We had the good fortune of connecting with GAYLA HARRINGTON and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi GAYLA, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I started playing women’s tackle football back in 2002. After 2 seasons I ended up buying the team since the previous owner moved back to her home state. When I decided to purchase the team it was not something that was on my radar to do. My main reason was to continue to have the opportunity to play and offer other women the same opportunity. During all this time I worked a full time job. Then in 2008 I had my daughter and the work life balance got a bit more challenging. I worked full time, had the football team and a new baby. It amazingly worked out since I had great coaches, players and friends that helped out. Not to say it wasn’t hard but I managed to balance it all. Even to this day the balance of life in general is constantly changing so you have to adjust and change with it.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am one of many women tackle football team owners. I have owned the Miami Fury since December 2004. The Miami Fury is a full contact American football team that has women aged 18 or older. The team consist of women from all backgrounds and professions. These women commit to the team due to passion and love of the game. Like most businesses you have your ups and downs. Some years are better than others. What I have learned is that you have to take the challenges head on and work through them. Some of the challenges the team faced was securing a facility for practice/games, sponsorships and travel. A few of these challenges in the beginning was due to the fact that women were playing football. There was a little resistance in the support. Once our brand got out there and more people seen the passion and level of play that the women had it started to open more doors for opportunities. Speaking from a player prospective as I played 5 years, we just want the support to continue playing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first place I would take my friend would be South Beach. We would hang out on the beach and walk the strip. Then we would grab something to eat and drink at Wet Willy’s. The next day we would hit Hollywood Broadwalk for another fun in the sun day and grab some food at the Taco Spot. In the evening we would go to downtown Hollywood for music and food. Of course we have to do an airboat tour to see the Everglades and the gators. Everyone not from Florida likes this experience. Then another day we would hit Dania Pier for lunch at Quarterdeck. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are several people that played a role in my success. There are a select few that really stepped up when I needed them the most. First my mom as she has always encouraged me through the good and bad times. She is always there when I need to talk and vent. The other two people are my friends Monique and Ryan. They have been my support system especially when I had my daughter. They stepped in like family and helped. They would keep my daughter when I travelled or needed some time to take care of myself. Also, I have to say my longtime coach, Raul. He has been the most reliable and long standing coach of the Miami Fury.