When I was in high school, I was on the dance team- the Plano West Senior High School "Royales"!
Every Friday night at the football game, we did a halftime performance. These routines ranged from poms to streamers to props (ladders, fences, etc.) to hoop-la's.
If you've never seen a Texas drill team performance at half-time, you probably have no idea what a "hoop-la" routine is! (Picture giant round circles adorned with shiny strips of ribbon, flying in the air during a dance routine.)
We had a certain number of dances we would rotate through week by week- one being the kick routine. The kick routine was always pretty intense. It required a lot of stretching (we had to kick our sequined hats) and usually included a jump split or a split contagion of some kind.
I was never good at the splits. I was terrible, actually. It took extreme amounts of stretching on my end to make it happen. I even have a hamstring muscle that acts up every now and then- I'm convinced the result of a jump split gone wrong.
But as I've started to run more frequently and for longer distances, I've noticed my flexibility has improved greatly. I stretch every day- whether I'm going for a walk or a bike ride or a run. I've noticed I can touch my toes easier than ever. I've noticed my palms touch the ground when I bend over. I've seen positive results from stretching- from working out kinks in my muscles to overcoming lingering aches and pains.
Stretching- and flexibility- has become as important to my fitness routine as running.
Ironically, I'm not a particularly flexible person- not just physically, but characteristically.
Some may call it bossy, others call it stubborn. I just think I have a passionate personality.
Case in point: my business? Broadcasting auctions on the Internet so people can bid on properties across the country.
Before a big auction, I produce a 20 minute "pre-show" to educate viewers on the properties up for bid, how the bidding process works, etc.
Think of it like Sports Center; the pre-show before the big game.
I put days worth of work into this pre-show. I carefully write a script. I select videos to air during this time- many of which I have helped produce. I have a vision in my head of how I want this educational, entertaining show to go before the auction begins.
And if anything happens to mess that up- an auction begins early or late is the usual culprit in my business- it really sends me into a tizzy.
I say, I refuse to cut out of this video early because it will mess up my show.
They say, auction is our business. Deal.
I never handle these moments with grace. I fight tooth and nail until I realize the big picture is to broadcast the auction. The pre-show is extremely important; but the auction is the star. So I begrudgingly cut my pre-show short.
And then the inevitable post-show recap: you need to be more flexible.
It's a definite weakness of mine. I'm stubborn. I'm passionate. I'm determined- and I'm not always right.
Flexibility doesn't happen because someone tells you it needs to be so. I can't suddenly become more flexible anymore than I can pop into a jump split at a moments notice.
But with practice- stretching my muscles, taking deep breaths, looking at the big picture and the end result- I know it's possible.
I know I can step back and look at what's best for the show as a whole; a growing moment as a producer.
Flexibility takes time and work, but it's always worth it.
But no matter how flexible I become... I make no promises on the jump split.