When I was a sophomore at Cornell, I was offered my first internship at ABC’s The View with Barbara Walters. The show was just in its first year. I remember sitting in the Executive Producer, Bill Geddie’s office, during my interview.
“To be in TV you have to love it. You have to want to eat, breathe, sleep it,” he said. “You have to see yourself doing nothing else.”
That summer, at age 20, I started my internship. While I didn’t fully understand Bill Geddie’s statement, I did love my internship. And after graduation, I accepted a fulltime position at The View, moved onto CNN as a production assistant, then associate producer, and by age 27, a producer.
I stayed at CNN until I was 29; I loved my experiences. Five days a week, my responsibilities, whether it be producing guests, packages, writing, gathering visuals, were for a specific live timeslot. There was no room for error nor lateness. Never knowing when the next hurricane would hit (Katrina, 2005), the next death of a famous figure (Ronald Reagan, 2004), the next national or international catastrophe (London Bombings, 2005) I was always ready. As much as I tried to plan ahead, there was always the wildcard called life.
Around age 28, I started to feel the burnout. My love for the job was fading. I started seeing myself doing other things. Was it time to move on?
Ten years later, I sit and write this message. While The Fit Co has only existed for one year, I’m almost four years into my third career as a business owner/fitness professional. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life; even during my years in television, I had studied for both my group fitness and personal training certifications, knowing someday I would take a step in that direction. It took the birth of my daughter, Sophia, for me to finally take the plunge.
I remember two summer ago, when my classes were primarily focused on the new mom clientele. I had two Israeli clients. One 90 degree morning, with their little ones in tow, I told them that a few years prior, I had received a master’s degree at Columbia University, studied Middle East Security Policy and Arabic, and then worked at the NYPD as an Intelligence Research Specialist in their then-Intelligence Division for three and a half years. After leaving the world of CNN, I was convinced that my second career was to understand the dynamics of the Middle East in order to help resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But, as many have taken a stab at this seemingly intractable conflict year after year to no avail, I ultimately decided to switch careers in order to make a difference in people’s lives that I could firsthand see and experience.
“Well, Laura,” one of the clients said mid-burpee. “We are glad you chose us.”
The Fit Co (Co= cooperative) started in January 2016. There have been some changes, significant growth, and we are now a team of nine. Yet our message of efficient, total body fitness in an intimate group setting remains the same. We promise that- if you leave your fitness in our hands- your body will work and engage all the muscles you need in a myriad of ways, resulting in your own, personal, optimal level of fitness. The community we have built and are building with our small class sizes, our efforts to bring in likeminded entrepreneurs in the months to come, and our soon to be released ambassador program will ensure that our community will continue to thrive. And if it is just too hard at times to get to us, we can come to you with our already launched at home videos and soon-to-launch live at home workouts.
I always tell my clients; it is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to achieve a level of fitness and a routine that is sustainable for the long haul. As an entrepreneur, I know my strengths and patience is not one of them. While it’s hard to not want immediate results, knowing that we are definitely on the right path and in it for the long haul is realistic, comforting and encouraging. I have loved all of my careers; yet, I feel quite confident in saying “three times a charm.”
Bill Geddie’s words resonate; I cannot see myself doing anything else.
By: Laura Kovall, The Fit Co. NYC Founder