Working at NIKE can, at times, kick your ass. It’s competitive, stressful, and full of pressure. After all, the statement “There Is No Finish Line” has been our mantra forever. But so has “Just Do It.” So if you’re energized by delivering results when someone says you can’t, thriving on challenges as opportunities and winning, then NIKE is the perfect place to work.
NIKE is not for everyone but it works for me. It works for me because for the 28 years I’ve been an employee I’ve had a very supportive spouse. Greg has been by my side through all of it – together.
I tried to think of a sports term that might best describe the Greg and Rosemary partnership but that only led me down the path of a few infamous examples like the George Hincapie to Lance Armstrong, the Jeff Gilloly to Tanya Harding or most recently, the Patriots Equipment Manager to Tom Brady. That’s not us, although I think Greg would have liked to have gone “Gilloly” a couple of times on a few folks over the years.
The term I really don’t care for is the term used and given to spouses of expat employees traveling overseas. The term “trailing spouse” is terrible. No one likes to think of themselves as “trailing.”
No, for us, I had to look to the military for the right term. Wingman. Greg is my wingman.
A wingman as defined by the military is the role of protecting the lead pilot by watching out for his or her back. Critical to the mission, they are there to add an element of support. The presence of the wingman makes the mission both offensively and defensively more capable by increasing firepower. They provide situational awareness as well as increasing the ability to employ more dynamic tactics. Perfect.
During our time in China, Greg has been the perfect wingman. Accompany me on critical missions, adding support, providing the right level of advice and when needed, a voice of reason. All in an effort to employ more dynamic tactics to succeed.
You might not be aware of this, but I’m not the easiest person to live with. I know, shocking.
I was something when we lived and worked out of Portland, but you add the additional stress of a foreign country, big city living, my germ issues, loss of control, living in a small apartment. the fact that I make everything about me and well, this personality, well, it gets elevated. Greg, my wingman, has been solid through the entire venture. Steady and calm.
As our adventure in China comes to a close, (yes, it’s been 2 years) and we look to transition back to the U.S.of A. this summer, I give a shout out to my wingman and I ask each of you, when you see Greg, shake his hand, give him a pat on the back, maybe a hug depending on who you are, and for sure buy him a drink, because that guy has been the success behind me and this critical mission.