Alpha Toothman immerses herself in her passions

Science+Teacher+Alpha+Toothman+%28right%29+and+her+wife+pose+with+an+elephant+in+the+Phuket+Elephant+Sanctuary+in+Thailand+November+2017.+One+of+Toothman%E2%80%99s+favorite+activities+is+traveling+the+world+with+her+wife.

Photo courtesy of Alpha Toothman

Science Teacher Alpha Toothman (right) and her wife pose with an elephant in the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand November 2017. One of Toothman’s favorite activities is traveling the world with her wife.

Elena Alexander, Staff Writer

From her childhood in Topeka, Kansas, to her last-minute trip across the Atlantic Ocean to join ASL in the fall of 2020, Science Teacher Alpha Toothman has always enjoyed three things: outdoor activities, traveling and soccer.

Enjoying the outdoors

Toothman said she loves “anything outside,” and when she lived in the U.S. there were plenty of outdoor activities she took part in, such as hiking, kayaking and canoeing. She also said she learned how to surf in Hawaii. 

During lockdown though, Toothman said she relies on her Peloton bike as a substitute for outdoor activities. 

“It’s been pretty much the only thing keeping me sane and active,” she said. “Otherwise I would be stir crazy.”

Toothman said she appreciates the outdoors because it provides liberation. 

“I like being active and feeling, like, free,” she said. “I don’t want to be all bottled up inside of the house.”

Toothman also said nature interests her. 

“The science part of me really enjoys like the trees and the plants and the birds,” she said. “I’m forever looking for mushrooms and pointing out bird nests, and all just random nerdy sciency stuff.”

She said her childhood is to blame for her passion for the outdoors and travelling.

“I always grew up travelling,” she said, “My family lived in Colorado and we always went on road trips to all of the national parks. So I think early on, it was kind of instilled, and like grew in me, this joy of like outdoors and traveling around.” 

Elena Alexander

Traveling

Toothman said she and her wife are avid travellers. 

“Traveling is a really big hobby also,” she said. “We literally would go anywhere.”

Corresponding for her love with outdoor activities, Toothman said she and her wife always make sure to incorporate eco-tourism into their itinerary when they travel.

Toothman said her favorite destination for the memories is Hawaii, where she got married, and Italy for the culture, food, land and experiences. She said she always ships local wine back home when she visits Italy because of its quality. 

Toothman said travelling with her wife “creates lots of memories that stick.”

“There’s just been silly moments of where we get lost, and we just laugh about it, or we try a new restaurant and a dish and it really sucks, but it was local, and we laugh about it and move on,” she said. 

Toothman said travelling has widened her horizons. 

“The greatest influence has just been opening my eyes to so many different cultures,” she said. 

Playing and coaching soccer

Toothman said soccer has always been an integral part of her life. She said she has been playing soccer as a defender since she was around 3 years old, and has played on youth, club, high school and women’s teams. 

Toothman said her favorite part of soccer is coaching, which she started doing in college.

“Coaching is where I get the most joy,” she said. “It’s just teaching kids the game that I love and teaching them the skills but teaching them like just to enjoy it.” 

Furthermore, Toothman said she was excited to move to London due to the vibrant soccer environment.

“When I signed my contract back in February, I then started like diving into, like, ‘Okay, we’re going to be in London, let’s pick a team,’” she said. 

Toothman said she chose to support the Tottenham Spurs. 

“I can’t wait one day to get to go to one of their games,” she said. 

Toothman said soccer is important to her because she started with it so young, playing with her dad and brother. 

“We had soccer balls and little mini goals and we were always playing it in the yard,” she said. 

Toothman said she was constantly surrounded by soccer growing up.  

“It was always, always around me all of the time,” she said.