W.I.N.terview with Ryan Manion

Travis Manion Foundation Ryan Manion Triad Athletes girls lacrosse San Diego


Ryan Manion has had to communicate her values to many over the years to engage the audiences when trying to remind them that resilience is a muscle. 

You can keep moving.

Failure is a bruise.  Not a tattoo.

You can take what her brother, fallen Marine, brother, selfless leader and namesake of the Travis Manion Foundation, as the pillar of the most famous saying...

If not me, then who.

Triad Athletes founders have been researching how they can become more involved in the 'Character Does Matter' program with TMF, and that led them to one of the most relatable and inspiring female leaders.  Ryan is an inspiration because she didn't just hide under a blanket or ignore the calling she had after her brother died.  She knew she had a bigger purpose.

"Resilience is just making sure that when we're faced with those challenges and adversity, we know we have to put one foot in front of the other."

Female Leadership and TMF

Female leadership at Travis Manion Foundation is a pillar of why they are such a unique organization.  Their senior leadership is primarily female.  "I would have tons of feelings like I didn't belong.  It's a male dominated industry and I'm not a veteran," Ryan explained.  Her description of an "imposter syndrome" sounded all too familiar to many females (and males) in all areas as they grow as leaders.  "But I had to just push through.  I had to quiet those voices.  I knew I had a purpose." 
Now, her style of leadership, and who she surrounds herself with, is what makes the organization may be what continuously keeps them growing.  

What would you be doing if Travis was not killed? 

Ryan knew what she wanted to do right after college.  "I was at the bank ready to get my small business loan right after graduation.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do after college."  Ryan had a small retail shop in Jersey and even talked to her brother about the merchandise and the shows she would attend.  
It wasn't long after when Travis died that Ryan felt a deep need to fill a bigger purpose.  "Don't get me wrong, I love fashion. I just needed to figure out what this greater purpose was."  Ryan joined her mom at the Travis Manion Foundation, and then soon took over, after her mother passed away in 2012.

What is your favorite character strength?

"One of my top 3 character strengths is 'grit'.  If you had asked me if were to choose, I wouldn't have picked grit.  I have this picture of someone that is so outwardly tough," Ryan shared.
Even when Ryan started to question this, the TMF COO said, "You are grit.  You never stop going.  You never stop pushing."  

I guess I am gritty.

What advice would you give a Triad Athlete?

The advice I would give a Triad Athlete is leaning in to one of my favorite values, which is "Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo."  I think it's important for us that we're all going to fail.  We're going to fail on sports fields, and in our lives. If we recognize that failure is a part of the process, then we realize our life is a series of successes and failures.  It makes the failures even easier to digest.


For more information on how you can learn, donate or volunteer, please visit www.travismanion.org

Travis Manion Foundation Triad Athletes


Erica Jackson

"All I want to do is have fun," said Erica, every day of her life. A lacrosse stick in her hand since 9, Erica is a high energy, hype girl, Maryland native, and Lacrosse Coach with an MBA. You will see Erica literally running all over Encinitas, but if you ever catch her in a car, it's because she's a part-time taxi driver to her 2 kids.

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