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Unlikely Inspiration: Friends Facing Adversity

March 30, 2011

Two weeks ago I wrote about March Madness and it’s ability to get my blood pumping, heart racing and motivate me to get outside. It definitely got me thinking, with all of the non-athletic things that I do in a day, what things can we spin to help push us to achieve our athletic goals?

A couple of weeks ago I heard some really bad news from a friend from college. Definitely not an “aww shucks” type of news, but “holy *^&*%”. My friend Patti is a fellow former teammate of mine from college. When I first met her, she introduced herself as “Patti from Cincinnati” and as a fellow backstroker, I knew we were bound to spend a lot of time together.  Her pride for the Reds, Bengals and Ohio State Football was unrivaled. She was immediately drawn to political science and was involved in multiple campus organizations over the four years. Oh yeah, she is a DAMN good time. To say she was focused was an understatement. She always knew what she wanted and went after it, and nothing has ever changed. Whether it was a debate over the Iraq war, national budget, the interval we chose in the pool or what type of beer we were drinking that night, she let her thoughts be known.

Patti & Kim - Circa 2006

She was working at a government affiliated job in DC for over two years, was promoted several times when her firm told her they were “going in another direction” and that her position (along with others) was being eliminated. She emailed a small group of us college teammates and when I read the words, my heart broke. Absolutely no one deserves to hear those words, let alone someone that I know that pours their heart and soul into what they do.

I felt awful for her, but then I realized that of all the people that I knew, she would 100% land on her feet. In fact, I knew she wouldn’t just land on her feet, but she would rise above and land an even better position. We emailed back and forth, and after a big night out to drown her sorrows the night after she got the news, she told me that she already had numerous interviews lined up for jobs on Capitol Hill, her dream. After hitting the interview circuit hard, she prevailed. Due to the tough climate, and her focus on achieving her dreams, she took an unpaid internship in order to get the connections and experience that was necessary for the next step. In order to pay bills she took a bartending job to make ends meet.

Now I know the majority of people I know would pack up their bags, find a sublet for their apartment and move home with their parents. Or, just apply for the same position or field that they previously held, but lacked professional fulfillment.

Patti took a huge risk, and something tells me that going out on a limb and going after her dreams will pay off, in a BIG way.

I was thinking about her situation on my run yesterday; and just when I was feeling lazy and wanting to cut my run short I thought, why settle for mediocrity when I could go the extra mile and push myself. No one remembers the people in the middle of the pack, but people remember those that go out there and get after it.

I’m so proud of my friend for going after her goals and I hope that her busy schedule during this time and any struggles that she might endure helps fuel her throughout her career. Moments like this are what define us.

Patti, you rock. Thanks for being such an inspiration to set goals and unabashedly pursue them.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2011 9:57 am

    What a gorgeous post and so well-written. You can feel how good of a friend you are through your words. Good for Patti for changing it up and chasing her dreams. I hope she succeeds and it totally sounds like she will : )

    Don’t you love thoughts you have while running? I don’t always love running alone but some days, its amazing. While running I’ve thought of several books I want to write and blog posts ideas. Running is the best : )

  2. March 30, 2011 10:59 am

    tell Patti that this is what I did! I was an unpaid intern without about 4 terrible jobs to make ends meet and everything clicked and I got my dream job. It sounds like she is absolutely the type of person who is going to make it work!

  3. March 30, 2011 1:22 pm

    Wow I am SO impressed!!! I know how hard it is to do a full-time unpaid internship, but a bartending job on top of that is intense!! So impressive and this story forces me to stop complaining!!!

  4. March 30, 2011 9:40 pm

    That is really inspiring!!I’m glad it worked out well for her. I wish I could use her as an example and get moving on my career goals!

  5. March 31, 2011 10:02 pm

    Patti sounds like great inspiration and she’s going to be ok. Always inspiring to hear stories like these – thanks for sharing!

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