About From Suits to Sweats

My name is Rachael and I’m 33 years old.  I am an attorney admitted to practice in New York State and for a few years I spent my days behind a desk.  However, while I was working, my mind would drift away from whatever I was working on to fitness.  For example, while my colleagues were discussing the recent tax law and reading the New York Law Journal, I would be watching YouTube workouts and researching fitness certifications.  I realized then I had a problem and was very unhappy being an attorney.  It took the power of God, Buddha, Allah, the genie from Aladdin, a magician and a miracle to get me out of bed in the morning.  I knew I was just in the wrong field.

For several months, I debated what to do.  After all, I have about a quarter million dollars in law school debt.   Despite that, one day, I was sitting in my office thinking if I have to stare at this document for five more minutes I may just jump out the window.  With that thought, the money just didn’t seem worth it.  You can’t buy happiness.  So, I shut off my computer, walked into the partner’s office and resigned from the firm.  I decided it was time to leave the law to pursue my passion for fitness.

Before I go further, I wanted to tell you a bit about how I first became interested in fitness.  Many years ago, I became very ill and doctors told me I had 48 hours to live.  I was devastated but I was also only 21 and certainly not ready to give up.  I suffered a mini-stroke, had several organs shutting down and my blood was a pool of useless poison. I was very weak and in an incredible amount of pain.  I endured two months of intensive treatments and horrible medications.  Day after day, despite heart monitors, IVs, operations, blood transfusions and everything else, my question was the same – When can I go home?  That was my way of keeping my mind right.  I REFUSED to give up.   I really do believe that my positive attitude saved my life.  The doctors were still scratching their heads when I left the hospital.  They said, “there is no medical reason you should be alive right now.”  But, I knew I wasn’t finished and had much more to share with the world.  I often joke that I was just too stubborn to die.

Although my positive spirit got me healthy, needless to say, my illness took a lot out of me.  After that, I let myself go in so many ways for a long time.  I was defeated emotionally and physically and at 5’7″ was over 200 pounds. It certainly did not help that I had a “friend” in my life who was emotionally abusive.  I had zero self-esteem, no one respected me, and I was depressed all of the time.  I am not sure why it happened when it did but one day several years ago I woke up.  I was tired of feeling sorry for myself.  I was tired of not being confident.  I was tired of worrying about my health.  I was tired of feeling out of shape.  I was just, well, tired!!  I decided enough was enough and walked into a Bally’s gym.   I didn’t know it at the time but my life changed right then and there.   I found an amazing trainer and with his help I got started on taking back my life.

Thanks to lots of hard work, I don’t even know that girl anymore.  Today, I’m strong, fit, confident and working helping others regain control of their lives.  I sleep, breathe and dream exercise.  To me, fitness is a necessity and just as important as eating and sleeping.  By that I mean, it is something you should be thinking about everyday. I know better than most people that if you don’t have your health, then nothing – and I MEAN NOTHING – else matters.  Good luck driving that fancy car or cashing that huge pay check if you are too sick to leave your house.

Because of my passion for fitness, I transitioned from spending my days in a Madison Avenue law office to the gym floor and traded my corporate suits for sweatpants.  I spent about a year as a personal trainer and I really loved what I did.  I loved seeing the difference I made in people’s life’s both physically and emotionally.  Perhaps, I liked it a little too much because it inspired another change.

Fitness saved my life in so many ways and I wanted to pay it forward even more.  Though my work as a personal trainer was very rewarding,  I have a yearning to do more and I missed the intellectual stimulation and challenges that I experienced as an attorney.  Thus, I started questioning what would my next career goal.  For a brief period, I considered physical therapy.  However, I felt that eventually that field would also no longer be as challenging and rewarding as I would like.  While I was trying to decide what path I should pursue, my husband became very ill. Unfortunately, I have had several experiences with illness one of which I already told you about.  However, I have also been by my mother’s side through her continuing battle with cancer and COPD.  My husband’s recent case was somewhat different.  I noticed that my analytical abilities gained from law and basic knowledge of anatomy obtained from personal training allowed me to communicate with the doctor’s on a different level than I could previously.   I realized then that I had my answer and wondered why it had not occurred to me before.  I realized I wanted to be a doctor.  Being a doctor would provide me with the continued intellectual challenge that I am seeking, the ability to help people in an immediate and actual manner and would be an amazing extension of what I was doing in the world of fitness.

So, now I’m wearing a different kind of sweatpants.  You know the kind you wear when you stayed up so late studying that you couldn’t bear to put together real outfit.  Yes, that’s right.  I’m a student again!  I am attending NYU’s Post-bac Premed Program.  The program provides the math and science courses you need to be eligible to apply to med school.  Because my undergraduate training was all geared towards law, the program is necessary for me as I didn’t take the required courses for medical school. The program takes two years and after that I will be applying to medical school.  It has been trying but I know in my heart I am doing the right thing.  Money is super tight so if you like my site or believe in me and my story and would like to help, please visit my donation site and leave whatever small amount you can.

However, that said, though they are appreciated, the purpose of this blog is not to get donations.  I’ve had this blog up wayyyyy before I started school again.  I’m here to offer advice, support, and anything that you need to help live a healthier life.  See you in the gym!!

Comments
  1. Wow – what a great story – it’s so fun to learn a bit more with those that we have “digital” connections with. I love the line, “I was just tired….” That’s similar to my situation too – I’m different from you in that I’m not an “all out” kind of exerciser – I do leave some on the mat and tend to be cautious. That said, the mixes, variations, intensities are endless and there is something for everyone. We’ll never stop learning and there will never be an end of things to try! Thanks again!

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