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A Balancing Act

March 9, 2018


From an early age, a strong work ethic was instilled in me. My parents’ path to success was not without obstacles, and through their own grinds, they taught me how to achieve a meaningful life.


My dad, born and raised in Pittsburgh, was the first in his family to attend college, earning a full athletic scholarship to play football at Purdue University. He spent the next 39 years applying his quarterback mentality to a corporate sales career. When he wasn’t delivering a sales pitch, he was teaching his kids true strength – you know, the kind where you “rub some dirt on it and move on.”


My mom, on the other hand, immigrated to the United States from the Philippines at a young age. After bouncing from state to state during her childhood, she went on to study at Penn State University, securing a degree in marketing – We Are! From there, she too enjoyed a successful career in sales while simultaneously raising my three siblings and me. Superwoman? Superwoman.


As I grew older, I built a work ethic of my own based off of what I learned from Bill and Michele Nauman. I sought out leadership positions in school. I took part in an internship almost every semester. I worked part-time jobs for a little extra spending money. I did everything I could to show my parents that their daughter was every bit as determined as they raised her to be.


Now that I’ve gone full throttle on my career, you would think that I would scale back on being involved in so many things, right?


Wrong. I quickly returned to my usual ways, but it was not necessarily because I was craving a busy schedule again.


As I was wrapping up my first year of working full-time, I sank into a bad place mentally and emotionally. My mom had recently passed away, I was figuring out how to manage a long distance relationship, and overall, I simply was not happy with my situation. These factors coincided with the end of a sports season at work, meaning I had much more free time to think, mope, and feel sorry for myself. This was my wake up call. My parents taught me better than to allow myself to fall into the trap of complacency and self-pity.


I became eager for a change. Not a change in career, but a change in pace – something that would complement my full-time job, not replace it. Let’s face it, spending 60-70 hours each week doing what we do is tiresome, and it can wear on you. For this exact reason, I pursued opportunities that would add to my routine, and I have not once regretted my decision.


Fast forward ten months, and now in addition to my full-time career, I work a second job teaching fitness classes and also write for Sparkles and Sports (clearly) on the side. Using basic logic, tacking on more responsibilities to an already-demanding career would be flat-out overwhelming. On the contrary, adding two side hustles did for me exactly what I had hoped it would – it made me happy again.


I’m a Libra, so by the astrological rules of the universe, I need balance. The new responsibilities I have with F45 Training – the gym where I teach – and Sparkles and Sports provided the perfect counterbalance to my primary job. Instead of getting stuck in the perpetual loop of my one role, I now have two new routines to break me free from that cycle. It is the most unlikely, and yet perfect, recipe for harmony. 


In addition to shaking up my usual routine, my side gigs have also helped me to be more organized and efficient in my full-time job. Now, I don’t have the “luxury” of stretching my work day well into the night because instead, I am booking it to the gym to teach and I am forced to get my work done on time every time. My days are much more productive so that when it is time for me to switch from social media guru to fitness coach, I can make that transition without missing a beat.


The last, and perhaps best, benefit that I have enjoyed from my part-time roles is the new people that have come into my life because of them. I have gained friendships, connections, and coworkers that are just good human beings, and I look forward to interacting with them every day.

At first, I made these changes out of necessity. Now, I do what I do because I am more passionate about each aspect of my grind than I have ever been. It is because of my side hustles, not in spite of them, that I am as happy, sane and balanced as I am today.

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