Hiring Our Heroes

I watch the today show religiously. Every morning from around 8am until 8:45/9:00 I spend my morning with Matt, Ann, Al and Natalie. They provide just the right amount of news, weather and of course, gossip. It is a great way to start my day and is many times, where I get ideas for blog posts. One of my life goals, along with riding on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, is to be on the Today Show.

Back in June, and then again in September, when we (Robin Hood) were hosting the massive 60,000 person Black Eyed Peas concert in Central Park, we was getting a lot of press. I thought for sure that one morning I would turn on the tv and see my friends chatting about the concert and the incredible poverty-fighting work that Robin Hood supports. Sadly it never came.

But the past few weeks, I could feel something brewing…

For the past few weeks, Ann has been highlighting  “Hiring Our Heroes” a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.  By partnering with a network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes hopes to create a movement across America in hundreds of local communities where veterans and military families return every day.

This morning the show broadcasted aboard New York City’s USS Intrepid, which is hosting a Hiring Our Heroes job fair today. During the broadcast, Ann interviewed both Mayor Bloomberg and Dr. Jill Biden about their involvement in this mission. During the interview, Mayor Bloomberg gave Robin Hood a shout out for all the work we’ve done over the past year, specifically geared toward helping New York City veterans (at 2:45)

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It is pretty incredible to hear the Mayor of New York City mention your work on national television,  especially when you are part of the communications team! Of course, it just so happened to be on the ONE day when I actually didn’t watch the Today Show. Oh well – more fuel to make it happen again.

The Power of Accountability

This year for my birthday Matt gave me a Garmin GPS running watch. I know what you are thinking, that doesn’t seem very romantic. I sort of thought the same thing.

However, when I opened the watch and realized that he purchased the version with the pink stripe and floral face, I knew I had married the most romantic guy ever.

I am a big believer that in order to feel good when you are working out, you should look good. That is why I occasionally allow myself to splurge on workout clothes from Lululemon and cute running skirts. When I was running the Disney Princess Half Marathon with my sister in celebration of her 30th Birthday, I almost leapt out with glee when I overheard another runner say “oh, that girl’s skirt is super cute.”

From that point forward, it didn’t matter if I got a person best time or even finished the race, in my mind, the race was already a success.

But back to my present – the fact Matt spent an extra second to pick out the pink watch truly warmed my heart. I think after 10 years of dating, he is finally starting to learn!

Since receiving this gift, Matt and I have gone on a few runs and I have been blown away with the results.  I now know, down to the hundredth of a mile, just how far I have run. I know my pace throughout the run, my pace per mile and my “real-time” pace during the run. I can track my heart rate and the elevation of the terrain. And with all of this data, I can adjust my pace accordingly and hopefully improve my running.

The watch holds me accountable. I no longer walk up the stairs that lead to the reservoir – I run them. I no longer get slower every mile – I aim to get faster. I no longer think I’ve run 4 miles, when in actuality I have only run 2.

I am pushing myself harder and I am getting faster. It is truly amazing what accountability does for performance.

Now, if only we could think of something like this that would help improve public education and teaching…