Might As Well Jump
by Angie Ash, Executive Vice President
Outside of Fruchtman Marketing, I have a fun side-hustle as a trainer at a local gym. I teach several classes a week in the wee hours of the morning and after hours. In all of my years of training members with everything from a stability ball, elastic bands, spin bike, jump rope, tractor tires, weights and even outside weighted sleds pushed around a track, there is no piece of athletic equipment that inspires trepidation more than this one:
This fun contraption (some members call it a torture device) is a BOSU, which is essentially an acronym standing for Both Sides Up. Balance is something that gradually starts to fail as you age, so if I grab this piece of equipment to use before a class, I am immediately asked what we’re going to do with it in class that day. It’s great for lots of exercises from crunches to pushups. However, the one exercise I like to do on it that always has class attendees shaking their heads in self-doubt is a squat.
Here’s the thing with a squat on a BOSU. You can do it on either side. The rounded surface creates instability so your muscles really have to work hard to stay steady. If given a choice, I have yet to see anyone voluntarily choose to do a squat with the flat side up. It’s so much easier to stand on the round side since the flat side is flush to the floor, creating as much terra firma as possible. Even though most will wobble a bit once they’ve stepped on, once they steady themselves, they can complete the exercise.
When I flip the flat side up, I’ve actually seen people look for the door to escape the class! I always jokingly say I’ve locked it. I know that in their minds, they’re already saying, “NOPE!” And, I GET it. Who wants to face plant in front of their peers, or spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to get on it? Most are simply too nervous to even try. They may crouch down and step on it so they can be as close to the floor as possible if they tip off and fall. Some will step on the edge of the BOSU so it slants up at a crazy angle and then change their mind. Some will step gingerly onto the center of the BOSU on one leg find their balance, and shimmy themselves until their feet are the same distance apart.
By now, I hope you’ve come to the conclusion that this is not just an article about the BOSU, but an article about moving forward with something that intimidates you. Remember the high dive at the swimming pool when you were a kid? There would be a line to jump or dive off the end. There would always be the one kid who would walk out to the edge, stand there for a little too long, possibly scream for mom and cry, and finally retreat back to the ladder to go down. You always knew that kid really wanted to take the plunge, and if they ever did, the fear on their face would be replaced by joy: that feeling of weightlessness for just a few seconds, of knowing they resurfaced just fine. And then swimming to the ladder to climb out of the pool and race back to the line to go back up again.
Sometimes when making business decisions – LIFE decisions – that can impact your confidence, your happiness, your feelings of accomplishment, you can assess from every angle and overthink things until you’re just too scared to move forward. You can crouch and find the safest way, you can teeter on the edge at a crazy angle and retreat, you can shimmy along to get there. Or, as I demonstrate to you and my classes, you can take a breath, have faith, give yourself some positive affirmation, and just jump!