Before I launched my own book publicity firm and then this new literary agency, I spent over 13 years at Rodale where good health, "healthy living," exercise and the "organic lifestyle" was what our company stood for. More important, it's what most of us employed there really believed. I learned so much in those 13 years, things that continue to impact me every day. Rodale in the 80s was an Eden, at least for me, a former stay-at-home mom and freelance writer.
I was hired as "publicity assistant" for the book division. My first day my wonderful boss, the publicity director, showed me my desk and my cubicle. She took me around the company and introduced me to the marketing, sales and editorial people I'd be working with. She showed me where to get coffee, where to eat (company subsidized) healthy lunches and where people exercised. She even introduced me to the CEO himself, Bob Rodale. Then she took me back to my cubicle where I stood, dumbstruck for a few moments. People get PAID to do this I thought?
For the next 13 years I learned all about the world of book publishing. I took Dave Barry on his first book tour. In a stretch limo I picked up James Michener and his wife at the Newark Airport and accompanied them to "Good Morning America." I planned fine dinners at places like The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Texas, I drank fine wine, I spent time in green rooms, I media-coached and I travelled all over the country, meeting authors, producers, editors and sales people. It was my version of graduate school.
The company valued its employees and whenever possible I took advantage of the corporate gym, taking aerobic and yoga classes and enrolling in the "Beginner Running" class given by corporate running coach, Budd Coates. Coates, an elite runner, gave all employees the opportunity to take his running course beginning in April and ending with a corporate 5-K run in New York's Central Park in July. I took the course. I learned to run. I ran my first 5-K thanks to Budd.
So, my natural tendency to believe that we are responsible for our own health was honed at Rodale. I still believe it. I eat well. I try to exercise sensibly. But sometimes, like last week, I get sick. I'm not a good patient. And last Tuesday, when I was still feeling miserable, I broke down and went to see my doctor. He said I was OK, but that the virus had probably turned into a bacterial infection. He gave me 5 pills. I took them. Now I'm well.
I HATE taking medicine. But, sometimes you just have to do it. At Rodale we practiced and preached "Prevention" as much as possible. But Rodale is not anti-doctors. We used the term "complimentary medicine." Use natural methods first, employ doctors when necessary. I still believe this.
How to be heard - Do your homework. Show up with contributions and connections long before you bring your opinion. Save the snark for later. Pay your dues. Speak up about sh...
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