2 Seconds to Action!

I really wanted to title this – 2 Seconds to Get Your Ass in Gear :)  This is a continuation of my

New Beginnings November newsletter:

New beginnings can be scary – because change is scary. But new beginnings are also exciting! Did you see what I did there?

I changed fear to excitement.

And when you get excited, how does your body react? Do you stand taller? Do you smile? When I am excited, I usually fist pump or do a mini dance. Yes. I. DO. Ask anyone who knows me. :)

Need a little boost? Try “acting” excited. Do your happy dance or clap your hands or whatever your pumped you does!

It is a simple technique. Tony Robbins calls it ‘changing your state.” Amy Cuddy uses the term “power pose.” Emotions are linked to movement in our bodies. Good posture and a smile (or a super hero pose) produces a more positive state!

Being an extremely shy person, when I have to speak to large groups or teach at new studios, I change my fear to excitement. I literally say to myself, ” I am excited to… ” and stand tall and throw my hands up and jiggle around. Simple, but sometimes it really is that easy to change the perception of your current situation. Turn anxiety and fear into enthusiasm and anticipation! Boom.
If fear is holding you back from making a decision can you look at your situation through the lens of excitement? Would you then take a step forward? Try acting excited RIGHT NOW and see what happens!


Fighting Fear ~ Building Confidence with Passion and Action!

New Year’s 1996, I moved up to Marin to be a Taebo instructor. I was thrilled that I was to be one of only 3 Taebo instructors outside of Billy Blank’s studio in Hollywood. I was mentored by Will Yun Lee.. yeah that guy from Wolverine. I had only been doing Taebo for 3 months and I immediately knew I didn’t want to be just another aerobics instructor. I wanted to really know the punches and kicks that I would be teaching. I wanted to be like Will. He was incredibly confident, super skilled, and just looked bad ass… who wouldn’t want to be like him? I trained in a garage-turned-gym for 3 months straight. Hours and hours everyday – kicking, kicking, kicking, and punching. I had a goal and knew I was going to be introducing Taebo to the Bay Area. Oh, did I mention, I had never done martial arts, taught anything in my life, and was PAINFULLY shy. Like, barely-look-you-in-the-eye, shy?

I rehearsed that first class probably 30-40 times and was still a nervous wreck. I had to throw up twice before even entering the group exercise room. I stumble up to the front of the class and looked out at the 60+ people and could barely introduce myself. I was shaking so much that when I got in to my fighting stance to begin demonstrating the punches, my back ankle was shaking uncontrollably. I was terrified, and to make matters worse when I began to explain the stance and punching techniques, my voice would crack. Did I want to run and hide and never be seen in that gym again? – For sure I did. But instead, I raised my voice, because I noticed that when I raised my voice it would not crack. I also started demonstrating the movements with much more emphasis – crazy big and powerful, to hide the fact that I was shaking. After that, it was like an out of body experience. I shouted like a drill sergeant, ran around the room getting in people’s faces. Kicked higher than I ever thought possible and punched so hard I probably could have knocked someone out. I am sure I made mistakes, but nobody noticed and after class people just raved about my teaching and how it was the best class they had ever taken! I was on a high – I wish I could say for days, but I had to teach my second class the next morning, 14 hours later. And the throwing up/voice cracking/body shaking-to-drill sergeant routine started all over again. And that routine lasted 12 classes a week for 6 months until I finally wasn’t panic-stricken. So what kept me coming back day after day, class after class? Passion. Passion for exercise and sharing with others.
20 years later, I have taught over 10,000 classes – from cardio kickbox to pilates. I have trained clients in their homes, offices and abroad, and lead fitness retreats through my company SweatPlayLive. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had decided, way back then, that teaching that first class was just too scary. It is one of those “sliding door” moments. I chose to face my fear and it has brought me here to you, with Sweat Play Live and also Move Your Asana®. On Saturday, that decision is taking me Rancho La Puerta, the #1 Fitness Spa in the world, to guest instruct for the week; and then to Portugal to train on a road cycling trip.
You have heard it before – “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” YOUR desire HAS to be stronger than your fear. My desire to be a Taebo instructor outweighed my fear of failure, even if just barely. It was enough for me to train and endure that first class. Nobody is born with confidence. Everyone you see exuding mass confidence in every situation practiced it until it became a habit. Until that habit became part of who they are. So fake it until you become it! Even Beyonce says she has to turn into Sasha Fierce to get herself onstage. When you feel fear – TAKE ACTION! It is the first step towards building confidence – “Action kills Fear.” Maybe at first you too will need to “pretend” to be confident, strong, and sure of yourself.

By practicing confidence you make it a habit and as we all know, practice makes permanent!

Take Action On Your Dream Life!

Have you ever sat down and really thought about what you want your life to look like?
When you were little I bet you had some fun dreams – where you dancing in the Nut Cracker, or jumping out of airplanes putting out forest fires?

When I was 5, I had typical little-girl dreams – I wanted to be a veterinarian, marry my high school sweet heart (because 18 seemed super old already) and have boy, then a girl. A scary incident with my cat at age 7 brought my veterinary career to a screeching halt – I just couldn’t handle being around any injured animal without falling on the ground and sobbing uncontrollably.. A trait that that I will never out-grow. In high school I realized that I could not have a regular 9-5 job and also keep my sanity, and by my early 20’s I just knew deep in my heart that kids were not a part of my program. Things change. Values change. Life throws us punches. We can either bob and weave, or stay pinned up against the ropes. Our relationship, work, and life situations all lead to growth… or struggle,  if you choose to ignore the lessons.

So, I ask again, when was the last time you sat down and evaluated your life? Does it look and feel like the life of your dreams? If the answer is no, then grab your journal or a piece of paper and write this down:

This is a bigger picture snapshot of your life. Don’t hold back. This is not your BFF’s dream or your partner’s dream… This is YOUR dream, so go big!

From the moment you wake up till the moment you fall asleep.
This is a super fun exercise. I did this about 4 years ago and now my perfect day is everyday! Not kidding.

Did you read this and say to yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow?”
This is where people hesitate. Taking the action. If you want to live in a cabin on a lake, start looking up locations and even real estate properties. It doesn’t mean you are going to go out buy something tomorrow, but it gets the juices flowing and creates excitement. Want to start a vegan handbag line? Start sketching designs or taking sewing classes. It can be small steps, but take the steps – TAKE ACTION!

Because there WILL be obstacles and challenges. Maybe your kids are still in middle school and flying off a lake-front cabin is not realistic. Could you spend the summers there until the kids go off to college? Your community college sewing class is only offered during your night shift. Can you borrow a sewing machine from a friend and take online classes?

Have a plan of attack!

This dreaming exercise is so much fun, but LIVING YOUR DREAM –  IS   –  THE  –  BEST!