This episode features Ashley Grosch, a 2005 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear all about Ashley’s journey as a soccer recruit from Texas to eventually owning a farm in Virginia. There’s a long and winding transformational journey involving time as a surface warfare officer, many adventures as a triathlete, the roller coaster ride of becoming a mom to 4 little boys, and eventually ending up as the owner of a ridiculous number of chickens. Ashley’s story highlights the importance of taking time and space to press the pause button and reevaluate your life; she’s reinvented herself multiple times and pushes herself to pivot when she knows things aren’t aligned. Enjoy the show!


  • Being a recruited athlete 
  • Hiding behind perfection
  • What it was like to be a midshipmen during 9/11
  • The impact of being a woman in a male-dominated environment


  • Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
  • Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?

1:35 PART I:

  • What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Naval Academy?
  • Was there any military in your family?
  • What was it like being a recruited athlete to an Academy?
  • Did you give any thought to what life would be like serving in the military?
  • Did your family, friends, and school support your decision?
  • Did you have any idea what you would do post graduation?

6:15 PART II:

  • How did that plebe summer go?
  • If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would it be?
  • Did you play soccer for the full 4 years?
  • Making the decision to leave the soccer team.
  • How did Academics go for you at the Academy
  • What were some of the highlights of your time during the Academy?

14:50 PART III:

  • What were some of the more memorable experiences you had at the Academy?
  • What were some of the low lights at the Academy?
  • How did 9/11 impact your time at the Academy?
  • What it was like to be a woman in a male dominated environment.
  • What does it mean to hide behind perfection?

25:10 PART IV:

  • As you started to approach graduation, were you more clear about what you wanted to do next?
  • Choosing SWO and co-location. 
  • What were some of the biggest lessons you learned during your time at the Academy?
  • Feeling challenged for the first time amongst peers.

30:30 PART V:

  • Tell me about your life post graduation in Norfolk.
  • Dealing with loneliness and having to pivot. 
  • Getting pregnant and having to pivot. 

41:30 PART VI:

  • How did getting pregnant alter your career trajectory?
  • Leaving on deployment at 6 months pregnant. 
  • Struggling with PTSD and trauma. 
  • Channeling pain into something good.


  • Starting a new career path post-military.
  • How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
  • What’s next for you?
  • Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
  • What’s one random fun fact about you?
  • Where can people reach you?

Instagram: @thefarmlifemovement



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