Stand Tall in Your Story - Lara Clark
Speaker 1: (singing)
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hello. This is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of the Badass Womens Council podcast. I'm so glad that you're here today. I hope you're having one of those days that's just flowing together nicely, getting some things done, feeling good about your value, the relevance and impact that you're having in your day to day work. And if you're not having that kind of day, I hope that this is a chance to just do a little reset. Take a deep breath. Actually, take three or four deep breaths. It's free therapy. And just decide that you might want to change the way that your day is unfolding. Take some time and intention to invest in yourself. We are sharing the stories of the women of Rise& Thrive Indianapolis, a seven- month experience for seven career women that I created. And at the end of this seven- month experience, these women take their stories to the stage. So the stories you're hearing today, the story you're hearing today is from an event that took place in April of 2021 at the Vogue Theater in Indianapolis. And we will actually be back at the Vogue Theater in Indianapolis on March 8th, which is International Women's Day in 2022, both live at the Vogue and a virtual live stream. So mark your calendars. The women of season three from Rise& Thrive Indianapolis will be taking the stage. Today's story is Laura Clark, and Laura's story is... Laura's funny. I love Laura. She just brings love and light into a room, and you just can't help but smile and just have a few laughs when you're in her presence. And she really brought that to the stage as well. And she's going to talk about what happens when you kind of lose track of you. All right, here we go.
Speaker 1: (singing)
Laura Clark: I bet many of you had to perform schedule logistic gymnastics to get here tonight. I bet you had to make arrangements to get your children to activities, to make sure they get to A to B and fed and back home. Who knows what you devoured to get to this event here on time. You invested in yourself by being here tonight, and I've invested in myself too. As working parents and mothers, we really can have it all by doing the little extra things. Let me tell you what worked for me. Picture this. It's about five or six years ago, and I'm sitting in my car outside of a gym, waiting for my daughter to get done with some kind of practice or training. I'm probably on my second or third diet Coke, eating some gross, expired snack I found in my glove compartment. Right? I'm fighting the urge not to go blow another$ 100 at the nearby Target. Right? This isn't new for me. I've done this many times a week for the past few years. Something was different this time, though. I started to think about all the things I was doing for my daughter. We were driving cross country from gym to gym. We had hydration plans, meal preps, extra cardio, weight lifting, anything that I could do to give her an advantage. Then it occurred to me. What if I put that focus and energy into my life? Wouldn't focusing on my health and fitness help me too? What if I focused on my career and put in some extra work? Wouldn't that yield positive results? So with Uptown Funk playing on the radio, I asked myself, when exactly did you stop focusing on you? I used to be an active participant in my life, like when I used to sing and dance in front of my bedroom mirror, thinking I could be as good as Janet Jackson and Madonna combined. Not one of them, both of them. And I can't sing or dance, but that didn't worry me at the time. Those were just small details. Or when I used to write to Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block, when I used to write him from the address I found on the back of Tiger Beat magazine. I would send a mail and pictures, just knowing he would like me if we could just meet. I'm scanning the room, and I don't see Joey out there. I was really hoping that the universe would meet me halfway after all these years. Anyway, if any of you guys know Joey, let him know I can totally get a hall pass. I was focused on me when I found a volleyball scholarship for myself, for my small town in Canada. I did that by going to the guidance counselor's office at lunch and sifting through a book that had to be this thick. We weren't using the internet back then, right? I would mail VHS tapes to the colleges with my highlights on them, with I Like to Move It, Move It playing in the background. It's true story. Or when I overheard my college coach tell my parents that I wouldn't see the court until I was a junior. I immediately got to work, started in every game and became captain. Yeah. I wanted to be a civil rights lawyer when I grew up, so I would read all the courtroom dramas that I could get my hands on. I would imagine myself as the lead attorney, fighting for the underdog and advocating for the disenfranchised. I was the star of that story. Or when I quit a job, left my ex- husband, packed up a U- Haul and my one- year- old daughter, and moved cross country to Florida. And this wasn't any kind of U- Haul, guys. This was a tow your car, only takes diesel type of truck. That was a long time ago. My poor parents. I didn't let them know I was moving until I called them from the highway in Atlanta to let them know. They said," Laura, where's Nia?" I said, " What do you mean? She's right beside me here in the U- Haul." And I had a job within a week and never paid a bill late. Or guys, there was a time I canceled a wedding after the invitations were mailed. That was no fun, but I was focused on me. I was thinking about my future. Now that's a story for a completely other night. Rebecca, do you host a tragic love story event? Because I'm going to need more time and more drink tickets. So sitting in my car outside of that gym, I asked myself, what happened to me? When did I stop being the leading lady in my own life? And you guys are going to be able to relate. When did I let my life turn into work, kids, dinner, clean, repeat? Work, kids, dinner, clean, repeat, throw in some laundry for some extra excitement. It wasn't all bad. Right? I was good and comfortable in my job. I had earned like five president's clubs in a row, but who's counting? I'd implemented like 3. 5 million in services. I didn't love the way I looked, but I told myself, this is Indiana, right? Not Malibu or South Beach. You guys are kind. I was over eating, not working out, not seeing my friends. And quite frankly, I was bored. What happened to me? When had I stopped being a complete human for the sake of my kids? Then I got pissed off. You're telling me the girl who thought that she could be Janet Jackson and Madonna is now too shy to dance with her son at the mother- son dance at school? Or worse yet, what if I did bump into Joey McIntyre? Was this the package I wanted to present, with Twinkie crumbs here on the side of my face? No. Was yelling at basketball referees really the most memorable and impressionable thing I want to do in the world? I am good at it. And when was the last time I read for pleasure, let alone served someone else? So after that moment in the car, I started to do the extra little things for myself, tiny, tiny, tiny things, because let's face it. Being a single mom of three kids is really hard. I started walking for 20 minutes every morning. Let's not get crazy. There was no running, and zero sweats were broken. Woo. I did start eating better and seeing my friends intentionally again. I also looked for opportunities within my career to fight for the underdog and serve the little guy. I began to embark on a new career in technology that would take me way outside of my comfort zone. Two years ago, I began a new role at Expedient, and this role allows me to use my strengths as well as learn new skills. I didn't stop there, though. I explored Rise& Thrive, and I'm so thankful that Expedient has supported me in this journey. I formed a women's group at Expedient where no such group had existed before. Most recently, guys, I shocked myself by earning a Cloud certification. And let me tell you, I would've been voted least likely to be studying on the weekends as a grownup. So it's not all roses, guys. I know we're at the Vogue and I'm the last speech, but Joey McIntyre isn't about to join us on stage, and I'm not about to do a dance routine that rivals Janet Jackson and Madonna. I still drink too much diet Coke and eat the occasional packaged snack. I still yell at basketball referees, and they still yet to thank me. I am, however, an active participant in my life again by doing the extra little things. So if you're sitting there thinking," I'm drowning in my kid's schedule too, or maybe I've lost a little bit of myself somewhere along the way, or I'm thinking of trying something new, but I just don't think it will work," I'm here to let you know that it will. If by doing the extra little things can work for me, it can work for you too. Thank you.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Isn't she funny? Thanks so much for being here. Here's your reflection question for today. Have you lost track of you a little bit? And if so, you're in good company. I think we've all had those chapters in our story. But the good news is, you're writing your own story, so you have the opportunity to change and shift that if you'd like to. So what are you going to do to invest back into you? Thanks so much. Make it a great day. When I work with my clients, I want them to discover their unique, personal story so they can then stand tall in that story and live a life full of soul and emotions, and their natural curiosity about their unique gifts, talents, and abilities so they can live a thriving life. Because our brains are hardwired for stories, and our brain wants us to thrive, so I help my clients tap into that. And I also have a sponsor for this podcast called Storybook, which is a unique and innovative platform that helps you bring your company's stories to life by tapping into the emotional flow and the natural curiosity that we have about your products and services. So check them out. You can go to my website, WeThrive. live. Click on the stand tall in your story link and see the kind of work they're doing for us, or go to their site, Cantaloupe. tv. And there's hundreds of stories there that they've created that you can experience. Check them out. We're so grateful to work with them and for them to sponsor the podcast. And please join the online community at BadassWomensCouncil. community, where we can continue the conversation and you can meet other badass high achievers like you. Thanks so much. Make it a great day. If you like the music for the podcast has, go to iTunes, Spotify, wherever you listen to your music, and look up Cameron Hession, Clouds. You can download the full song there. He's got some other stuff out there as well. And y'all, he's my son. It'd be great if you'd go and download some of his stuff.
Speaker 1: (singing)
This week in our Stand Tall in Your Story series is a speech from Lara Clark. Lara is an Account Executive at Expedient. Today she shares her story of becoming an active participant in her life, and how she started doing the little things for herself again.