Going Back To Work

Just over a month ago I decided to take a job outside of the house. For the past sixteen years I have been a stay at home mom. Although I have worked, for Patch.com as a columnist and Beyond Limits as an editor, I was able to set my own hours. I knew that going back to work would take a lot of getting used to, not just for me but for my family as well. So, I made the decision to contact my friend Caitlin at Spark Running. The store is minutes away from my house. The hours allow me to drop my youngest at school and pick him up everyday. Caitlin knows my family and my commitment to my family and helps me to work my hours into those committments. And Spark Running is a running store with a pretty good employee discount to boot. What more could I ask for?

When I started this job I expected to enjoy my time with Caitlin. I expected to enjoy learning more about the products and companies. I even expected, after having spent the past sixteen years working at a computer all day, to enjoy the customers. What I didn’t expect was to bring Ann’s Running Commentary to life in the store on a daily basis.

Each day I find the opportunity to share my experiences in running and triathlon with our customers. While it is fun to speak with experienced runners about our past races and our upcoming events, it is much more rewarding to spend time with the mom who has just decided to get back in shape, the dad who wants to start running with his teenage son or the grandmother who has started walking and thinks she just might be able to add running to the mix. I find myself sharing the story of coming in last at my first race, being left in the dust by my 8-year-old-daughter in her first race or just how hard that first mile is every time I go out for a run.

As much fun as it is to hear from readers who have found something I have written helpful, it is doubly rewarding to watch a light come on in the face of a new runner who was not quite sure they could do it and suddenly they realized just how much they can accomplish if they really want to work for it.

Going back to work was meant to be an experiment. Can I really do this? Can my family handle it? In the end it has become more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. And did I mention the employee discount?