Each week Things I love Thursday post is “Special” as all the people and things I am grateful for are unique and special in their own way! However this week is extra special as it defines the start of a new and exciting journey for me! This week was the beginning of my career transition from Ciclismo Classico to Lululemon Athletica, an athletic apparel company that makes technical athletic clothes for yoga, running, and working out.
Hefferon/Rugiero Family & Ciclismo Classico
Almost 11 years ago, Lauren Hefferon the founder of Ciclismo Classico, an American bicycle touring company that organizes active vacation by bike or by feet in Italy & Europe, gave me her 2 children, Lorenzo of 4 years and Valentina of 18 months, to take care of. Few years later Luca was born and I was still leaving with the Hefferon/Rugiero family in the Boston area, an Ocean away from my family in Italy, being a nanny for those children that I came to love as they were my own. Meanwhile, I went to college, I moved out from my host family house and moved to the North End (the Italian session in Boston), I met my husband Dustin, I took him to Italy for my younger sister Samanta’s wedding where all my family fell in love with this american boy, I moved in with Dustin, I graduated as a Graphic Designer, I got married to Dustin…three times (City Hall, Church in my home town in Italy, by our Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine). Few years later we moved out from the city to Waltham, and finally we settled in Cambridge. When Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca were old enough to go to school, I started to work at Ciclismo and in few years I got promoted to be the International Travel and Reservations Manager. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to learn, to grow within Ciclismo and mostly to have found a family in Lauren, Mauro, Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca! However, working in an office just does not feel like me. And I am very happy I had the chance to discover that!
My real passion has always been in Fitness & Health and I knew that I always wanted that to be part of my life and if I could combine my love for health and wellness with my career that would be a dream come true. As Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” The greatest change happens because of people that are deeply passionate, and have a great love for the work they do. So, I started to move on my journey to be the best I can be. I explored my passions more deeply, what makes me come alive, and with the help of my husband and my coach I wrote down my strengths and my goals. I committed to it and as much as I wanted to make this change for myself, it was hard to let go of the old patterns and few times I found myself saying “Just suck it up!” But with the help of my husband who believed in me and also wanted to see me happy, I kept going on my journey to self discovery. I got certified as a running coach and as a personal trainer. However, I wasn’t satisfied with that. From my personal experience I learned that it takes more than physical exercise to maintain good health. Balance in a number of areas is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Wellness coaching look at the whole picture, paying attention to the mind, body and spirit connection. A coach has a much different approach than a personal trainer when working with individuals. Essentially a coach assumes that you have your own answers. There are still opportunities for education and sharing information when appropriate; however the focus of a wellness coach is to empower the clients to clearly see for themselves the most appropriate path forward such that they can make sustainable, long term lifestyle changes. This is much different than telling them what they should do! A coach provides tools for motivation, goal setting, self discovery and embrace the fact that each individual will need to have a different approach in making lifestyle change. That is the reason why I decided to attend ICA, an International Coaching Academy, where I am currently studying to be a a Certified Fitness & Wellness Life Coach for Women.
Over a year ago, for the first time I went into the Lululemon store in Natick and I was blown away by the incredible experience I had. The service there was absolutely the best I’ve ever had. The girls were really helpful, friendly and most importantly genuine. Which made me want to go back many times after that; not only to buy their incredible clothes but also to talk about running and Marathons with Marisa with who I had established a real friendship. One of my favorite things is the cute, environmentally-friendly bag, they put your purchase in. If you look at it closely it is covered with inspirational messages like “Do one thing a day that scares you”. I was very intrigued by this company and started to research it and it hit me! Lululemon was totally me! When I read Lululemon’s mission statement that says: “Lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.” I couldn’t agree more. Members of the lululemon community are encouraged to set your own goals. You see, lululemon isn’t just a store selling clothes. It’s a place that is: “supportive, fashionable, empowering”. Lululemon represents a lifestyle choice. At that point I wanted to be part of the team and help elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness! After interviewing with different members of the Lululemon team and hearing the challenging and supportive work environment it not only confirmed, but made stronger my desire to be part of this team. They are really careful to whom they hire, as they really want to make sure you embody Lululemon values and live Lululemon culture. Finally, after over a month Lululemon offer me the job! This week I did my training and I loved every second of it! Everyone is so special and has something unique, I am just very excited to work and learn with all of them!
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training
Team in Training, the 1st and largest endurance program for the fundraising, contacted me last week offering me a great opportunity to train the Boston team for the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women that will be happening on October 10, 2011. This decision too was a challenging one to take but with the support of my wonderful husband, family, and the lululemon team I made the decision to take this leap…I know I’ve made the right choice for me!
A lot of things to be grateful for this week ah!
People I am grateful for….
- Dustin, without him I wouldn’t be complete.
- Lauren, Mauro, Lorenzo, Valentina & Luca
- Laura & Bob
- Tom & Laura
- Marisa, Jessica, Claire, Sarah, Tiffany, Hillary, Leigh, Chris, Theo and all the Lulu team.
- Rita of Team in Training
- My mom, dad and my siblings Giuseppe, Samanta and Michele
- Mj, Marc, Joe, Christy, Lauren L.,Cristiano, Patria,Davide, Enrico & all the Ciclismo Team.
I am very enthusiastic and ready to start my journey. Thanks everyone who made, make and will make an impact in my life. You are a truly gift to this world!