Are You #UpForAnything?
I wasn’t always up for anything. In fact, I was generally never up for anything at all.
But over time, I learned to bare my heart, my emotions and face my trepidations head on. One of my favorite quotes from author and researcher, Brene Brown is:
“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, you cannot choose both.”
She is right. Wading into discomfort is scary, but sitting in comfort is… boring. When I had the shift in mindset to try out for The Bachelor, it permeated throughout my life. I began feeling motivated to try more, learn more and dare further than ever before because I saw the rewards that came from exploring new territories. I noticed a change in my mental health, my body, my self-esteem and self-worth.
After all was said and done and I didn’t get the rose, I realised I was still OK. Sure, I took the leap and I fell on my face, but I was stronger, happier and more resilient for it. I wasn’t embarrassed of my failure or discouraged by defeat, I felt alive and had a newfound sense for adventure.
The most important thing I discovered in this process though, is that courage doesn’t have a singular effect. When you have the courage to try something outside of your comfort zone, it gives permission and compassion for others to try, too. When you show up ready to possibly fall flat on your face, it tells someone else “I’m here with ya, sister, but we’re gonna be stronger for it.” Simply knowing we’re not alone and we’re not going to be judged is one of the most important gifts we can share with others.
So when a package arrived on my doorstep from Athleta with the new #UpForAnything tight and a prompt to “try something new and dare a friend, too,” I was up for the challenge.
My mind immediately began swarming with ideas for what I could try that was new and pushed me out of my comfort zone; crossfit, pilates, boxing, martial arts, aerial silks… there are too many choices!
Since I just moved to a new town (population 5,000 I’ll have you note), I didn’t know where to find a class that would fit the brief. So I took the recommendation of a friend to try Sarah Newett’s private Pilates class at SSN Pilates Yoga Movement Studio in Aspen. I didn’t know what I was in for exactly, but I knew was this lady had a killer Instagram that got me motivated for the challenge.
Before I could take the class, I still needed to nominate a friend for the challenge as well. I chose my good friend Chauntal, whom I met a few years ago at Hot 8 Yoga in Santa Monica. She is well practiced at yoga, petite, blonde and strikingly beautiful. She also lost her hand in a tragic car accident a few years back. The accident hasn’t held her back from much though, as Chauntal is a makeup artist to the stars, an avid fitness trainer and wonderful role model. When we spotted each other in the yoga class we became fast friends in the way that “omg, you have one hand, too!” kind of friends form.
Last summer I invited Chauntal to be part of our SheLift anniversary photoshoot and she’s now an honorary SheLift role-model. I knew she was my girl for this challenge with Athleta, so I sent her the clothes, the prompt and told her to get her butt to class!
Back in Aspen, I walked into SSN Studio for my first traditional PIlates class and discovered three very large machines that resembled medieval torture devices. I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. There were springs and swings, and silk hammocks hanging from every corner, and my coach Sarah wasted no time getting me upside down in a variety of inverted stretches.
As Sarah demonstrated the contorted positions she was about to put me in, I seriously began to sweat. No one can confidently say the idea of hanging upside down on a first try is within comfort. I was in over my head, but I swallowed my doubts, and gave into Sarah’s guidance. Within no time, I was twisted up in the silk hammock and Sarah was having her way.
Over the next hour, I learned several positions and workouts that pushed my body to new and uncomfortable heights, but I was stoked to discover that I could do it! I left the class feeling excited and confident to try again!
Days later Chauntal sent me a recap of her new class, too! She decided to try Circuit Works in Santa Monica. Circuit works is a full-body interval training program that combines aerobic and anaerobic exercises. By rotating through a series of stations you burn more calories per minute than being on one machine for an extended amount of time. Here’s what Chauntal said about her experience:
“Generally things with real gym equipment can be quite intimidating (I literally only cycle or run on a treadmill). I think “how could I attempt pull ups or lat pulldowns or this Smith machine 🏋🏼♀️” (think that’s the legit name? lol). Well, with one hand I suppose; MY way, that’s how! Such a fun experience renewing my confidence in an area of athletics I shied away from for years!!! So, thanks again!”
I’m so happy that Chauntal and I both got out of our comfort zones (while staying extremely comfortable in our Up For Anything Athleta tight). I’m proud of my friend for trying something that she’s always been intimidated of and for showing other girls what’s possible. The challenge doesn’t have to stop with us, I want to know if you are #UpForAnything and see your pics of accomplishment! Be sure to tag me in your photos. #ad
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