In the corporate world, we often hear individuals brag about how many hours they worked for the week. They pull 60-80 hour weeks, rarely take vacation, and appear as though this is the North Star, and to be admired.
Here is the truth; it’s not!
If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.
As I continue my push towards a Director level and beyond in this corporate world, there is one thing that will never change; putting my family, and my health first!
Twelve years ago, when I was 25, and my son was just 3, I almost died. My Congenital Heart Disease caught up with me. I was cardioverted, my heart stopped three times, and I went through multiple failed surgeries.
There was a point in time when I couldn’t even walk up the stairs. I was too weak, and my heart was not functioning.
You know what saved my life? Working out and eating clean.
I knew I would rather die trying to get healthy, than to sit on a couch, wasting my life away in fear.
I began by walking up the stairs in my home, so I could finally begin sleeping in my bed, rather than the couch on the first floor. I started walking on the local track, then finally being able to run one lap!
I am now here, 12 years later, working out every day, eating clean, and being the most productive Mother, Wife, and Employee.
Even working for a company that drives the future of sport, I often feel ashamed blocking off my calendar for a daily workout. I typically block-out time multiple weeks in advance, allowing me to prioritize myself – my health. Just one hour each day, to either climb, run, or do barre. Just One Hour!
Over the last few months, my blocked out times have been scheduled over, and I am losing my ability to put my health first. There have been many days where I just was not able to workout.
You know what happened? I had multiple arrhythmias, and even crashes in my blood sugar. One of my crashes was so bad, I almost passed out, and had to cancel a 1:1 with a Senior Director.
This is what happens when we don’t put ourselves first. We instead have to make time for our illness.
With that being said, and watching myself experience more arrhythmias and instability with my health, I’m going to begin pushing back.
I NEED to be here for my son, my husband, and myself.
I urge anyone else going through this to put themselves, and their health first.
Carve out that one hour during the day, push back on your employer(s) to further understand the need for physical and mental health, and hold them accountable for their own policies regarding well-being.
My privilege is not lost on me, having multiple state-of-the-art workout facilities, including a rock gym onsite at Nike. I’m very thankful that my hard work at this company has allowed me to progress to where I am today.
My final thought is this: If you don’t put your health first, no one else will.
…. So go block your calendars off for one hour, and get moving!