Saturday, August 25, 2007
Better than that time I was a telemarketer
When I was in college I decided to major in public relations. I knew that I had to have a job that I enjoyed. I didn't want to commit 40+ hours a week wishing I was doing something else. Lucky for me, I was able to do a PR internship a year early to figure out if that was the career for me. And I found that it was.
Since I'm a news and magazine junkie, working with reporters all day is a great gig for me. My favorite part, though, is that since I've had such an interesting menagerie of clients I've gotten to do some pretty cool things and learn about topics I NEVER would have known about otherwise. Like when I spent two days with Miss Rodeo America (she let me wear her cowboy hat), wrangled fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for interviews, learned how to milk a dairy cow, ate sushi with Robert De Niro, filled in for an allergy-stricken TV camera man, pretended to fit in with Vogue Magazine editors (I'm from Price!), found out how to make an 800-pound butter sculpture or cruised the Caribbean in a former Columbian drug smuggling boat while a client was island shopping in Belize.
This week, though, I was able to do something really amazing that I'll remember for a long, long time. I heard about Brittany Gonder through Rebecca, who happens to be one of Brittany's trainers at Total Health & Fitness, and thought she had a great story I'm sure others would find inspiring. Brittany has worked so hard to lose about 90 pounds this year. A huge feat for anyone. But Brittany's husband has been deployed in Afghanistan for 14 months, so talk about stress. I'm sure that I, instead of dropping a Nicole Richie, would have done some serious damage on every root beer float in the valley. Brittany let me pitch her story to the Salt Lake Tribune's fantastic reporter Jennifer Barrett and also to KSL-TV. While Brittany's husband Zane was away, he didn't have any idea of what Brittany looked like--she was keeping it as a surprise.
I was able to go to the Salt Lake Military Air Base on Thursday and be there with Brittany and her family when Zane and the other troops got home. I have never been to anything like that before so I wasn't really prepared for how emotional it would be. Hundreds of the soldiers' family members were there waiting for their heroes they hadn't seen for more than a year. I can't imagine going that long without seeing my husband, dad or brother and knowing all those months they were smack in the middle of harm's way.
I'm really grateful Brittany invited me to be a part of this day. She really inspires me. I'm sure I'm not the only one.