Welcome to the New Professional Wellness Committee

Helping Lawyers Stay Healthy, From Law School Through Retirement

Sarah Nagae

Julie Beavers

By Sarah Nagae and Julie Beavers

One of NCBA President Jackie Grant’s points of focus for this bar year is making sure that lawyers of all ages and stages of practice have the information and support they need to take care of themselves, as well as their clients. To that end, we are happy to introduce the newly formed Professional Wellness Committee.

Under Jackie’s direction, the Transitioning Lawyers Commission (TLC) and the Lawyer Effectiveness & Quality of Life Committee (LEQL) have merged into one group, named the Professional Wellness Committee (PWC).  Julie Beavers and Sarah Nagae are honored and excited to serve as co-chairs of the PWC.  Julie comes from the Transitioning Lawyers’ side, having been an active member of the TLC for the past several years.  Sarah has a background in the wellness field and has spoken at many NCBA annual meetings and other CLE events on attorney health and mindfulness.

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Vince Lombardi, ‘Groundhog Day’ and the Pursuit of Perfection

By Russell Rawlings

What, pray tell, does legendary football coach Vince Lombardi have in common with the comedic actor Bill Murray?

The pursuit of perfection.

“Perfection,” Lombardi famously stated, “is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

As for Murray, it wasn’t what he said about perfection, it was what his character did about it in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

The movie is set in Punxsutawney, Pa., the epicenter of this nation’s annual observance of Groundhog Day — where this morning Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter. In the fictional “Groundhog Day,” the main character, played by Murray, starts out as a thoroughly disgusting weatherman who ultimately wins the hand of his beautiful colleague, played by Andie McDowell.

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On Wellness and Weight: The First Step Could Be Saying ‘No’ To Seconds

By Russell Rawlings

This past weekend, on Jan. 7 to be exact, I quietly celebrated an anniversary. It was on this date in 1978 that I set about on the mother of all resolutions in my quest to lose a hundred pounds.

Much like my marriage, I outkicked my coverage: I lost 140 pounds instead.

Forty years is a long time, yet I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was halfway through my senior year of college working as a sportswriter for the local newspaper. I had a basketball game to cover in Charlottesville, Va., and as was often the case in those days, one of my fraternity brothers came along for the ride.

The first moment of truth came at halftime when I joined other members of the media in the press room. Generous fare was traditionally provided at these events and this night was no exception. I constructed a fine sandwich of deli meat and cheese and probably more mayonnaise than I presently consume in a year.

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Lessons Learned From the Former ‘Fat Boy’: Tackling Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

By Russell Rawlings

Rumor has it the incidence of childhood and adolescent obesity has reached epidemic proportions in this country. That would stand to reason, considering the fact that obesity has also become rampant within the adult population.

In other words, the kids ain’t driving themselves to the grocery store.

I am neither a physician nor a psychologist, so nothing I would ever say about weight and wellness should ever be mistaken for professional advice, especially when it comes to childhood and adolescent obesity.

But I have lived through both, and although it has been nearly 40 years since I experienced my transformative weight loss, I will never forget what it was like to be young and overweight. I will never forget what it was like to be the “fat boy.”

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Wellness: When Feeling Good Feels Even Better Than Losing Weight

By Russell Rawlings

Wellness was not a familiar term when I did something about mine in 1978. That was the year I lost 140 pounds and changed my life forever.

Whether that qualifies me to write on the subject of wellness remains to be seen. There’s certainly more to wellness than losing weight. On the other hand, wellness would be difficult to achieve without some semblance of weight control.

If there is any advantage to having been the fat kid in school all the way into my senior year of college, it would be my experience with weight. From gaining it to losing it, from living with it to keeping it off, I know weight, and it knows me.

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Young Lawyers Are Doing Good, But Not Always Doing Well

By Matt Cordell

The Young Lawyers Division recently held its 62nd Annual Meeting in connection with the NCBA Annual Meeting in Charlotte. As the ceremonial gavel was passed across the room from our former YLD chairs, including past NCBA presidents, our current president, and our president-elect, I thought about how the YLD has truly been a training ground for leaders of our profession and our state.

I then looked around the room at the remarkable young lawyers present. What an honor it is to serve alongside such an incredible group of people. The young lawyers who make up the YLD’s leadership team truly represent the best of our profession. They are smart, hardworking, selfless people who give their precious time and abundant talents, and together they are leading our more than 6,400 YLD members to achieve some remarkable things.

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A Gift for Those Who Walk the Extra Mile: A FitBit Review

By Russell Rawlings
“He likes this more than any present I have ever given him.”
So says my wife of 28 years in regard to the Fitbit activity tracker that my staff gave me for Christmas last year. I didn’t know what to make of the Fitbit One when I opened the package because the only Fitbits I had ever seen were of the wristband variety. Fitbit One proved the perfect choice because I can clip it to my pants pocket and track my steps throughout the day.

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