I sell pants for a living. The black stretchy kind that help you flow through your yoga class, support you on your long runs, hold you in on your date (because I know you wear them more than just to workout in) and all other walks of life (literally).
I'm a Lemon (of the Lulu variety that is).
I've been working for Lululemon for a little over a month now and it's changed my life. But before I get into that, I need to tell you something that happened to me at work a few weeks ago.
A man came up to me and said "When you were little, did you dream that you would grow up to just fold pants?"
Taken back, I answered "I actually own my own business, and I choose to work here."
For those of you who know me, you know I run Strong Chicks Rock an online and on location personal training business for women that empowers them to honor their body through food, movement and self love.
Recently I took a leap, I left a studio I was coaching at, to fully dive into making SCR everything I want it to be. Knowing that this big leap, would be scary and a huge time of transition. Meaning, I needed to make money to supplement what I was doing at my old job. I don't love talking about money, but money is what lead me to Lululemon.
Leaving the stuido allowed me the time to create and dive in deep with SCR, but with SCR still being the baby that it is I knew I had to do something else. The thing though is that I was raised by a single dad who woke up everyday and did something he was passionate about. All I know as an adult is that you do what you love. Meaning that for me, a desk job will never work. Unless my desk has a slide attached to it and kettlebells chillin underneath, ready for 20 swings whenever I feel like it. I digress, "normal" jobs just don't do it for me. The last thing I want is for my son watch me wake up and hate going to work. More importantly, I can't go to work feeling like my soul is being sucked out of me. I need to be fulfilled.
So I thought of what I could that aligns with what I desired = feeling happy and fulfilled at my workplace as I grow SCR. I thought of Lululemon.
I once read an article of a woman who quit her corporate job to work there and she never looked back. I remember her talking about how genuinely happy she was being there.
Happy. That's what I wanted.
Every night after I applied, I anxiously waited to hear if I got the job. I questioned myself as to what made me so drawn to the job. I mean, at the end of the day these are still just pants.
I got it. (I would like to note that part of my interview included going to a yoga class with my team. Yeah, that's rad)
My training was led by probably one of the greatest women I've ever met. Someone who listens, and I'm talking really listens. She taught us the values, goals and mission of Lululemon. I was hooked.
I left that first training feeling insanely excited. I felt like I was about to begin a job where anything was possible, and truly, it is. I felt as if I was entering a place where you are valued as a person, welcomed for who you are, encouraged to share ideas and have fun. Yeah really, fun.
Walking into my first day, I did fold some pants. A lot of pants actually. It was great. Which I know sounds bizarre. Rachel, who's room is a mess and clothes aren't folded nearly as great as I do at the store, actually enjoys folding (sorry dad). I left that day though worried. I loved it, but I knew in order for me to want to stay I wanted to feel fulfilled. See, at my old coaching job I felt like I was radically changes peoples lives everyday, and with SCR I get that feeling daily..so instead of just hoping to feel fulfilled, I decided to change my thought process.
I went in the following days open to gratitude and whatever the day held, being open to even the smallest forms of gratitude for doing things like sizing bras was going to be important to me because I found it challenging to go from teaching someone a kettlebell swing to making sure the pants remain 80% full.
When you decide to choose joy and be open to gratitude, magical things happen.
I was already happy to be there, even though it was an adjustment for me (if we're being honest, I think it was more an ego problem). I knew I believed in the core values, I loved my team and I knew I did more than "just fold pants", but that magic hadn't happened yet.
Until it did.
I walked into work, missing my old job a little bit on this specific day, then this woman came into to buy a pair of pants for a 5k she had put together for the Make A Wish Foundation. The proceeds were going to a local family here in Columbus. She kept scanning the mark down rack, coming out with each new pair she had on. She was a little nervous because she was hosting the event, and she would be seeing a lot of people she knew, she really wanted to feel confident and happy with what she had on.
She picked a pair, and then we gave them to her.
We gave her a pair of pants. Her story touched the staff and now she had a pair of pants she loved and felt great it.
The events that followed just continued to deepen my love for my job. My team, all of them, for real, all of them, are my friends. When they ask how you're doing, they really want to know.
They support you, make you feel valued and encourage you.
I've helped new moms feel comfortable in their skin again by helping them find things that support their busy life and new bodies.
I've helped women find clothes that support their bodies as they get to do what they love. Whether that's compete in a half marathon, do yoga, throw a barbell over their head, cycle or walk.
So sir that asked if I dreamed that I would grow up and fold pants. No I didn't dream about that. I did dream that I would grow up and help women, that I would be able to do something where my ideas mattered, I had real friends, I felt supported, and I could grow.
I dreamed that I would make a difference, and unless you work for Lululemon maybe you won't feel it or see it the way I do. I know I am making a difference. I get to elevate peoples lives through words, education and supporting them, my team and guests alike.
So I fold pants for living. (Don't worry though, Strong Chicks Rock is NOT going anywhere. I'm working it everyday!)
Ask me if I feel fulfilled though? Without a doubt, 100% yes.
Ask me if I feel loved and supported? YES. Like when Kate asks how she can help at work, and mean it. Or when Megan wants to hear my ideas about how we can make holiday season amazing for our team. Or when Hanna and I kindle a friendship over how the book Wild changed our life. Or when I began a yoga practice and Mary Kate helps me through without judgement. Or how our store manager Lisa, listens and values your opinion. Or when Gabby, well, Gabby just about changed my life in the few weeks that I've know her--maybe it's a scorpio thing ;) Or how Lane and Steph listen to me squeel everyday as I word vomit my love for my job (your listening ear is greatly appreciated!).
(P.S-I love my whole team, not just those mentioned)
I will fold pants until the end of time if it means I get to feel this way everyday.
Thank you guest with the question about if I dreamed of this, for allowing me to question myself a bit. It led to the exploration of deeper connection to gratitude, a strong thankfulness for my team and the ability to realize that I'm not ashamed that I "just fold pants", because It goes deeper than that. Deeper than you may be able to see, or my friends to understand--but I thank you.