Immunologist to Coach

Six years ago, today, was a REALLY bad day.  (ETA – This post was written on 9/11/15)

I know it doesn’t compare to 14 years ago today, but indulge me a little. This is the first time I’ve really talked about this publically.

On 9/11/2009 I was fired/let go/laid off/dismissed from my last professional science job. It was sudden but not entirely a surprise. My 2 friends in the lab had seen my job description up on Craigslist the day before so I had a bit of a heads up. I had just come back to work from getting married over the weekend. I had spent the summer leading up to my wedding working weekends, committing time card fraud at the request of my management, all the while being told I wasn’t doing enough. My work wasn’t good enough. If I worked harder, spent more time, did more, maybe the powers that be would be appeased.

They were not.

I had wanted to be a scientist – no joke – since I was 9 years old. I pursued it with single minded determination. Science fairs, after school activities, my choice in high school, taking EVERY SINGLE science class my HS offered – these were my preparation steps. I finished my BS in 4 years. I started working at the premier genetics institution in the country out of college. I loved that job. I killed myself for that job, having a miserable personal life, getting ill for that job. All to be… guess what? Fired.

So although I’m very good at what I do, I was fired from my first professional science position and my last professional science position. It wasn’t a difficult take away to think “I must suck!” (Despite excellent job experiences, and graduate school in between.) That pretty much colored the next 3 years on unsuccessfully trying to land another science job. My confidence was broken.

I started to think – what is it I love about science? Of course I find Biology fascinating. The body is AMAZING. Our systems are gorgeous and perfect in how they work. I get a thrill problem solving. The basic reason I had my passion for science was I wanted to help people and make the world a better place. Maybe it wasn’t that I’m a terrible scientist. Maybe it’s that a typical scientific atmosphere doesn’t not suit who I actually am.

I will always be a scientist. It’s a part of how I approach the day. But now I’m a coach. My lab is my body. The people around me are my professional interest.

I love human beings and I thrive connecting with people in real ways. I am an extrovert. I want to make their lives better. I want to make a difference. And I can’t do that by working myself into an early grave. I can only do that by taking care of myself and showing other people how to make their time better as well.

Fitness and health are now my passion. It’s still science! THIS is how I’m making the world a better place. It’s not just figuring out the gene behind something, it’s impacting individuals in whatever way I can. I’m not sure where this is going to take me, but being a Beachbody coach has been the catalyst for changing my life, making peace with my past failures, and realizing that they weren’t failures, they were just trips I had to take to get to where I’m meant to be.

 

Shakeologist

Shakeologist

Celebrating the Worst Because it Became the Best.

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Tonight I’m celebrating the loss of my job 5 years ago. *Technically* the anniversary is tomorrow. The day before the axe came down I knew it was coming because my coworkers saw my job advertised on Craigslist.

The best part of that particular job was the friends I made. I enjoyed my work, but I looked forward to saying hello to the people, not the flasks of cells. (Cells don’t have much to say.) Solving problems was a thrill. Finding ways to bring forgotten cell lines back to life were my specialty and I was acknowledged for it. (This may have included singing to them.) Those parts of the job made me feel proud and needed.

Losing that job was devastating. It felt very personal. Even though I was told I was not doing enough, I ended up being replaced by 3 people. While it felt good to know that it took those 3 people to replace me, I entered into a very dark period. I realized some of it as it happened, but it was an insidious blanket thrown over my life and my dreams.

Science was how I identified myself, even when I had non-science jobs in between gigs. With this dismissal I literally lost who I thought I was; my identity. The subsequent job hunt was quite possibly more depressing. Constant striving, working, switching things up, and getting rejection back. Job hunting is a lot like dating.

I’m celebrating losing that job today because it was not the right gig for me. I knew it when I took it but I stayed and made the best of it.

A little less than a year ago I became a Fitness and Health Coach. I did it for myself and for the discount. Yes, sometimes it IS about the money. I was finally ready to make my health the #1 priority in my life. Throwing myself in to a fitness community is what I needed to do. The accountability and the community was the piece missing for me.

I didn’t expect to feel so fulfilled by helping others with their own health goals. When my friend from grad school messaged me that she lost her first 6lb, it was better than any of my own weigh ins. I definitely didn’t expect to find my team to be such a source of inspiration, yet every day I come in to my Facebook group to find more love and positivity that I imagined was out there. I am becoming the leader I have always wanted to be. Realizing that I was holding myself back by viewing my impact and my life as limited has been powerful. Now, I’m growing a team of people who, like me, are ready to show the world that they can make a difference.

I am definitely happier working toward my own goals. I want to help as many people as possible feel positive and find their best selves. Being unhappy with your physical self and listening to negative self-talk is no way to live a happy life. I’m on my way and I know there are so many people who need the same inspiration as I’ve received. The gratification outshines being a small cog in a project that could maybe lead to changing lives in the future, if our work is correct, and if a company finds it feasible to invest in. I invest in myself. I invest in the people around me. It feels great to become healthy in mind and body, to share my experience, and to help others reach their own dreams.