Carol Goodman, 56; Herrick, Feinstein, New York, New York.

Job Title: Partner; Co-Chair of Litigation Department; Chair of Employment Practice.

Practice Area: Litigation. Employment Practice.

How often during the week do you work out? I currently work out at least three times a week, but always strive for four when I can.

At what time during the day or evening do you work out and how long does it take? Before the pandemic, I always ran first thing in the morning. If I didn’t run in the morning, I probably didn’t work out that day. After recent injuries, I follow a bit more of a hybrid schedule, and being an “empty nester” of sorts, I now work out whenever I can. This could be a run midday or a swim in the evening. I found that getting myself out of such a strict schedule allowed me more opportunities to work out. And running during the day or the evening, for me, is a form of cross-training.

What’s your go-to routine? I am no longer training for races or marathons (at least not now), so I am in less of a routine. If a friend is available to run, that is always my first choice because it is fun to talk and catch up while running. On the weekends I like to run in different state parks or beaches. During the week, if I am working from home, I can usually add a run in between calls—the key being to turn your phone off for 45 minutes. Most recently, I have been swimming at night. It is hard to energize at the end of a long day, but once you get used to it, it is really fantastic. If I have meetings in the city, I usually change into my sneakers and walk fast, changing back into my professional shoes at my destination!

Why do you like this routine? After decades of following strict routines, I love the freedom of not having one. I just know that I will figure it out—eventually—before the day is over. When running is your main form of exercise, you never have to worry about a gym being open, or someone using the equipment you want to use. You just stretch and go.

What does regular exercise do for you? First, it is so important to get outside. Running through the seasons is beautiful. Whether it is super hot or snowing, there is such a value to being outside. Swimming comes with complete silence. There are no emails or phone calls. There are no interruptions. These mental breaks allow me to reset and put everything going on in perspective.

Carol Goodman Courtesy photo

How long have you been exercising regularly? I have been running since I was 16, and I have been swimming my entire life. I am also an avid skier. Training for races and marathons takes an enormous amount of time. You are gone for hours when training, especially when you are approaching race day. That was not easy with small children, but my family knew it was a priority and were usually (unless they couldn’t find me) at the finish line. I have even run alongside clients and friends in 200+ mile overnight team relay races. There is no substitute for the exhilaration you feel when you cross a finish line. And today, I am OK that those days might be behind me. My daughters run now, and I’ll be at their finish lines.

In what ways have you changed your routine during the COVID-19 crisis? A few months into the pandemic, I broke my leg and tore my meniscus. Sadly, I can’t even say the injury resulted from a high-impact sport. I was walking my dog and tripped over a tree trunk. It put me out for at least five months and then rehab for another six months. It was a difficult time. I went to physical therapy regularly and eventually began short runs. I was so grateful to be back, even in a limited and less intense capacity. That experience was a different type of marathon. My physical therapist wrote: “You have made amazing progress and your dedication to return to the sport you love is inspirational.” I think about that often.

How do you convince yourself to work out when you don’t want to? It is not ever a matter of convincing. It is a part of me. I don’t think about it. It is like waking up and brushing your teeth. I will always find the time. That is what is so great about running. Wherever I am, or wherever I go, I’ll find a trail or a street to run on. I just need my sneakers.

For more career/work-life integration success stories, check out the “How I Made It”  and My Weekday Wellness and Workout Q&A series on Law.com.  

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