Legit Professional Woman

Ran with my Cross Country kids for the first time in months tonight.

Ran is a bit of a stretch.

See this?

That’s my heart rate.

That spike? That’s when my heart rate hit 193…

That was during the warm up…

We all agreed I would just sweep the actual run.

I’m certain it serves to instill confidence in the father of a new runner. Who chose to hang out. And watch practice.

I got in less than 2 1/2 miles during the actual run. As I watched the boys getting farther and farther away from me. Before they turned around. And I still feel like I ran 20 miles of mountain.

But I got to see some of my graduates. Who showed up to run. And hear about their college excitement. And get hugs. And I remember now. Why I love coaching.

And this may help me cope better. In August. When all of my people go back to work. Without me.

Because I’ll still be there. On campus. With my kids.

It also helps that I’m starting to feel like an actual professional woman. For the first time. In a lot of years.

My first real job. During college. Was working for a bank.

My branch manager invested heavily in me. Sending me to all kinds of professional development trainings. And helping me move up in what I was certain was not my career.

Because I was gonna change the world.

I didn’t have time for corporate greed. That job was just supporting my kids. And me. Until I graduated. And started making a difference.

Which also equates to living in poverty.

I didn’t know that then. I just looked around many years later and said, huh. I don’t actually have any money. Weird.

But I was helping people. So…

But I think I’ve found the sweet spot. Between helping. And actually living.

Listening to my CEO. And other executive team leaders. Talk about our mission. And purpose. To help teachers. And students. Doing our part to make sure every child gets an equitable education.

And after finding out that we’re owned by Robert F. Smith. The dude who paid the college loans for all of those Morehouse College grads a few years ago.

I feel good about at least working for a company that’s focused on others.

And I’m starting to feel less…incompetent? I’m so used to walking into any new career. And just managing it. Well. From the start.

This one has been more challenging. Most challenging.

But I’m also excited about my career. For the first time in…maybe ever.

The focus on personal and professional development is a huge draw for me.

I love to learn. I need to learn.

And this company. And my boss. Are big on ensuring employee growth.

So, I’ve collected my reading list. And signed up for trainings. And I’m starting work on getting my PMP. (That’s professional lingo for Project Management…Something. Certification. Except…that doesn’t start with a P…Meh. You can Google it.)

Y’all. I even walked to the downtown library. Over lunch yesterday. To pick up one of my PD books. And I had totally normal adult human interactions with people.

I mean, I did have to have the library dude explain to me. Three times. How to check out a book.

The process is confusing.

But I never asked him to feel my dress…

In fact, I didn’t ask a single stranger to touch me.

I mean, my dress yesterday wasn’t nearly as soft. Or fabulous as the one I wore last week. So I wasn’t really tempted. To ask anyone to touch it. Or me.

But still.

That’s growth, y’all.

And what’s really crazy. Is that I actually like going into the office.

I mean, one of the draws of this company. Was that I get to work from home. Which I love.

But also. I love being at the office. Chatting with my two other co-workers in the morning. Meeting with my boss in person. Walking downtown at lunch. Getting free lunches and happy hours and massages. On Wednesdays…

So I’m gonna head on into the office. Got a virtual networking event this morning. With other professional women.

Because that’s what I am now. A legit professional woman.

And gonna have some Mama Jeans barbecue for lunch. Not my favorite. But it’s free. So…

And I’m probably going to only have normal adult human interactions with people.

Which is only slightly disappointing.

Because that means I really do only have ridiculous running adventures to write about then.

And I’m already exhausted from 2.5 miles with my Cross Country kids.

But I’m sure this weekend’s 20 miles will be fine. But also blog-worthy.

Oh. Also, I’m running 5 o’clock class. At PlayFITStayFIT. On Thursday and Friday.

Y’all should come.

It will be fun.

J-Vicious won’t be there to yell at me. So I’m gonna need an outlet. To keep me entertained.

And first class is free. So it’s really a win-win. For you.

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