You know that question that people ask, “What did you want to be when you were a kid?” Since I can remember, the only thing I ever wanted to be besides a Spice Girl was a teacher. When I played ‘school’ with my sisters, I never wanted to be the student; I always wanted to be in charge. While some of that probably had to do with my Type A control freak personality, the main reason I wanted to be a teacher was because I believed I could influence people in a positive way. Even as a child, I wanted to help others reach their potential and be better versions of themselves.
The other reason I wanted to be a teacher was because I absolutely adored kids. At 11, I started babysitting my cousins and neighborhood kids and up until I left for college at 18, I served as President, CEO, and Creative Director of my own nanny enterprise. If you were a child living in the greater Lombard area in the early 2000’s, chances are I babysat you or someone you know. Through countless field trips, bike rides, art projects, storytimes, dance parties, laughs, conversations, and cuddles, I built invaluable relationships with families.
These kids taught me patience and compassion; they helped me loosen up and live in the present; they challenged me to be a better person. Most importantly, they helped me realize that I can have an impact on someone’s life and can help them just by listening and being there.
While, inevitably, I decided to pursue my passion for fitness instead of education, the same reasons I loved being a nanny is why I love my job as a Personal Trainer: my desire to positively impact someone's day, to connect with them, to help someone reach their full potential.
My obsession with fitness is deep and well documented. That’s a given. I have always been a runner, and while I have run several 1/2 marathons, I have yet to take the plunge on the full. Goal setting is everything to me, so I figure it's time to conquer this.
It's pretty special to me to join so many fascinating, driven people with a mission to fundraise, train, and run 26.2 miles this October. But more meaningful than the marathon itself is the organization I am running for, Girls on the Run.
GOTR describes itself as, 'a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.' WOW! What better way to combine so many of my passions than to work with an organization that promotes self love, confidence, positive body image, pursuing dreams, and fitness in young girls!?
For years, 'volunteer with kids and fitness' has been on my goals list, and I always tell myself that I will start to volunteer when I have more time. Finally, I was honest with myself that as a single, childless workaholic, I will never have more time than I do right now. So I'm making the time for some deserving Chicago kids.
This fall I will become a a Girls on the Run coach. With GOTR, I will spend two afternoons a week with a group of young girls in a Chicago Public School. Using lessons, games, and of course running, I will help these girls understand themselves, their relationships, teamwork, and their ability to impact and shape our world. We will discuss our experiences and challenges as females and develop strategies to live a life of integrity, value, and purpose. At the end of the year, the girls participate in a 5K run as a celebratory event but also to highlight the importance of goal setting, commitment, and accomplishment. I couldn't be more excited.
Recently a friend asked me two questions: 'What do you want your loved ones to learn from you?' and 'How do you want to be remembered?'
My number one purpose in life is to create a positive energy that uplifts people. I want to help people open their lives to possibility and realize we are capable of so much. I want to be remembered as someone who helps others realize their true potential and live a life they are proud of. In doing this, I can reach my true potential.
So if I can help a few young chicks feel empowered, strong, and worthy, I've done my part as a badass independent woman.
Because at the end of the day, I’m still that girl trying to be a Spice Girl.
Cliché or not, GIRL POWER!
Thanks for listening and I hope you will help me with my fundraising goal of $1,500.
It's pretty special to me to join so many driven people with a mission to fundraise, train, and run 26.2 miles this October. But more meaningful than the marathon itself is the organization I am running for, Girls on the Run. Please check out my newest blog on my website to see why this organization is important to me and to donate to this amazing group I am proud to be part of!