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Sunset and Fireworks Mark Key Milestones

By Jean Storlie / August 2, 2017 /

When I got home after receiving my lay-off notice from General Mills, I tossed my severance packet on the couch, joined my husband on the porch with a glass of wine, and started brainstorming names for the business I wanted to start.   After working on the naming challenge for about six weeks, I was…

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A Guitarist Was Born

By Jean Storlie / October 3, 2016 /

On my 40th birthday, I told my husband (Jay), “I’d like to start lifting weights and take guitar lessons.” Surprised to hear those words coming out of my mouth, he asked me why I wanted to become a strong guitar player? I reasoned … if I’d started practicing skills that didn’t come naturally 20 years…

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How a C+ in English Shaped My Writing Career

By Jean Storlie / March 2, 2016 /

Choking back tears, I shoved my grade report into my backpack as I left my English professor’s office. I was bewildered that he had given me a C+ in freshman Composition and Literature. Was it a mistake? I’d always performed well in high school English classes and had worked hard in the course. He acknowledged…

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Three Steps to Spark Story Sharing in Lifestyle Counseling

By Jean Storlie / January 5, 2016 /

Early in my career as a dietitian, I answered a panicky phone call from a participant in my weight loss program. Pat (not her real name) said, “Jean, I have a problem and really need to talk to you.” She had been a “perfect” participant: never missed class, her food diaries and exercise log showed stellar…

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How I Knew I’d Found My Tribe

By Jean Storlie / September 2, 2015 /

When I was finishing my master’s degree in adult fitness–cardiac rehabilitation in La Crosse, Wisconsin in the fall of 1981, I was struggling with how my dietetics degree would fit into the next chapter of my career. While I liked nutrition, the traditional “hair net” or “lab coat” (food service or clinical) jobs did not…

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Opportunity Disguised as Loss … Three Years Later

By Jean Storlie / June 3, 2015 /

Instead of checking my email before work, I called my mom to wish her happy birthday. When I walked into the office, I could tell something was odd. My boss walked past me without greeting or eye contact. Looking out at the sea of cubicles, I noticed that everyone had their heads down, and I…

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A “Super Senior” Decision Led to Her Dream Job

By Jean Storlie / May 2, 2015 /

Something about my daughter’s text, “When are you getting home?” alarmed me as I was getting off the plane on a beautiful summer evening in late August 2013. I suppressed my “mother instinct” to worry as I drove home and joined my husband on our patio. About 20 minutes later, Abby came out and asked…

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Sewing Zippers in a Factory Ignited My Career Passion

By Jean Storlie / April 1, 2015 /

Sewing machines buzzed around me, as I quickly loaded another zipper and started to sew. My co-worker at the next station was sewing like a whirling dervish; her hands flying forward and backward, up and down, as she installed zippers on sleeping bags at a rate of 90-100/hour. She screamed at the handlers, who were…

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Shrinking the Monster Named Fear

By Jean Storlie / March 3, 2015 /

“Mom, are you coming?” Jackson called from the next plateau. I was sitting on a rock ledge trying to overcome the vertigo triggered by my fear of heights. Next to me sat a woman who’d confessed that she did not have the fitness to proceed. Observing her contented defeat, I knew I didn’t want to…

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He Learned the Hard Way that Holiday Humor Has a Dark Side

By Jean Storlie / December 1, 2014 /

After one of my storytelling workshops, a participant handed me his business card and invited me to call him because he wanted me to share his story. Anonymity is important to him, so let’s call him Mike.  Sixteen years ago, Mike was a rising star as a design engineer. He was being groomed for advancement…

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