Feeling sentimental today and reflecting back on my first article The Huffington Post ever published detailing my exit from the corporate life to when I started my first company, our sister company: F√© Fit. Thank you for reading and supporting our empowering business, which is...in existence to empower you! __
It was 2:30 a.m.., and I was seven months pregnant when I slipped and fell in my law firm‚Äôs parking lot.
Before the fall, I remember looking up from my computer after spending six hours drafting a client agreement for a private-equity deal. It occurred to me that I hadn‚Äôt eaten dinner. Other than the occasional glance over to my trash can (thanks to my morning/afternoon/nighttime sickness), my eyes had been glued to my screen. I forgot to call home to say goodnight to my daughter; I winced at the memory of leaving her crying in my husband‚Äôs arms, in the driveway, as I sped away for a meeting one morning earlier that week. My husband had no clue when I was coming home. (Yet another night where he had to be super dad). When was the last time I worked out? What day was it? Had the bills been paid that month? Oh wait, I need to write down my time since I‚Äôm taking a mental break. Wait, I don‚Äôt have time for a mental break. Back to the equity deal. There has to be a better way.
When I fell, I was stumbling through the parking garage in high heels (because I stubbornly refused to wear flats). It was a hard fall, and I remember my first thought was, ‚ÄúOh my God, I am going into labor,‚Äù and my second thought was, ‚ÄúOh no, I can‚Äôt ‚Äòdo this‚Äô to my client ‚Äî I have to be OK until this business deal is over.‚Äù
The baby was fine, but physically, I felt like I belonged in an old-folks home. I had not been able to exercise in weeks because it wasn‚Äôt feasible to get to the gym with my long work hours. And frankly, I didn‚Äôt have the motivation, time or the interest to gear up for the same, uninspired workout DVDs.
And then my mind went back to the impending work deadline. I spent years living a life where my professional life totally consumed me, and I realized on that drive home that the idea of a work-life balance was just that ‚Äî an idea. There had to be another way for busy women who are not trying to ‚Äúhave it all‚Äù but simply trying to make it day-to-day. In that moment, I realized I needed to make significant changes in my life.
Don‚Äôt get me wrong, working as a corporate lawyer at an international law firm can be a very lucrative and rewarding career. But when it came to my ‚Äúwork-life‚Äù balance, the scales were weighted heavily in one direction. That meant I was continuously sacrificing the most important things in my life: my family, my health and my well-being. There was never time to just exhale and be present. For me, working out isn‚Äôt just about my physical health. It‚Äôs also about the mental benefits of taking time for myself to clear my head and recharge. It was time to get back in sync ‚Äî especially with another child on the way.
I decided I wanted to do something to help women, like me, who were too busy to prioritize their health and wellness. Your well-being makes you a better mom, a better partner, a better working professional, a better you. While I know first-hand that work-life balance is demanding, I knew I didn‚Äôt want to send a message that women can‚Äôt have it all or that they must choose one over the other. One thing is for sure: Moms are women first. We have to take time for ourselves in order to bring our best selves forward for our family and careers. We have to take time to just unwind or stretch or sweat.
With my newfound clarity, I was on a mission. I wanted to help women by providing a tool to make navigating life easier. Chipping away at the glass ceiling means first finding a way to help women help themselves. And from there, I teamed up with a good friend, Renee Tarlton (physical therapist and also a mother of two with similar struggles) and jumped in head first to co-found a health and fitness start-up company for women, F√© Fit
. We wanted to find a way to help women lessen the guilt that so many of us, myself included, associate with taking ‚Äúme time.‚Äù Feeling guilty for not directing every minute somewhere else is actually counterproductive.
To say it‚Äôs been an adventure is an understatement. My schedule hasn‚Äôt changed much, but it‚Äôs on my terms doing something that I‚Äôm truly passionate about. I‚Äôm still burning the midnight oil with my business partner trying to launch this company and get the word out about our product, because only through success can we help more women. As an entrepreneur, you can‚Äôt rely on anyone else to control your success. That‚Äôs a scary realization. Even scarier is walking away from a stable, six-figure salary. I find myself asking, ‚ÄúIs the risk worth it?‚Äù
Yes, it is. If we can provide something for women that allows them to make health and wellness a priority, then we‚Äôre doing a good thing. When a customer tells us our program has changed her life ‚Äî that kind of gratification is unparalleled.
Personally, I am a firm believer in helping women ‚Äî especially moms ‚Äî tear down the guilt they associate with taking time for themselves, because I‚Äôve lived it. It took me a long time to realize that you have to take care of yourself first if you want to be in a position to take care of anyone or anything else.
I‚Äôm not sure where this company will go, but I‚Äôm determined to give it all that I‚Äôve got because I‚Äôm passionate about what we‚Äôre doing. When your 4-year-old daughter grabs her paper towel rolls for her weights, attempts a push-up or asks to make a kale smoothie ‚Äî I realize this isn‚Äôt all for naught. We‚Äôll never chip away at the glass ceiling if we can‚Äôt first address the impediments to achieving a realistic work-life balance. __ Original article
appeared at The Huffington Post
. Reprinted with permission.