A few weeks after my 31st birthday I literally limped back to Boston from SF where I had lived for six years. My post-surgery rehab for a torn ACL was going painfully slow, the “hip” magazine where I worked went bust and my father called to tell me he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
I told everyone that because of the uncertainty of my father’s condition, I needed to be closer to home. There was another reason I wanted to go home. I was exhausted. My primary focus for the previous six years was work. Looking back, it’s clear that I was burned out. Despite not having any awareness for my propensity for over work, I took some time off to recover.
A long, cold New England winter was the perfect setting for a reset. Free from the constraints of long work days, I slowly learned out how to take care of myself–I worked out daily, cooked my own meals and got lost in leisure time. After a few months, I was ready to re-enter the work world. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and I slowly slipped right back into the familiar ways that made me unhealthy—prioritizing work over my own personal needs.
This pattern of self-abandonment continued for the better part of a decade. It rewarded me with aches and pains, insomnia, fatigue and a semi-permanent state of stress. I lived in fear that if I didn’t get things under control, I would end up like my parents—retired with serious health issues. That was if I could get out of the rut I was in and actually make it to retirement. Unwilling to accept this “new normal”, I resolved to figure how to improve my health and implement a sustainable plan to maintain it.
I tried alternative therapies. I dabbled with dietary changes. I started taking regular vacations. At first it seemed like nothing was working. However, as I started to consciously slow down my life, I began to see how my new choices had a positive impact on how I felt. As I cleaned up my diet and prioritized even the smallest amount of “me” time each day, I found that I slept better at night. When I slept better at night, I had more clarity and courage to add additional practices into the mix. As the hopelessness lifted, I saw the benefits of prioritizing my health and vowed to never abandon myself again.
My own journey has taught me that while most people intuitively know what is universally healthy, they do not know what makes them healthy. When I stopped focusing on the latest gimmicks and adopted a simple, back to basics approach, I began to build the foundation for a healthy future.
Today my life does not exhaust me or make me sick. As a coach, it is extremely rewarding to support other women as they discover what makes them healthy. Most importantly, I am now confident that I will retire with my health intact. Together we can explore how to make that possible for you.
Why Extra Mile Wellness
When I was a young child my father used to tell me to “go the extra mile”. As a natural born hard worker, it was effortless for me to push myself. Although the combination of my innate drive and his encouraging words helped me accomplish so much, it also contributed to my stress and burnout. I honor his memory through the wisdom I’ve gained on all those extra miles.