Thursday, December 4, 2014

Now Hiring

The correct response when someone says, “I need to lose 30 pounds,” is:

“What? You don’t have 30 pounds to lose!” (my BFFs Tami and Jodie).

Not, “How are you gonna do that?” or, “By when?” or, “Oh, that’s totally doable,” (the trainer).

That’s right, I hired a personal trainer.

This is a big move for me because I’ve been an athlete my whole life. Since leaving competitive sports in 1997, I have often trained with teams, groups, or friends. I swam with the Team Greenville Masters when we lived in the Upstate. I did spin class at the Y, ran with a Couch-to-5K group, finished a 10K and a half marathon.

Then we moved here and I had to quit swimming because of an onset of vertigo. I ran with Black Girls Run for a while until it was obvious I would not be missed. Since then I’ve been on my own.

Motivation, accountability, and progress all up to me.

And I let myself down. Not only have I not lost a single pound since we moved here, but I’ve actually gained weight despite training for and running a half marathon just two months ago. Enough is enough.

I’ve called in a new coach. I did it a month ago.

I said to Lourdes today, “You’re a professional and I trust you. The same way people trust me to be an expert at my job, I trust you to be an expert at yours.”

Lourdes is just another in a long line of professionals I’ve called in to assist me lately. I hired an accountant to handle our taxes. I hired a service to clean my house. I even hired a golf pro to improve my game. 

Here’s why: there are other people whose passion covers those things I struggle with. 

Why not let them assist me?

Maybe it’s being in a position to be able to afford the help. Or maybe it’s finally getting sick of the half-ass results achieved on everything I try to do on my own.

In some ways I can’t believe it’s taken me this long. I’ve always known restaurants were better chefs than me and Sparkle car wash did a better job on Brando than I could. I’ve gotten pedicures for years; I have a regular hairdresser and an esthetician I see monthly.

I only started counting the members of my entourage today as I started budgeting for their Christmas bonuses. If they traveled with me, we’d need a church van. That’s how many people I trust to help me out.

Some of it is stuff I can’t do myself – I have never even considered purchasing an at-home wax kit – and some of it is stuff I’d rather leave to a professional – like dealing with the IRS.

All of it, though, is engaging in the community. Spending my time and money in other people’s businesses, helping them grow the economy.

It’s also part of our support network. The apparatus that represents the life we’ve built on the Upper East Side of Columbia. A bevy of professionals who help our home business run and my personal business thrive.

Four more months with my trainer and I’ll look for a personal stylist. At some point I’d like to hire an interior decorator. For now, though, I need a landscaper, a screened-porch builder, and a built-in-shelves carpenter.

Send me names. I’m hiring.

Who do you count on to keep your personal business running?

Friday, October 31, 2014


Lately I’ve noticed our lunch-time servers in various corporate restaurants are older. They look to be about 50 or higher. Yesterday’s Red Robin waitress was certainly a grandmother.

I’m sure there are employment trends tracked on sites like and LinkedIn to suggest that mid-career workers are more likely to have been laid off in the financial crisis in 2008. Many were probably unable to take early retirement and therefore found alternative employment.

Mid-career workers are the ones whose tenure and experience make them expensive. But the ranks narrow at the top of the company. Ambition is what would keep them in the organization, the desire to achieve leadership heights. And the willingness to put in whatever hours, travel, and sacrifice necessary to achieve those heights.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No Longer Virgin

Two weeks ago I ran a 13.1 mile race delightfully called a Diva Half Marathon. It was not my first time. My first half was in Greenville, SC in 2011.

After having Hollie in 2008, I went back to running in an attempt to lose the baby weight. When the first 30 pounds came off but nothing else did, I thought adding mileage was the way to shed more weight.

What’s amazing to me is not that I was able to log the training hours or that I completed the race, but that the motivation for taking on such a thing was so ridiculously na├»ve.

Running to lose weight will not take you 13.1 miles.

There must be some other motivation. Some other voice in your head daring you to see if you can actually achieve such a thing. The miles are just too long and the effort just too hard to rely on the calorie burn as motivation.