By Alethea Gomez
In 2020, I lost over 60 pounds in 6 months in a quest to heal a long-standing injury as well as take back control of my health and well-being. I discovered one of the most effective and main ways I would be able to do this was by simply walking a certain distance each day: no fancy workouts, no complicated diets, just walking. While consistency is always a challenge no matter what we pursue, for some reason, this time I decided I would not waiver from this goal.
Each day for more than 5 months consecutive, I walked 5 miles or more with increasing difficulty in speed and incline. The first day I barely scraped my way around a flat terrain lake at 1.8 miles, huffing hopelessly as I arrived back on my doorstep. Yet steadily, as I returned to my purpose, after each day, I discovered I could do more, and then more than I ever thought possible. More recently, sitting on top of my first 14,000-foot peak, I was filled with a sense of purpose and energy for life that I had not felt in a long time, and the gratitude I felt in that moment will stay with me, perhaps forever, for the moment I chose to persevere.
(From the first hike to 60 pounds later at Bear Peak)
But why am I telling you this story?
First, I am thrilled to have recently joined the EPIC Team as the Director of Programs and Initiatives.
Over more than a decade, I have worked closely in the field of early education, supporting children, families, and business in the private and public sectors. I have been a teacher, hopelessly underappreciated and wondering how I could support myself. I have been a business owner, trying to understand how to grow and support my team in all the ways they need and still have something viable.
I have championed the role of Head of School and Executive Director for small schools all the way to multi-national corporations like Bright Horizons, finding myself at the helm of a system that, while proven, was quickly becoming unsustainable. I realized this in so many unique moments, whether reviewing our Profit and Loss or holding parents as they cried because they were quitting their jobs due to the inability to equalize their ambition and desires with the cost of childcare support. Perhaps most difficult of all, and more intensely than ever during the pandemic, watching my fellow educators lose faith in their profession.
However, perhaps the most important role I have occupied to this point is that of being a mother and experiencing the physical reactions and unbelievable stress of wondering if I am able to provide an enriching and supportive learning and family life for my child. To watch him grow into a man and know that I did nothing to change or alter our structures that support children when he was young is beyond what I can bear.
Joining the EPIC team means getting closer to the incredible business leaders, political voices, families, and on the ground operators that can actually change the experience of every family, and make early education a right, not a commodity.
It is with this spirit of perseverance, purpose identification, and gratitude that I invite you to explore what is possible with me in 2022 to drive forward steadily our current initiatives to support children through the involvement and empowerment of business owners and professionals that recognize the stark importance of education and care for our youngest members of society.
I am thrilled to kick off 2022 with a renewed sense of the incredible opportunities ahead. Look out for my upcoming blogs and other sessions recognizing a simple truth for the immediate future: We have to close the gap and relieve the pressure on today’s children, educators, families and businesses. It takes perseverance and an air of action behind us all, but with each person that makes an effort, our impact becomes exponentially stronger and more impactful to the places we live and work.
Until Next Time! Climb That Mountain!
From My Family to Yours,