Saturday, October 01, 2005

Whew! I found you!

Hey guys!

Thanks for stopping by my BlOG! I wrote this piece this week and thought I would share. I hope it makes us all realize the value of being who we are.

Get really good at being you…

The truth of the matter is, most people aren’t going to think you’re “the bomb”. At best, most people will find you likeable, tolerable, nice, efficient, a good worker, a decent person, helpful neighbor or maybe a friendly acquaintance. Yet when it comes to choosing their all time favorite, it’s probably not you. It ain’t me either! Don’t take it too hard. In fact, we should be contented. Think about it. We only have enough time in our day, week, month, year, life to devote meaningful time to a small group of amazingly important people. Too many people live their life desperately controlled by their need to have not just approval, but the adoration of everyone they meet. Some are certain others will reject them if they are “just” who they are. I suppose we’re all guilty of meeting someone so remarkable that we find ourselves in some small way longing to be more like them.

When we held auditions for the cast of Turbo Jam™ I asked people whom I know and adore to audition for the director. I invited people who I would want to spend time with. I think 40 auditioned. There was room for 8. It was difficult to help those I know so well, understand it was “nothing personal: if they were not selected. I assured friends that we may have needed a certain look, a white 40ish female, a muscular black male, tall, but not too tall, a red- head with pierced ears or a petite green-haired alien with high kicks. It wasn’t personal and there was nothing for them to do differently. Yet, I found even the most self-assured of my fitness friends questioning their physique, their experience, the outfit they wore, their hairstyle or energy level that day. Quite simply, they weren’t what she (the director) was looking for and there was nothing anyone could have done differently to be selected.

The point is most of the people who cross our paths in life have their own agendas. They are looking for someone other than us. For them, we are too short or too tall, too quiet or too loud. We are too young or too old, the wrong sex, or wrong body type. They are looking for someone easier to dominate or more intense. They aren’t looking for us. The solution:

Get very good at being exactly who you are.

This principal applies personally and professionally. 8 years ago, when people started hearing about my Turbo program, I got a lot of unsolicited advice. Most told me I needed to be more drill like, more like Billy Blanks if my classes were going to have mass appeal. I tried for a while, but that didn’t fit me. I like to groove. I can’t help but dance when I hear a great song, and I knew there were others who felt the same. I watched a hundred fitness videos trying to figure out what traits I could pick up on. I didn’t much look like any of the tall, lean, graceful beauties I had come to know in fitness videos. I’m short, stubby and a bit of a spaz. Each time I heard a critque of my programs or my style I jerked to attention and wondered what I could do to change so that I could appeal to that “one” person. I started to drive myself crazy. Somewhere in those early years I came to terms with the notion that I was not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay!

Have you ever got a haircut, or picked out a new outfit or just gone out of your way to do something nice and received dozens of compliments? You can tell when compliments are genuine and it feels good. It feels great. Yet the one person who says even remotely negative can haunt you for days. Have you ever felt insecure because people gravitate toward your friend and not you or self-doubt because you were overlooked for a promotion or a second date? So what! Two things you need to remember 1) that person has their own bizarre agenda and 2) you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea!

t's a valuable lesson to teach our children. Too often we try to shield them from the realities of life rather than teach them how to handle with confidence anything that comes their way. They might not get invited to every party, picked first by the team captain, or be liked by every girl in their class. Pretending that these things don't or won't happen only sets them up to feel "devastated" and take it personal when it does.

You don’t even want to be everyone’s cup of tea! Believe it or not, I know people who don’t like Oprah (shocking, I know, and trust me, I’m reconsidering my relationship with these people). Think about it though, if everyone was looking for you, you wouldn’t have enough time to devote to the people important in your life. If it were possible to please everyone, there would be only one type of workout. There would be no Pepsi, only Coke. Once I figured this out, I was totally cool with people deciding my workout wasn’t their cup of tea. What a relief! But the same principals apply on an interpersonal level as well. So how do we contend with these momentary or sometimes lengthy bouts of doubt? Simple. Be you.

You need to know who you are not, to know who you are. Be you times two! Don’t doubt yourself, or hold back. Those who operate in fear of people rejecting them are tolerable, nice, average, boring, nondescript but not memorable. I’d rather have a legion of critiques if it meant I could connect with a modest group of people would find in me or Turbo Jam “exactly” what they were looking for. Hooray! We found each other! Think of your all time favorite people; those who really leave their mark on you. Picture the quilt of characters that forms in your mind, each person wildly different than the next, but each uniquely engaging. As amusing as you find them, you’ve probably introduced them to others who are not sure what you see. Don’t change to be more like anyone other than you, just get better at recognizing the best parts of you.

Boldly be you, the real you, even at the risk that many may not care for “your type”. Be the person you are when you’re around the people who find YOU amusing. Those who are looking for exactly what you have need to be able to recognize you when they find you.


Mandi said...

I'm really glad you wrote this piece.

For a long time I always thought that everyone had to like me. I would do whatever I had to to get people to like me. Pretty much, everything but be myself. I've never been the cute girl, or the skinny girl. I was the plain girl. I found myself many times gaining more friends only when they needed something. Eventually something clicked in my head and I got rid of most of those people. Now I have a few, really good amazing friends. Don't get me wrong, I still help strangers, and I'd give most people the shirt off my back if they needed help - but I don't do it to gain their approval anymore. I do it because... that's just who I am.

TuxBaby said...

Applause, applause, standing ovation.......

I absolutely love what you wrote, and wholeheartedly agree. I've spent too much of my life trying to fit others, trying to please others, trying to change too much of what matters to me for others... but no more! Now that I'm 40, I've decided to do just what you said. I've been working on making myself the best ME I can be (which included finding P90 and giving it my all) and now I love who I am and KNOW who I am. (By the way, I've added TJ to my BB library too- and loving it! Thank you!)

I love your reference to us being like a quilt. We're all different, original, beautiful in our own ways, just like a quilt. And we all have our mismatched corners, our frayed threads, or lumpy spots too- that we can try to hide but can't. Or we can just accept those faults as part of the whole beauty of the quilt and the reason why it's such an original.

Wise words, Chalene!


akiko525 said...

Chalene, I must tell you, Turbo Jam is DA BEST workout I have ever done! The music is great. Your bubbly positive personality is just perfect for me to follow through. I am a goofball myself so your workout really fits my personality. (Yes, I make fun of myself.) I just love the element of dancing and martial art with groovy music. Not only burning tons of calories, but I have great time every time. Turbo Jam is so unique and different from any other in-home fitness programs I have tried. It is very refreshing.

You would never need to be everyone's cup of tea. Please stay the way you are... I believe that is why a lot of people are falling in love with Turbo Jam! I see that you are so good at doing what you love and expressing what/who you are. Turbo Jam is the reflection of you so you don't have to change a thing to try to fit into "everyone's cup of tea" category.

Thank you for creating such wonderful fun program. I cannot wait for your new DVDs to come!!!

Lots of joy. Lots of smile.

Neeeena said...

wait.wait.waaaaaait a minute...

are you trying to tell me something?

does...does...does that mean you don't like me?


Shabby Girl said...


THANK YOU for that post! I continue to struggle with that issue and have to remind myself daily most of what you talked about. I think it gets easier to process and move on as you get older, but sometimes scars run deep. I'm learning that's okay too and it's all a part of who I am, which BTW, I wouldn't change for the World! :)

At the end of the day it all comes down to "Was I the best person I could be today".

Thanks for being you and bringing TJ and all your "SPAZZINESS" to the masses!


Anonymous said...

Your piece is very encouraging. Thank you for sharing you vision and your wisdowm. Keep bringin' it Chalene!

Anonymous said...

Perfect Timeing

I recently got turned down for a job I really, really wanted. I cried all day. Thank you for writing this. I tried not to take it personally, but it was hard. I feel much better about it now. I guess I knew deep down during the interview that I wasn't connecting with the manager.
After reading your piece I realize that it's not really my problem and life goes on. I shouldn't try to change how I am, since it has gotten me pretty far in life so far. Like a wonderful husband and children.
Thank you again Chalene

Moe said...

Dearest Chalene~ Just wanted to let you know that "YOU" are "MY CUP OF TEA"!!!!! I would never sell short the way that P90 paved for me and the positive changes that have occured within me during the past 2.5 years, however; my love for dance and music, and rhythm and "fun" in general was overflowing when I found TJ! Something inside me just clicked when I began this program 15 days ago. I just knew that I had finally got ahold of a program that was made "just for me"! I believe that you could sell enough videos off my excitement alone here in Indiana! My friends are cracking up about my new found love and they have all been with me at some point or another exercising to your programs! When you love something this much, and it's making changes for the cannot help but share it with others! It would be an injustice to keep this to myself! There are too many of those misrably depressed, fitness thirsty people out there who need to try this program. My hope is that once I'm finished with this program that I can attend a live class with you and thank you in person! I have a feeling that there will be lots and lots of tea drinkers out there, everywhere.

imlouiern said...

thanks for that post...I think we all feel "less than" at some point in our lives. Sometimes it takes longer to shake the subconscious need to compare yourself to others.

it took me a long time to get to a healthy point in my life. My mom (wiisse) always says "Don't compare your worst qualities with others' best qualities." Why did it take me so long to really understand that?

I truly believe that I can be happy whether I'm "fat" or "thin" (always a subjective thing, huh?). Although I exercise to lose weight, I also exercise to stay healthy (mentally and physically)

Off the subject: I LOVE the other beachbody products, but I must say that you (chalene) have somehow made me feel connected to something that is exercise and yet SOOO fun. THAT is what will keep me LOVING Turbo Jam!


WindyCity said...

Hi Chalene,

I just joined this site and started reading your blogs. When I came to this posting, all I kept saying to myself was that what you were saying was so "right on". I feel that what you stated, was by far the best piece of advise that anyone has given. You also mention that it's very important to not shield your children from the realities of life and that we should prepare them to be handle all things that come our way. I know mothers want to protect their children, but what better way to support your children, then by making them strong, happy and well-adjusted people. Thanks for the words of encourgement. When I was younger, I did feel alot of the things you mentioned; however, as I have now reached the "over 40" mark, I truly understand what you are trying to convey here. I look forward to working with your "Turbo Jam" program and what other interesting things you have to say. Thank you.

By the way, where in the Midwest are you from? Also, I did live in Southern California for the first 6 months of the year. I may be coming back out next year. If I do, I'll be coming to your studio for class and visit. :)

raiyne said...

I've been doing Turbo Jam for a few months now and i find the workout great, but ive found myself overdoing them, i currently do three workouts daily, cardio party mix 1, two or remix along with ab jam and a sculpting video, what i would like is a calendar of say a month worth of workout for advanced users that would be more approapriate and includes the new videos but won't take two hours a day to complete. i hope this is in some way possible i really need new ideas on paring workouts

Brianne said...

Not only am I glad you wrote this, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it! I've been in this weird relationship with this guy for a couple years and it finally ended, which was really hard for me. What you wrote was exactly what I needed to read.

You are so right when you say that some people just "aren't looking for us." It's not an insult; we're just not what they're looking for.

I'm so thrilled that I found Turbo Jam! Your workouts are perfect for me, partly because YOU make it so fun.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Heaven from the UK

I wish I'd read this months ago when a boy rejected me for a date, and then later this year I've had to see him with his girlfriend. It's been tough because I'm in classes with both of them.

You're absolutely right that you can't please everybody, so why try?

I just ordered the first set (the UK is behind...), and I get to open it this Christmas! I guess I'll be seeing you on Boxing day!

Anonymous said...

omg i love turbo 20 years old from the Boston area. I am a dancer so when I found this I really loved it because it tones your body without bulking up....I want to be in one of the videos I am a huge fan!
my email: