My passion for helping women achieve their dreams really began at a young age. Having struggled with weight issues and self-image, I was lucky to discover the "power of exercise." As time went on, I realized my love of physical activity was about more than the transformation offered by jumping jacks and push-ups. It was about each of us caring for ourselves, the first step toward developing self-esteem and confidence.
As an advocate for women's wellness, I serve as a regional ambassador for the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. I have made regular media appearances, including on 60 Minutes, Better TV, the CBS Early Show, ABC San Francisco's View from the Bay, and It's Your Health radio. I have also been featured in People magazine, contributed to Woman's Day magazine, written a monthly fitness and exercise column for the San Francisco Bay Area's Alive East Bay magazine, and have served on the advisory board of Shape magazine.
In a role very near to my heart, I am a national spokesperson for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I travel the country with my own Little Sister, and we share our story of love and support, a story that goes back 25 years.
As some of you may know, I have also made many public appearances with my husband of 23 years, "Sully" Sullenberger, who is known for having safely landed a commercial jetliner on the Hudson River after both of its engines were disabled. Four years after that poignant event and the exhausting attention that followed, I hold fast to two lasting results.
In terms of family, my two beautiful daughters and I feel all the more fortunate to have a man we have always considered a role model in our lives. For me personally, the media glare and invitations to such venues as The Presidential Inauguration and Buckingham Palace that followed my husband's heroic actions validated my long-held conviction that we should always try to be prepared—for anything.
With that idea in mind, I offer a speech about empowerment to women's groups around the country, asking them an important question: "Are You Ready?" When my family and I were invited to Buckingham Palace, I was in fact ready. Despite the pomp and circumstance, I can honestly say I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was uniquely prepared because I had worked to develop my self-confidence. Although no one could have predicted what our family would experience in 2009, I was up to the challenge.
When I am out in public, women often share their own amazing stories with me, for which I feel very privileged. Often, they face fierce obstacles. My own dream, the one I hope most to achieve, is to help them along their way.