(I’m pleased to welcome Bethany Eanes to Elephant for this guest article. See Mary’s sports broadcasting highlights video at end of article. – Bob W.)
NFL Broadcaster Mary Strong Finds True Calling in Yoga
(Guest Article by Bethany Eanes)
When she first decided to stray from the sidelines of her 15-year broadcasting career with networks like NBC, Fox Spots and NFL to open a yoga studio, Mary Strong had no doubts about her decision. The same could not be said for her network of friends and family. Strong recalls their reaction, “Everyone thought I was crazy! They kept telling me I’d regret it.”
At the time she made the abrupt transition, Strong would have appeared to be at the pinnacle of her career. But after graduating from LMU, enjoying a stint on the AVP professional beach volleyball tour and spinning that experience into a highly-successful broadcast journalism career, Strong still had one burning question: what is my purpose in life? “I think we all ask ourselves that question at some point in our lives, and I was finally ready to find the answer. I knew I wanted to be something other than a broadcaster, but I didn’t know what.”
Determined to find the answer, Strong began asking friends for advice, and finally found the guidance she was looking for. “My friend told me to ask for my purpose. That simple. How crazy is that?” The next morning Strong had an impulse to meditate for the first time, and she was surprised by what she found. “My mind actually got quiet for the first time in my life! That night I asked for my purpose, and I had the most vivid dream. I was walking into a beautiful yoga studio, decorated with white curtains, orange couches and green grass. I looked up and saw a sign that said The Green Yogi, and I knew it was mine. I realized I had been looking for the answer on the outside, but it had been within me all along. All I needed to do was get quiet enough to hear it!”
Yoga was not wholly new to Strong. She started practicing in college when she needed an extra credit to graduate. That single yoga class not only sealed her diploma, it gave her a new passion to help balance her hectic lifestyle and repair her sports injuries. Strong never lost that passion for yoga and eventually became a certified instructor, teaching yoga off and on throughout her broadcasting career. “I am very passionate about yoga, but I had always thought of it as a hobby, something to help keep me grounded and maintain balance in my life.”
Strong spent a year searching to find the space she had envisioned in her dream. The day she found it, she knew right away it was the new home of The Green Yogi. “I walked in and it had the outdoor space, the same peaceful vibe. I look at it now and it’s exactly the same space I saw in my dream. It’s amazing what can happen when you get specific about what you want!”
In October 2009, Strong opened her studio in North Manhattan Beach California. She now splits her time between her fast-paced, long-nights career as an NFL broadcaster with her relaxing, albeit busy, life as a yoga studio owner, proving you can have the dream of succeeding in a “power career” and still reserve time to follow your passions.
Eight months and Over 1,500 clients later, that dream is still blossoming, and the skeptics have started to dwindle in numbers. “When people walk in the studio they say, wow, did you do this? They see how happy I am, and I swear I’ve gotten younger! I feel a true sense of happiness and I think it radiates from my entire body. I realize now that most people are afraid to go after their dreams, so they don’t want you to either. Keep those people at arms length, and get quiet enough to hear the answers within. I think you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!”
Mary Strong: Sports Broadcasting Highlights
Bethany Eanes owns and operates Fourteen Beanes, a marketing and writing consulting company. Bethany was raised in Pittsburgh, schooled at Washington University in St Louis, and finally settled into a life of sun and yoga out West. Bethany is devoted to her yoga practice, and she loves using her skills to assist yoga teachers and studios with their Internet needs and computer questions. More info at bethanyeanes.com.