LLC and brand. Slowly, but surely, word is catching on and I’ve had a successful and rewarding 2nd season teaching newbies how to SUP, exhale not the water and try something new. If you build it, they will come was my mantra starting out….And if you pour your heart/ passion into something you love, the authenticity of your brand/ business will thrive over time.

Website: www.justlovesup.com
Instagram: @justlovesup
Linkedin: Tara Schoeller, MSW, LICSW, LCSW
Facebook: Just Love SUP: Stand Up Paddle and Fitness
Other: www.sunshinechildcounseling.com

Image Credits
Image Credit- Tara Schoeller ( self)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.