Throughout my 20+ years as a registered nurse, the one thing that always struck me hard was the number of people in my care who were being treated for illnesses and diseases that that were preventable. The pain and suffering that they were now enduring didn’t have to happen! Had they taken care of themselves with a healthy lifestyle – without smoking, drugs, poor nutrition, lack of activity, obesity – these patients would likely be out living their lives instead of wallowing in regrets in a hospital bed.
At the end of 2008, I was working as a surgical nurse full-time, which was a very interesting and stimulating job, but it did take me away from my family an awful lot. Nights and weekends on-call kept me at the hospital, as did late shifts and days when surgeries ran overtime. I happen to read an article toward the end of the year in Entrepreneur Magazine that mentioned Wellcoaches and the growing realm of health coaching. It immediately got my attention and I researched Wellcoaches. As I was pondering the possibilities, we visited family in New York and I mentioned to my brother-in-law, who works for Cornell University, that I was thinking of training as a health coach. He excitedly told me about a coaching program that was implemented at Cornell for the staff, and how they were so pleased with the results that they made the coaching program a permanent benefit. I was sold.
I trained as a health and wellness coach with Wellcoaches in early 2009, and then participated in additional mentoring and coaching practice through the summer. This month, October 2012, marks my three year anniversary of obtaining my certification! Wellcoaches taught me so many skills that I have been able to use in both work and personal areas of life and has been one of the best things I have done for myself and my career.
When I went through the Wellcoaches program, I had in mind to start my own coaching practice and be able to work from home and be available to my three wonderful children. However, this proved to be difficult to start while working long hours, so I put it on the side-burner for a time and kept working on my vision. I often searched on the Internet for health coach jobs in my area, but to no avail, and wondered if I would ever get to use my coach training.
I have learned in my life that everything happens for a reason, even if the reasons aren’t immediately evident. In February of 2010 I started to have foot pain. The source of the problem was misdiagnosed and I continued to work, on my feet all day in the OR, which led to the development of posterior tibial tendonitis. It got so bad that it took me a full 10 minutes or more just to work out enough stiffness and pain when I got out of bed in the morning (or when my beeper went off in the middle of the night) so I could stand and put weight on my foot. My podiatrist tried several treatments with little improvement, and at the end of September I took a medical leave and stayed off my foot with crutches. Six weeks later, my foot was no better, but my job wanted me back, and my doctor was saying it could be months before the tendon would heal.
It was a Friday afternoon when I sat at my desk praying, asking ‘What do I do now?’ I didn’t feel that returning to work on my hurting foot was an option, but I was the main breadwinner for our family, and losing my income wasn’t an option either. In desperation, I did one more search on the internet for health coaching jobs in NH, and there it was – a company looking for an RN/Health Coach for a new on-site wellness center in the same town I was working in! Though it was late on a Friday, something inside told me to apply immediately for the job. I updated my resume, wrote a cover letter, and at almost 4:30 in the afternoon, I emailed them off to the company. To my surprise, I got a phone call just half an hour later! The woman said, “I’ve been recruiting for this position all day, but your resume and letter stood out to me.” One of the main things that stood out was that I was already trained as a health coach by Wellcoaches! Long story short, I got the job!
Two years later, I am very happily working in a workplace wellness program, now serving a client company just 12 minutes from my home, and my foot had the chance to heal over that first year. I am doing what I love – helping people live life to the fullest with healthy habits, and avoid the pain of health problems that don’t have to be. I have the joy of seeing people break through their obstacles and accomplish what they previously had given up on. My children are happy because their mom is less stressed and able to be there for all their important moments. If I had not gotten the training I did in 2009 from Wellcoaches, I would not have realized this dream of helping people, making a good income, and still having time for my family. And, I am now working with a business coach to start my own coaching practice and work part of the time from home!
By the way, my coaching supervisor has liked my work and Wellcoaches so much that she and three others from our company have signed up for the Wellcoaches training coming up in November!
I want to thank Wellcoaches for this wonderful opportunity to make a positive difference in the world around me and my family, and say “Happy 10th Anniversary!”