Just Shoot Me

Just Shoot Me

Today I did something that, as a young child, I thought would be amazing. But the older I became, the less glamorous my dream was, and the more self-involved it sounded. Today I did a photo shoot. Well, I didn’t do it. I was the subject of one.

The premise was to get some professional photos for the comfy uncomfy blog as well as my business website. We did a bit of everything - relaxed professional head shots, busy mommy,  fitness. Luckily I have known the photographer, Cristy Cross, for going on 8 years. Our friendship and shared laughs greased the wheels for an easy-going morning. It was fun to see the tables turned; as my client she was always very responsive to direction and critique...and today I'm the one trying to do the same. The teacher becomes the student, as they say.

Windstruck subject and photog, Clovis-style

It might have been a little windy.

Being the subject of a photo shoot is something that I am maybe 50% comfortable with. For you mathemagicians out there, that also means 50% uncomfortable. How perfect, considering the name of this blog! Before scheduling the shoot, I was equal parts wanting and not wanting to go through with it. I talked with my friend and fellow blog contributor Meryl, who had done a shoot for Wicked Iron just two weeks earlier. She really didn't want to go through with it. But we were both so glad we did.

Not only did I get to spend a couple of hours with an old friend, I gave myself the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. ** Boy, if that doesn’t sound like something ripped from the pages of a self-help manual, I don’t know what does.** Anyway, I’m not a big selfie-taker, or social media-poster. I talk about myself in the blog, but it’s more about the big picture instead of 'me, me, me'. Luckily, Cristy immediately put me at ease and I focused less on being self-conscious and more on her direction. Believe it or not, I allowed myself to enjoy the experience.

Here’s the irony: although there are few things I hate more than a self-involved, out-of-touch man or woman, I must say, being a model was fun. I regret to admit that having attention, liking how I looked, and wearing dangly earrings was a great change of pace. Toward the end of the session, I subconsciously loosened up a bit and really started playing the part. I may or may not have popped my hip out in classic model pose. Needless to say it was an entertaining day. 

It occurred to me that my hesitation in scheduling the photo shoot was fear. I was scared of being perceived as something I really, really dislike. Hey, it's a slippery slope. Before you know it, I could  turn into one of those duck-lipped weirdos that can't help but turn everything into some messed up, self-aggrandizing, marketing opportunity.

Fear has also been holding me back from taking a real pulse on my current level of fitness. There are certain aspects that are better than ever; but others (namely activities or movements that were easy for me in the past) are lacking. I have been training steadily for the past 6 months, following some basic strength and skill programming. So when I received an email regarding registration for the Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC) I got a little excited. I have wanted to register for the TSC for awhile now. Racing and competing used to be the perfect motivator for me. But as it turns out, now I'm scared.

I am not scared of the competition itself, or of being tired, or sore, or of the training and effort leading up to the event. I am scared others will know I have been a trainer for 13 years and weigh that experience against my current lack of strength and/or endurance. It’s stupid. In retrospect I had the utmost respect for my clients that were not afraid to hunker down and shoot for something totally out of their comfort zone.

My current reaction is especially stupid because the StrongFirst community (who puts on the TSC twice annually at locations worldwide) is one of the most welcoming and non-intimidating groups of fitness professionals I have ever come in contact with (props to Jason Marshall for continuing to help along my journey). I know for a fact I would be encouraged, not judged, for showing up and wrapping my hands around the bar at the competition. So again, the teacher becomes the student. I had to kick my own rear into gear; I decided to register this week for TSC. Being scared is the lamest excuse and I am not going to let fear dictate my future goals. I never have before, so why start now?

Do you need to schedule a photo shoot? Enter a TSC? It’s up to you. But you should definitely try something a little different this week; something you have been subconsciously avoiding. Do something that boosts your confidence and leaves you feeling happy. Challenge yourself with a heavier lift, hold that crow pose a little longer (and with a smile). Or take a photo that captures your genuine happiness.

Don’t lean on your fear. Lean into it. And maybe strike a pose.

photo: Cristy Cross

*More photos to come.

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