Jumping Off A Cliff

Ballet. Something I haven't done for a single second in my life, not even when I was two years old. Instead, I was seen doing cartwheels in the outfield during t-ball, taking pitching lessons as I got older, experimenting with a little volleyball and tennis, and finally landing on an athletic career. The most grace this body sees is during yoga, and that didn't happen until I was 19 years old. SO, when CAC acquired "Ballet Burn" classes, I never thought in a million years that I would attend. With a little encouragement from one of the instructors, though, I found myself front and center in a class so foreign to me, I thought I was learning Chinese from an alligator. What? Yes, it was that weird. I felt so moronic; my plies looked like squats gone majorly wrong, my arms wanted to be straight and yoga-fied, and the little grace that I have obtained from yoga went straight down the drain and into Lake Michigan. On top of that, many people in the class new me as an employee or their trainer or their yoga instructor. I'm supposed to be the one who's awesome at everything! I'm supposed to be an example! Well, my friends, not here. So with sore hips and a new meaning of what "attitude" is (apparently it's a ballet stance?!), I also walked out of class with major ego awareness. My ego was opinionated and sassy and a little bruised as I walked out of that room. And that's when I decided to start trying more new things. Must check my attitude and broaden my horizons.

The following days lead to a couple Body Pump classes, spinning with an instructor I've never taken before, running outside in the absolute freezing-ness of Chicago, and a totally radical haircut (that was planned before but fell nicely into my week of trying new things). It's so easy to fall into a comfort zone and lead life based on the scripts that are always running through our heads. "You will look stupid attempting ballet." "You're not skinny enough for that haircut." "You will trip and fall if you wear those shoes." But when you push through these fake barriers and attempt that which you thought was impossible, something happens. For me, at least, I gained some confidence. Trying something new is a little like ripping off a bandaid. It's a little painful in the beginning, but after the fact, you realized you survived. And maybe even got something out of it. Like feeling hip muscles I didn't know I had, or feeling my bulging biceps for 4 days after body pump, or sporting a sassy new haircut that makes me feel happy. Well worth surviving some growing pains for the end result.

So what is it for you? Something as silly as trying brussels sprouts? Or heading over to the men's department (aka: the weight room) in the gym? Or wearing skinny jeans that are way too skinny for you in your head? On my agenda for this week: Try revamping my obsession with chocolate chip cookies by making a healthier version that includes a whole can of chickpeas. Whoa. AND try Turbo Kick. Talk about feeling moronic...I'm terrified!

Here's to you and what you never thought you could do!

Jenna Reddington

Jenna Reddington
NASM-CPT, Certified Yoga Instructor, Pre- and Post-Natal, KBC Kettlebells
Elite Personal Trainer
West Loop Athletic Club