How To Vanquish Your Problems By, Uh, Literally Running Away

Chef Ginger Pierce on how she manages to make time for personal wellness.

November 1, 2017 ‚óŹ 2 min read

Ask any chef about what their work-life balance looks like and you'll generally get a sigh, followed by a crack like, “What life?" 
60-hour work weeks mean your priorities usually look like: sleep, laundry, bourbon, your SO if you have one, and maybe Netflix. Any kind of self-care beyond that requires superhuman motivation. Somehow, chef Ginger Pierce manages to run one of New York's busiest hotel kitchens (Jams, NYC) raise two sons, and she ran a staggering seven half marathons in 2017. She gave us some insight on how she finds the time in her life to…have a life. — Richie Nakano    

As told to Richie Nakano | Images iStock, Collage ChefsFeed

I have the good fortune of having worked a lot of years in my industry and paid a lot of dues early on.

At some point, I realized that work is fun and I love it and there is really nothing I'd rather be doing in the world, but you have to have a balance. If you don't try to make the other aspects of your life fulfilling as well, you start to feel a little crazy.  

When I had my first kid, I was really feeling stressed in a lot of ways, and I started running. I found that it helped relieve a lot of that stress from work and motherhood. On the weeks when I'm not able to run as much, I feel like I have less energy. I work much more efficiently when I'm able to exercise more. I feel more mentally in tune [and] able to process things quicker.  

There's no easy answer to say this: you just have to figure out how to make it work. I have different events at different hours; sometimes I'm working starting at four in the morning until 6 p.m. at night. Sometimes I'm starting at 10 a.m., and I'm working until midnight. But, the most success I found with regards to running is: use it for transportation. I'll set myself up, to either run to work, or run home from work. There's a lot of times [when] I have to run before my kids get up. So, I'll go at 4:30 in the morning or 5 in the morning, so I can be back in time to get myself ready, and then get Sebastian ready for school.  

This past year has been more about really getting my PR down, getting back into shape. The Staten Island Half was really cool, except it rained for the first six miles, like downpour rained. And so then the second seven miles was squish squish squish the whole way. The only thing that really pissed me off was in mile 12, as I turned the corner there was the guy playing the didgeridoo. I don't know why but I just wanted to punch him in the face. It really pissed me off.