With us officially entering summer 2022, I stopped to reflect on the year so far and how different life looks for me these days. This time of the year has been associated with championships and competitions for my whole adult life, so needless to say, I’m adjusting to the new change of pace.
There have been trade-offs as well as lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1) I’ve traded my running shorts for more freedom with my time.
Notice I didn’t say “free time” because some days I’ve found myself busier now in retirement than I was when I was competing. But the time freedom has been an absolute dream. I’m able to create content, write blog posts, and have brand partnership meetings from home. I go into the pharmacy 2-3 times per week, and I’m contracted for sporting events every so often, which requires me to travel. I no longer personally manage my investment property since we moved, so that has also opened up time in my schedule.
Being able to be a “hybrid” between a stay at home mom and a working mom has been something that younger Tiff literally prayed for. I feel like I have the best of both worlds and I feel privileged to be able to spend so much time with my daughter while still working regularly enough to have an impact on my patients.
I recognize that some of my fellow moms may feel like I work too much, while some may feel like I’m leaving a lot of money on the table. And that’s ok.
Lesson: This just goes to show that there is no one size fits all approach to motherhood, and it's important to figure out what works for you and your family.
2) I’ve traded my track spikes for a broadcaster microphone.
Now that I’ve had a bit of experience with both sports commentating and on-field presenting, I have learned that I prefer on-field presenting slightly more. There’s something cool about watching a race live, catching the winner instantly, and getting their immediate reaction while the adrenaline & energy are still flowing. Being able to hype up the crowd is also pretty cool.
Although I mentioned that it doesn’t replicate the feeling of actually competing (read this blog) I do love the atmosphere of track meets and I’m grateful that Global Athletics and Marketkng and The Big Ten Network took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity to prove myself in this space. I know that perfecting a craft takes time, but I have learned & improved so much in these short 4 months and have recieved very positive (as well as constructive) feedback to make me better.
Shout out to the veterans in the sports commentating game who took the time to encourage me and offer suggestions on how to improve. You know who you are.
Lesson: this is a reminder of the importance of community. You may get far alone, but you will get much farther quicker with help.
3) I’ve traded my competition unform for emails from new brand partners.
At the start of 2021 I was very intentional with my rebranding and growing my digital content creator business. I’ve attended webinars, paid for coaching, purchased e-books, received audits, and more, just to learn how to be successful in the influencer marketing arena. By the beginning of Q2, I landed my very first paid collaboration (since retirement), just 2 months after beginning to take it seriously.
That first sponsorship released a confidence and self belief that has proven very useful in my approach thus far. I’m not scared to walk away from deals where brands low ball me, and I understand my value as a content creator more now than I did months ago.
Track has taught me time management, perseverance, and commitment to a goal, and I’ve used these skills directly as a content creator.
Lesson: There are so many intangibles that you gain from being an athlete, and trust me when I say you will appreciate them a lot more when you're on the other side of retirement.
4) I’ve traded my hotel stays for creating blog posts.
Although I still do a bit of travelling for work, it’s significantly less than when I was competing. The hustle of catching flights and frequent hotel stays has been replaced with me consistently producing blog posts that hopefully add some sort of value to my readers.
When the majority of your adult life has been spent either on the track or pursuing the sciences, there’s something refreshing about tapping into your creative side.
Lesson: Let this be a reminder that it's never too late to explore all of your interests even if it's outside of what people "expect from you".
5) I’ve traded my weekly sports massages for weekly reminders of how much I love Pharmacy.
There are few things more gratifying than a patient taking the time to share how large of an impact your care made on them. It’s also special when they can recognize your commitment and can tell how much you genuinely love your job.
Those moments are priceless, and serve as a constant reminder that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and walking in my purpose.
Lesson: regardless of which season you are in life, you can add value and be a light to those around you; even if you only help one person a day, that matters.
It’s ok to not be ok
I encourage you to also take a moment to evaluate where you are at this exact moment, and ask yourself if it’s brining you joy. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but the way you respond to your answer can make all the difference.
If you feel stuck or frustrated, I encourage you to talk to someone to help devise a plan on how to improve your circumstances. The conversation surrounding mental health and therapy has improved greatly in recent years, but I still think we can do a better job of destigmatizing these challenges. This is especially true in the Black community; it’s ok to seek help when you need it, and doing so is sign of great strength, and not weakness.
I am, and have always been, a huge proponent of therapy and I genuinely think it can be beneficial to most people. For example, Jeff and I had a marriage coach for years (shout out to Dr. Kim Logan Nowlin in Detroit) and she was instrumental to our marriage being as fulfilling as it is now.
Life can come at you quickly but regardless of what season you’re currently in, remember with new seasons come new opportunities.
I’m confident that the Summer of 2022 will be epic for me, and I know it will be for you as well.