Saturday, December 7, 2013

A leap of faith.

My story goes like this.
As I was going through my divorce three years ago, I knew that I would need to supplement my income to make ends meet.  I moved into a two bedroom apartment with my Little Diva and Little Dude in April 2011.  As I was unpacking my boxes, I received word that the local park and recreation program was looking for someone to lead their upcoming couch to 5K program - the following week.  A common friend thought that I may be a good fit.  It turns out it was a perfect fit.
With my running background, I was solely coaching runners on my experience and enthusiasm for the sport.  My blog was pretty well established in the area (since May 2009) and gave me some ground to stand on.  I did not have a competitive background, or a coaching certification, or a medical degree for that matter.  I was sharing my passion with others - and it became contagious.  Best part-time job - ever.  Over the next 2 1/2 years, I coached more than 400 people in the area (mainly women) to their first 5K - and beyond.  I hosted my first women's running retreat in Madison.  I made connections with running stores, businesses in the industry, gyms, chiropractors, nutritionists, magazines, participated in two tv commercials, wrote magazine articles, was featured in several magazine articles, the list of opportunities seems endless.
I've always been mom first, employee second, running coach third - followed by my own personal running and blogging journey.  Then, I added wife back into the mix of roles in September of this year.  It sounds like a lot to juggle.  And, it has been.  Having my children only half of the time, I have tried to push everything into the time when they aren't with me.  I've honestly also given up a lot of my personal running time to pursue the dreams of others.
I've been very happy in my position at the University of Wisconsin (as a "state employee"), but something has been missing for awhile.  I've been going through the motions in my position for almost fourteen years.  I am challenged, I am happy and I am surrounded by amazing people that I call friends.  Yet, my mind wanders.  I'm welcomed and distracted by constant "runner talk and questions" from fellow employees.  I'm that go-to runner in the office.  I think about running.  I think about fitting in one more couch to 5K class each season and meeting more people.
About a year ago - I found a quote that stated:
That changed things for me.
For at least a year's time, I have contemplated making my departure.  But how.  Insurance, loss of income, the unknown.  The timing has never been right.  Would it ever be?
I fell into my desk job at the young age of nineteen and have been content.  However, I feel that I have gone through so many changes in life.  I've changed - for the better.  And, I've grown.  I've learned so incredibly much about myself the past few years, that I can't even explain it.  It's hard for me to wrap my head around it sometimes.  I'm a leader.  I'm a motivator.  Heck - I'm a seven time marathoner.  I'm not the same chubby teenager that fell into a cubicle in 2000.  I really don't feel that I was put here to sit at a desk all day - even if I don't mind what I'm doing there.  I want to do more. I want to inspire.  I want to dream.  I want to make those dreams a reality.
As timing would have it, I attended Brava Magazine's Women's Expo in Madison recently and listened to Darcy Luoma, a local life and leadership coach, on the American Family Dream Bank stage.  I attended with a friend (and fellow dreamer) and Little Diva alongside me.  It was amazing to listen to Darcy's words of motivation and encouragement to pursue my dreams.  She even touched on marathon running and the goal-setting that runners set for themselves.  She got it.  Little Diva was aware of my dreams and just kept nodding and smiling and staring at me with amazement.  It melted my heart to hear her say "Mom, you can do it, you know you can.".  I told her that there was a lot more to consider when making such a decision, such as financial considerations.  She replied with an innocent, "Well, I don't want to go to Disney World if you aren't happy with your job".  Kids.
So, one week later - after the support of my husband, I made the leap.  I jumped.  I finally jumped.  I did it.  This week, I turned in my resignation to pursue Running Diva Mom full-time in 2014.  I look forward to making my dreams a reality.  I look forward to helping others achieve their dreams.  I look forward to helping manage a local running store part-time and making their dreams come true, too.
My schedule will be full.  Perhaps even fuller than it was before.  But, it will be great.  And, the best part is that I have been able to eliminate daycare and am able to pick up Little Diva and Little Dude from school when they are with me.  I'm so excited to have all of the extra hours after school with them and during the summer months.
Try telling a room full of doctors that you are quitting your stable career at an academic institution to, um, "coach a bunch of women to run 5ks and blog about it".  Yep, I got a lot of blank stares.  But they don't get it.  They don't get me.  As someone told me this week, "the people that know you and know who you are, understand you and are extremely happy for you.".  I was worried about telling my parents, but they have been mostly supportive and understanding.  Because after all I have been through in life, they just want me to be happy.  And, they know I am happy.  YES, I AM HAPPY!  I am so blessed to have such a supportive partner and family that I could just scream.  Our marriage vows stated that we would "believe in each other's dreams".  And, he is holding true to that.  I could just kiss him (OK, maybe I did.)!  We've had a few moments of panic since my resignation was submitted - like, what the heck are we thinking??  But, I believe I can do this.  And, he believes in me.  And if it doesn't work, at least I can say that I gave it a try.  How many people can say that they were able to pursue their dreams?
Me.  I did.  I am.  I will.
Have you ever taken a leap of faith??
How did you get there?
How did it feel once you finally jumped?
Any regrets??


  1. Wow!!! I LOVE this post! I have been wanting to take a leap for myself for a while now. You have inspired me to take the first step! Thank you!!

  2. I quit my cushy state job at the university a few months ago. I have less income and no benefits, but I am in a job that is more supportive and "gets" the whole fitness thing. I have not had anyone say that I was crazy for doing it because they knew how unhappy I was at my state job. Sometimes we need to change things up :-)

  3. I am so excited for you. Your life is a continual journey - enjoy each and every moment!
    Hope to see you soon!

  4. I think this is so awesome!!! Congrats to you. I feel exactly the same and looking for a change away from the desk. I haven't found the solution yet, but I will get there. Love your blog and so happy for your new adventure.

  5. Oh man...I needed this! I so want to leap into the life coach thing...but don't know how to do it! Thanks for the push...

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