Why I Quit A Job I Actually Liked


I have stayed silent too long, yet I feel like I’m going out on a limb sharing what I’m about to share- being bullied in the workplace.

I worked in Health Care for most of my adult life, that is until I we moved, and I decided it was best to stay home with my children. I worked as a Respiratory Technician, and Cardiac Lab Technician for most of my career at our local hospital in Ohio. I learned these jobs are not for the faint of heart. I learned to suck it up, because you must maintain your composure at all times when working with patients and their families. You must stay strong for them. Not always an easy task when you are working with a diverse group of health care professionals who are trying to save a person’s life. We were a team, and we were all able to pull it together for the sake of the patient; who’s life was a priority. There were times we all had melt downs after the fact, but not in public and we were fairly supportive of one another.

Fast forward… After my children left for college I decided I would like to get back into the workforce to build my resume, and just get out of the house! I wanted to learn something new, and I also decided that I wanted a job that did not require holidays and weekends. I have always been a confident person (put ego aside), which gave me the confidence to seek a position in an environment completely different from health care.  I applied for a position that sounded very interesting, and with ease got the job.

When I interviewed for this particular position which was 24 hours per week without any benefits and paid under 10.00 per hour I asked specific questions, because I did not want to take on a job without being honest up front.

The questions I presented

  • Will it be a problem if I take time off without much warning, because I have a family member who is under the care of a specialist, and I can’t miss any appointments.
  • This family member may require hospitalization, which will not allow notice in advance, are you sure this wont be a problem?
  • My husband runs his own Company and rarely takes time off for himself. Will it be an issue if he free’s up time, and we are able to take a vacation? I went on to to say, that on average he takes 2 weeks off approximately every 2-3 years.
  • I also asked if there would be any conflict if I took time off to visit my son and his family who happen to live 1500 miles away.

What I was told during the interview after presenting my question’s

This is a part time job without benefits, the pay is low so I have no problem granting time off . The boss I interviewed with went on to say, it’s a low key atmosphere here, and there are always enough people to fill in and do the job if you are not able to be here. This sounded like the perfect job at that time in my life due to so many circumstances which were beyond my control. I should have known it was too good to be true.

The first year was great, but everything went down hill from that point on

  • I was told who to talk to, and who to avoid very early on. I took it with a grain of salt for the first year.  Because, I’m not a follower and tend to think of myself as a free thinker, I relied on my own experiences with others in this small office to make my OWN impressions.
  • When I became friendly with those who were looked down upon by my superiors, the atmosphere began to change.
  • My superiors began to hide along walls which were close to me and other coworkers who were not liked, and listen to our very boring & quick conversations.
  • I was accused of errors I didn’t make, and I would be accused in front of others. Luckily I was able to prove I did not make the errors I was accused of.
  • And I also found out my boss was talking about me to my coworkers- a few who were part of her ‘gang’ began to shun me.

Can we say awkward??

  • My boss began to ignore me. I thought it was my imagination until a few months went by, and she would hang her head when walking past my desk to leave the building.  I would say hi to her, but after a period of time I realized her silence was very intentional.
  • A bit over a year into my job my mom developed late stage Lung Cancer. She did not live in the same state, but I was granted some extra time here and there to take her to her radiation appointments and be there for her when she was hospitalized. “My bad, I should have foreseen the unforeseen.” 
  • My office experience took a turn for the worse after my mom was diagnosed.
  • I smelled natural gas for a period of 4 days or more and told my boss about this, she kept telling me no one else smelled it. I told her it was strong, and I was feeling ill about and hour into my afternoon shift.  After 4 days of complaining as she walked by my desk with her head lowered she uttered, “Call the gas company if you feel your smelling gas.”
  • I called the gas company within 15 minutes of her departure and stayed by myself in the office a good hour and a half waiting for the gas company to arrive, they found the leak (coming from a vent right over my head). It was a 35% gas leak. The gas company turned off the gas to the building and I had the Tech call her to inform her.
  • They repaired gas lines to our building, but unfortunately I smelled gas within a day or so after they were done with their work. Again, I informed her and nothing was done. This time I took it upon myself to call the gas company. They found a leak again from the same vent and shut the gas off again.  There were 3 incidences of gas leaks within a short period of time, the last incidence was detected by others as well, and they had to replace the heating element.

Combine my time off which was not supposed to be an issue, along with talking to certain employees my superior didn’t like, and reporting gas leaks that my boss refused to acknowledge and this led to what felt like a hostile work environment for me.

I was given extra ‘busy’ work. I was told I would need to fill out paper work the full time employees used to request time off and approval would be pending. I was also told to tell a coworker who sat next to me not to talk to me. I refused and finally told my boss that if she had an issue with this person talking to me then she needed to address it since she was the boss.  I was ignored, and began having horrible anxiety attacks before it was time to go to work.  Seriously, anxiety attacks over a job I took to get out of the home for the most?  Yes anxiety was present, because I still took my job duties serious. I enjoyed the job, hated the atmosphere. I actually began to fear the atmosphere.

Needless to say, I left my job a little over 2 years into it. I felt like a loser! I had to keep reminding myself I was tough, because if you can work with trauma patients under extreme circumstances, believe me you do grow thick skin.

I found out from other employees that I was the 6th person to leave that particular position within 3 yrs.  After I left a gal that also felt ostracized, and had worked for this office for almost 20 years quit her job too. She found employment with another company, and lost some of her wonderful full time benefits, however she is much happier now.

Since I left my job I’ve learned that my former boss lost 2 more employees. How does she get away with this? Well, the short answer is simple- her superior is a relative of hers.  And, both my former boss along with her superior are good friends with the person who over sees the entire office along with a few other offices within this organization.

Bullying within the workplace is all too common, recent studies indicate that an estimated 54 million Americans have been bullied at some point in their career. If you feel your being bullied, there are signs to look for.  Reach out to someone you can trust if that is possible. I wasn’t lucky enough to have that opportunity due to the tight nit organization I worked for.

I can happily say I don’t regret leaving. My life has changed for the better in so many ways. I don’t have the obstacles I had in the past which leave my next chapter wide open for more opportunities.  I have much higher standards now, and one of those standards is the fact that I will get more background information on an organization prior to committing to them. I also know my skills, and past work experience is worth much more than 9.00 per hour without benefits. I will never allow anyone to bully me again.

Lessons can be tough to learn, but there are reasons we must experience hard times in order to find that path we were meant to follow with better things waiting just over the horizon.

Down The Dunes We Went


In May we drove to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a long over due vacation. I was was excited and hesitant at the same time, because we were doing a 4×4 vacation. This meant we had to rent a 4 wheel drive jeep, and drive 3.5 miles down the beach, and over dunes to get to our final destination, our vacation home for the week.


Driving down the beach for the first time felt a bit unnerving to put it mildly. We got in later in the afternoon and high tide was trickling in. High tide when on a 4×4 vacation means you must drive in deep ruts and yes, over dunes. As the passenger it felt like we were going to tip over more times than one. I kept yelling at my husband to slow down, while I held on to the roof as if that would stop us from rolling! He finally told me to get out my camera and redirect my anxiety, so I did!


The dunes were beautiful. My mind was beginning to change gears. I kept wondering as we drove in how I was going to handle being sort of stuck off the main beat and path for 7 days, due to time constraints due to the tides and you sure don’t want to be driving 3.5 miles down the beach after dark- there are no lights.  However, once we got settled in I realized that this was my paradise for the week. Every vacation I’ve been on demanded plans from morning until evening. Sometimes you really do need time just to chill. I never dreamed that it was possible to enjoy time by ‘enjoying time.’ I never realized that sometimes when you take a vacation where you cook in more than out, walk the beach each day, see wild horses in your yard and trotting on the beach, watch the sand pipers, pelicans and more can bring you the most peace.  It’s pretty cool to be taking a hike along the beach and suddenly see the Wild Mustangs come trotting right by you. It’s even better when you have your camera!



This was the ‘road’ going up and down the dune to our vacation rental, and it was much steeper than it appears in this photo below.


This Wild Mustang was on the side of the dune as I was walking down for my daily hike along the beach.


I have a camera with 30x Optial zoom and I was able to capture this fishing boat from shore. My husband estimated the boat was out at least 3-4 miles.


My husband surf fishing. The guys surf fished every afternoon until dusk. The gals… well we sat on the beach with our drinks in hand, and jamming to tunes. We pretended to share in our husbands thrill of surf fishing.  All kidding aside, it was surreal watching the tides and sunset each evening.


A view of the beach and a storm was just beginning to brew. Nothing like a thunderstorm rolling in over the ocean!


I have been fortunate to vacation in many States over the years, but this by far was not only a fun vacation, but the most relaxing. Most people say they need a vacation from their vacation once they get home. For the first time we were able to say, it’s nice to be home, but I feel so renewed!

We stayed on Swan Beach. You enter the ‘beach road’ from Corolla. Route 12 ends on a beach ramp, and the beach road then becomes Route 12. If you drive down the entire beach road approximately 7 miles or so you will hit the Va border.

I can’t wait to go back, because I finally realized a vacation is what you make of it, and honestly I felt like a young child again without any agenda!

Hospitalization: Do You Feel Your In Good Hands With A Hospitalist?


The use of Hospitalists is not a new topic, however it is a hot, and ongoing topic. You will find Hospitalists working in every hospital through out the US.  There seems to be mixed feelings among people who have been an inpatient at a hospital over the last 15 years.

Hospitalists  interface with patients longer.

Hospitalists interface with patients longer. That makes them better at diagnosing conditions, interpreting tests and understanding the care pathway for patients,” David says. “They are also very involved in safety and patient quality improvement.

The statement above may be true, but there are many circumstances where patient care has declined, and the patient is more at risk because the Hospitalist knows nothing about the patient prior to admission to a hospital.

Physician continuity during hospitalization may be associated with important outcomes other than length of stay. Transfers of patient care responsibility from one hospital physician to another may result in loss of important clinical information, potentially resulting in unnecessary tests and/or treatments. Additionally, transfers of patient care challenge physicians’ ability to establish rapport with their patients, potentially affecting patient satisfaction.

Transfers of patient care responsibility from one hospital physician to another may result in loss of important clinical information, potentially resulting in unnecessary tests and/or treatments.

Some will argue that “Hospitalists improve length of stay because they build relationships with individuals in the organization. And when they build relationships, they get consultations faster, they get people tested faster and they are generally on top of things.”  There are people who will agree that Hospitalists improve the length of stay, however this is where I diverge with some personal insight.

  • Hospitalists do not know the patient prior to admission
  • If the patient has no family members to advocate on behalf of the patient, a lot of pertinent medical information can be left out.
  • It’s not common for them to speak with the patient’s family physician who can also fill in some very important gaps when it comes to a full treatment plan.
  • Patients, in many cases are discharged too early for cost savings purposes. Which means the chances of re-admission are higher.
  • A patient will generally have more than one Hospitalist, and the danger of this is the idea that in many hospitals they do not meet together on behalf of the patient. Each Hospitalist will look at the patient’s chart and read the last Hospitalist’s notes.
  • I want to emphasize, that in larger hospitals IE: Teaching Hospitals they do have team meetings, however it depends on what you- the patient happen to be admitted for with regards to ‘team meetings.’
  • It’s been my personal experience that one Hospitalist may tend to over ride the treatment plan of the admitting Hospitalist.  This can be detrimental to recovery if the Hospitalist changes and/or adds medications.  Unlike the patient’s Primary Care Physician who knows the patients entire history, the Hospitalist is focused on the admitting diagnosis.
  • Patients admitted with underlying conditions that are not documented are in danger of not receiving the proper medications, or being given medications that are contraindicated. This can be a fatal mistake.

According to an article in the New York Times, “Hospitalists don’t appear terribly popular with patients and families, however. When the founding New Old Age blogger Jane Gross wrote about these specialists last year, she touched off a wave of complaints from readers. Americans don’t cotton to programs and people who step between them and their doctors. “A good primary care physician is a permanent part of your life,” Mike C. from Monroe, N.J., wrote. “To hospitalists, if you drop dead on the way home, they’ve still done their job.”

Hospitalists don’t appear terribly popular with patients and families

One last observation- When patients are discharged too early, they may lack the proper care at home which leads to a fast re-admission, Emergency Room visit, or worst case scenerio: death.  Many patients are discharged to Nursing Home Facilities to recover instead of finishing their recovery in the hospital. It’s more cost effective to discharge a patient to a Nursing Home verses keeping them in the hospital.

If you have a loved one that is admitted to a hospital, it’s wise to bring their medication list, keep a list of underlying conditions that you can share with the admitting nurse and Physician.  Due to the fast pace of our Medical care shifting to cost savings as a priority trumping patient care it’s important that we, the consumers stay educated- it can be the difference between life and death.

Anxiety And Depression Are Weaknesses, So Learn To Deal With It!

Depression sign

I used to know a girl who grew up with many fears, and she thought she would out grow those fears.  When ever she felt nervous she doubled over with stomach pains as a child.  This young child was afraid of the water, afraid to put a plug in an electrical outlet, afraid to ask questions in school, afraid of angering those she loved, afraid of camping, because ‘there might be bears,’ and afraid of death and dying.  Until she grew a bit older, she thought it was normal to have ongoing fears, and assumed all girls her age feared many of the things she did. This little girl had to be weak!


When the little girl became a teenager she became less interested in her education and much more interested in boys, along with hanging out with the ‘in’ crowd.  She felt if she hung with the in crowd- she would be popular and that would boost her moral.  Unfortunately, what she was searching for didn’t change how she felt on the inside; it just shifted for quite a while. She didn’t pay as much attention to her internal feelings. She also lost her father when she was eleven years old, and hardly thought about him after a year or so of his passing.  This young teenager was passive, yet angered easily, and if she was hurting deeply inside she would punch her thighs or take her fingernails and scratch herself until she bled.  The young teenage girl would cry behind closed doors, but tried to wear a smile when she was in front of others.  She was weak! 


When she became an adult new symptoms emerged; symptoms IE: Vertigo, racing heart,  along with a sense of hopelessness that seemed to come and go on a fairly regular basis when she was a young adult.  When she told others about her vertigo in particular they reacted as though she was a hypochondriac.  She didn’t want to lose her friends, because she was beginning to realize she was different and not as strong as they were, so she tried hard to keep her symptoms to herself.  She also attributed her symptoms to the stresses of raising two young children, working full time and taking care of her home.  She was weak!


She is now a middle aged adult, and found out in her late twenties she had anxiety, but no one told her it would hang on for a lifetime if she didn’t get help. After all, she was diagnosed in the 80’s, and and medicine was the answer! The medicine seemed to work for quite a few years, because her anxiety lessened, and she became less fearful of life in general.  Sadly, counseling wasn’t overly popular in the 80’s, and people didn’t talk about anxiety and other ‘mental health’ issues with others due to a major stigma attached to the term.  Again, she was weak! 

  • She wakes up every morning feeling as though she’s shaking from the inside out.
  • Her legs feel like jelly much of the day.
  • She replays her worries in her head all day long.
  • It feels like someone keeps tightening a noose around her neck through out each day.
  • Her heart beats fast most of the day.
  • She stays up late and could sleep all day if she could get away with it.
  • Her bed is her friend.
  • She cries easily, and gets distracted just as easily.
  • Her head feels like it’s carrying bricks instead of her brain.
  • Her muscles are tense all day long and cause pain.
  • She feels as though she’s in an abyss she can’t climb out of.
  • She beats herself up mentally, because of course “She’s weak!”
  • She gets dizzy easily which interferes with daily functioning.
  • She doesn’t share *most* of what she experiences, because she doesn’t want to appear weak! 
  • She feels hopeless.
  • She’s been on a waiting list for counseling for almost eight months.
  • She feels so alone, even though she is surrounded by so many loving people.

One thing that helps her when she’s feeling despair, anger or even extreme sadness is to crank up the jams.  One song she loves and actually brings her out of the funk she’s in (at least temporarily) – This summer gonna hurt like a Mother#ucke@

This middle aged woman would like to introduce you to Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression.  She was told that if you have Generalized Anxiety for a period of time lasting more than six months it generally leads to depression. Anxiety disorder and depression are still so misunderstood if one has not experienced it first hand. There is still a stigma attached to GAD and depression, and that’s why people try desperately to hide their symptoms or make up excuses.

She was genetically predisposed to the illness, and 40 years later is finding that there are a lot of medications doctors want to prescribe, however counseling isn’t easy to get into. The brain is an organ just like any other organ in the body, and it’s signals are misfiring along with sending out the wrong chemical messengers which lead to all the symptoms listed above. It’s disgraceful that the medical community puts patients on the back burner when it comes to mental health; mental health should be taken just as seriously as a person’s physical health. Sadly, if someone goes without proper treatment for any length of time- the condition worsens.

If generalized anxiety and/or depression go on for a long period of time, it does begin to take a toll on a person’s physical health.  The symptoms a person experiences on a daily basis if untreated or not treated properly affect not just the brain, but the body as a whole.

The gal, who is now middle aged has been on a medication for years. She has been in counseling before, but it wasn’t the proper type of counseling. Talk Therapy does not help.  They have also found people diagnosed with GAD tend to have bad experiences with most antidepressants, so GAD is hard to treat with medication alone.

She is patiently (or not so patiently anymore) waiting to get into proper counseling. She was told EMDR along with CBT works well with people like herself.

She did however learn a few things over the years; she can’t control the anxiety and depression, because it is an illness.  She’s aware that with proper counseling there is hope. She’s also aware that she is not weak, she’s been ill and trying hard to function as normal for way too long. She’s learned that she is fairly strong, considering she’s been able to function even when she feels as though she can’t go on.

She is not weak!

Is Anxiety Disease Interfering With Your Job?


We all get anxious when it comes to our jobs, however Anxiety Disease – also called Anxiety Disorder can lead to missing too much time from work, leaving work early, or ultimately losing your job.

Many people aren’t aware they have Anxiety disorder until their symptoms worsen.  Most people with Anxiety Disorder have had a degree of it their entire lives, and without proper treatment,  the symptoms intensify with age.  When symptoms of anxiety begin to intensify; those symptoms will begin to affect your job.

I began working as a Respiratory Technician when I was 19 years old.  I loved my job!  I was so proud of myself at the young age of 19 years old to be working with trauma patients in the Emergency Room, and Intensive Care.  I was proud that I was learning so much, and at a fast pace. I enjoyed my one on one time with patients who needed breathing treatments. I even enjoyed charting.  I got a long well with the many Physician’s we had to interact with,  which is very important when you are working in the Medical Field.  I must admit, when we were called to the Emergency Room stat,  a rush of adrenaline would over come me.  I believe that ‘rush’ helped me to cope during some very difficult trauma’s we would face.  When you heard the stat page to ER, you never knew what you were going to see until you walked into the Emergency Room.

One afternoon we received a stat page to the Emergency Room, and we were told that there were two cold water drowning victims that would be transported in.  The patients were still in the water, so we had to set up our equipment in order to be ready when the Paramedics brought the patients in.  We were told to go back to our floors and continue our treatments there until we got the call that the patients were en-route.

I was working, and suddenly hear my name being paged stat by the hospital operator.  I picked up the page, and it was the Emergency Room Supervisor;  she asked which floor I was working on, and asked me to meet her at the end of the hall.  I couldn’t understand why she wanted to meet me, because she was not my supervisor.  I met her, and I will never forget the words she spoke.

“Lisa, your brother is one of the cold water drowning victims!”  I panicked, and asked where he was?  The Nursing Supervisor told me, “He’s in ER in shock, and he needs you.”  At this point I was beginning to feel tears well up, and I asked her who was with him in the water?  She told me “Bobby something.”  I spouted off a last name, and she said, “Yes, that’s his name.”

At this point I ran to the Emergency room to be with my brother who was in shock. Bobby was brought in approximately 20 minutes later and sadly, he did not make it.

After this incident, every time we received a stat page to the Emergency room I would begin to get dizzy, worry it was going to be someone I knew, feel nauseated and just want to run in the other direction- out the door!

As time progressed so did my symptoms. I decided I needed something less stressful, so I transferred to our Cardiac Lab, and thought that would make life much easier.  This couldn’t have been further from the truth.  I began having panic attacks in the form of extreme dizziness which I felt I was going to pass out from.  The panic attacks would come on without any precipitating factors.  I thought I had a serious illness, because they were so frequent; I didn’t know anything about Panic attacks at the time. Panic attacks can present with many different symptoms.

After seeing many different Physician’s for my dizziness, along with other symptoms it was determined I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It was time for me to reassess my life.

The good news is there is treatment, and many people will have to make life style changes that are conducive to their own health. A life style change may mean a change in career as well. In my case it was determined that a chain of events (seeing people die, in particular my brother’s friend), opened up a can of worms, because I had lost my father 8 years prior to working in Respiratory Therapy. I also found out later on that I did not go through all the stages of grief; factor in the fact that Anxiety Disease is not due to a person being nervous- According to the Cleveland Clinic.

“Like certain illnesses, such as diabetes, anxiety disorders might be caused by chemical imbalances in the body. Studies have shown that severe or long-lasting stress can change the balance of chemicals in the brain that control mood. Studies also have shown that anxiety disorders run in families, which means that they can be inherited from one or both parents, like hair or eye color. In addition, certain environmental factors—such as a trauma or significant event—might trigger an anxiety disorder in people who have an inherited susceptibility to developing the disorder.”

The good news IS- there is life , and employment beyond the disease, and you are not alone.

Anxiety disorders “affect about 40 million adult Americans.They are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. Most anxiety disorders begin in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. They occur more often in women than in men.”

With proper treatment, early recognition and even employers who educate themselves, you do not need to give up your day job.  Don’t be afraid to speak about it, because it’s an illness just like diabetes, thyroid disease etc… , there is no shame in having any illness.  The only shame is when it’s untreated, or not recognized.

I have found over the years that it’s good to be open with those you can trust. They may not fully understand what you are going through, but this is the case with any illness when another has not experienced it, yet a good employer along with a good support system outside of your job will help you to over come obstacles you may have thought were not possible.  Remember,  with diligence, and faith in yourself anything is possible. Never give up, and never think you are not worth it!  And, what I have found works very well for me & it’s proven to work for many is some form or exercise or relaxation techniques.  Exercise increases endorphin’s, and reduces stress/anxiety.

Remember, with support, treatment, education,  and understanding; You’ve got this!

Overcoming Fear of Open Water Swimming- One Man’s Journey To Becoming an Ironman


Brian has always been a driven person from a young age.  Brian began working as a Technical Support Representative with our local Internet Service Provider when he was only 14 years old.  He continued to work for them until he graduated from High School.  While Brian was always active and athletic, his deep passion for fitness and health came later in life as a way to connect with others, himself and overcome negative thinking.  Brian also over came an intense fear of open water swimming, which he wasn’t aware he had until he decided to participate in Triathlons.

Brian’s Journey, and how it began

Brian moved to London in 2006, because his wife Christine was offered, and accepted a job in London. While Brian was living in London he began running with his friend Martin during their lunch breaks.  Brian’s dad had a traumatic knee injury, which Brian witnessed while they were on a remote canoeing trip in Canada. Brian started running with his friend Martin during their lunch break, and it was then Brian learned Martin enjoyed participating in Triathlons.  Martin told Brian about one Triathlon in particular, Alcatraz!  Brian never considered doing Triathlons until his friend Martin spoke of this event.  The very day Brian learned of this particular Triathlon, also called Alca Tri, Escape From The Rock he signed up for the race. Alca Tri: XXVIII was only 16 months away. It dawned on Brian that running for one, was a great way of connecting and overcoming  the trauma of his dad’s traumatic knee injury. You can read more about Brian’s journey on  Brian’s personal blog

Brian realized he had a lot of practice to prepare for the swim. Brian found a coach, joined a team, along with doing Triathlons in London to prepare for Escape From The Rock. When Brian began learning and practicing to swim in open water he learned he also had a fear of it.  The fear of jumping into the cold, dark water in the San Francisco Bay swimming back from Alcatraz was a real fear.  Brian overcame his fear by practicing for Alca Tri over a period of 16 months. 

Alca Tri: XXVIII

Brian’s training and participating in Triathlons in London began in 2007.  Alca Tri: XXVIII was coming up in 2008.  Brian completed 5-6 Triathlons in London leading up to Ala Tri: XXVIII which also helped to reduce his open water panic prior to Alca Tri. Brian also did the London Triathlon in 2008, and still had open water swimmer’s anxiety, but it had lessened  after competing in in a few Olympic distance Triathlons.  Brian also kept the swim map for the Alca Tri competition next to his bed and he would see it every morning which helped him to stay focused on his end goal- the swim from Alcatraz. 

Triathletes take a ferry out to Alcatraz and swim the murky bay -infested with sharks and sea lions back to shore. This was a major feat for Brian, which gave him the ambition and self confidence to continue to participate in more competitions.

There are many ways to overcome your fears as Brian did. An article written for Triathletes mention 7 steps in overcoming that fear; the first step is to acknowledge your fear!

It’s also very beneficial to have a great support system-  in Brian’s case it was his wife, Christine who stood behind him, and beside him throughout all of his endeavors.  It’s also wise to join a team, and find a great coach;  all which help to strengthen your abilities, and give you the assurance you are not alone- along with the fact that if you are determined, you can do this!

Ready to jump on the ferry and swim back from Alcatraz


When Brian moved back to the States with his wife, he began to ponder if he would be capable of doing an Ironman competition. He became active with with local Triathlon clubs in Virginia, and realized that it was more than just the sport that inspired him; he enjoyed mentoring others, and being part of the community itself. When you find your passion, it becomes addictive and without knowing it, you can also inspire others to find their passion.

Brian now lives in Colorado with his wife and began doing Half Ironman competitions which was helping him to build endurance for the full Ironman Competition. Brian’s ambitions became a reality when he was accepted by the Ironman Foundation- Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team in Boulder Colorado, which bring together triathlete’s who are passionate about both Ironman events. Newton Running and “Service Through Sport,” enabled Brian to fulfill his desire to give back to communities they race in.  The Ironman Newton Running Team, also named TriTeamforGood was instrumental in Brian’s continued training. He had a great coach, and awesome teammates who kept each other inspired, along with accountable. Sharing your passion with team mates helps to curb anxieties, and everyone has their own knowledge base to share with others which helps to ensure an awesome experience and team!

The day finally arrived, Ironman Boulder 2014; Excitement and Inspiration


Brian’s wife, parents and children were in Boulder, Colorado last August 2014 to watch, and cheer Brian on during the 140.6 mile Ironman Race.  Newton Running is an official sponsor of the Ironman Competition, and they play a vital role not only by means of their running products, but they also are there every step of the way to encourage the Triathletes.  

The positive energy felt within the crowd was contagious ; being a spectator during the race was beyond words. It was hard to imagine anyone doing a race of this magnitude.  There are many different reasons men and women participate in Ironman Competitions. For many who participate in the competition, it becomes personal as it was for Brian. One man was given a poster that read “I may be an Ironman, but my wife beat cancer.”  Brian’s journey leading up to Ironman Boulder made him aware that even if fears are involved; you can overcome them, and triumph.  

The emotions Brian’s family, and Brian himself felt was indescribable when the announcer yelled over a mic- as he does to every man and woman who crosses the finish line, “Brian Gallagher, “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”  Brian began with his sight set on smaller goals mixed with a major fear of open water, and ended up becoming an Ironman! Brian crossed the finish line in just under thirteen and one half hours. 

 Ironman Strength quote

If you are determined to become a Triathlete make sure to have support from those who love you, believe in yourself, join a Triathlon club and/or use an app which can empower you, along with train you.  

Brian is one example of many who decided to face his fears,  only to find out he was capable of accomplishing more than he dreamed he could.

“You can quit if you want, and no one will care. But you will know the rest of your life.” – John Collins (Founder of The Ironman).

Do You Travel A lot? Tips to Assure a Clean Hotel Room


If you travel a lot, and tend to be picky about the hotel room you will be sleeping in- I have a few tips.

Since I do travel quite frequently I have found myself getting quite picky about the hotel I stay in, my room in particular!

My first choice is always a Marriott Brand Hotel, and I expect quality from them because they do claim to “pursue excellence.”

Over the past five years or so I have encountered some Marriott properties that were far from ‘excellent.”  However, my over all experience has been fairly positive. With that said, it only takes a few bad experiences to make me a bit paranoid about booking with another property. I had to find a way to make sure I was going to get a room that is extremely clean and maintained well.

My tips will hopefully help others to get a room with the level of comfort and cleanliness they expect.

  • Check ratings on the actual hotel site first
  • Go to TripAdvisor and compare ratings there too
  • Make sure to call the hotel after you book online and specify your needs
  • Make a follow up call 24-48 hours before arriving and ask to speak with the General Manager specifying your needs again.
  • Be sure the GM repeats your requests back to you, and assures you it’s also documented on their computer system with your reservation.
  • Become a rewards member, the hotels tend to go above and beyond for their customers that are rewards members.
  • Be specific

I always ask for a room on the highest floor away from noise. I ask them not to spray air freshener in my room, after all if it’s cleaned properly what’s the need for air freshener?!

I also ask them to make sure my A/C is in good working condition and relay to the hotel that I expect my room to be exceptionally clean.  Sadly, I’ve been blessed with unpacking all my belongings only to find the toilet seat once lifted was not cleaned.  I have found dust bunnies waiting for me, and I even had the pleasure of finding a not so nice ‘gift’ in the toilet when I checked into my room at one specific property.

Your paying for a service and you should expect nothing less than quality.

I have had good luck since I’ve been calling ahead and making sure to read the ratings. If there only a few current bad ratings- pay attention.

Wishing you great travel experiences, it makes life a bit easier, and you deserve to feel pampered! Feel free to share your experiences or tips.