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WE Are The Champions!

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Dump the chump mentality and unleash your inner champ.

I caught a glimpse of the Gymnastics World Championships this October and was blown away…WOW! I was completely immersed in these talented women and the competition. Their focus, dedication, the leotards that looked like they were airbrushed on and the physique of some of the best athletes in the world, was just awe inspiring, to say the least. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear, (or 1,000), during some of the routines; these ladies were breathtaking!

And then, it hit me. That faint feeling of panic that erupts into shortness of breath and the realization that, 1) I need to get myself into way better shape and 2) I don’t even come close to these ladies in comparison to devotion, perseverance and most of all sacrifice! Oh my GAWD, I am a total loser! I am never going to be an Oscar/Emmy winning actress! I am not enough this and too much of that and I am WAY too (fill in the blank)!

Yeah, so, that happened and despite my momentary lapse and spiral down the rabbit hole of self pity and negativity, I was able to sort out some of the unnecessary and non servitude crap and finally breathe a little bit. I decided to take a step outside of my normal routine and look at the things that I DO have to be thankful and appreciative of; for starters, the fact that I am healthy and ALIVE! Then, I took a moment to write down what it was that I really wanted/needed. My list was very general at first and I wrote down next to each item, what I thought I needed to do to achieve these things. Most of the time, the generic thing I wanted, became very specific once I wrote how I was going to do it.

Example: I want to be in perfect shape, so I am going to run 10 miles a day, do yoga 6 days a week and only eat kale, changed to: I want to be healthy, toned and in great shape, so I am going to make it a point to work out 4 days a week doing a workout I love and make healthy food choices. Even reading it now makes me smile, rather than feeling defeated and putting so much pressure on myself to be “perfect”.

But, I didn’t stop there. Afterall, being a “top contender” is not just about being in tip top shape, duh, but also about the way you approach and execute your craft. Whether you are an actor, singer, dancer, director, writer, etc., EVERYTHING takes some serious blueprinting if you want to rise to the top and be the creme de la creme. I am not saying that everyone’s version of the top is the same or that it’s everyone’s goal in life, I am just saying that YOU are the only one who is responsible for setting the barre; ballet pun intended.

Speaking of ballet, during my latest self-discovery adventure, I was brought back to how much structure and discipline I had growing up as a dancer. I remember being ecstatic to go to class 6 days a week, 3-4 hours a day, (and much more during rehearsals) and despite being exhausted, the sore muscles and always bloody toes, nothing compared to being in class and on stage. To me, this was my sanctuary and I wouldn’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of my dancing! It seems so obvious to say that we all should feel the same love and passion, if not more, for acting or whatever our dreams may be, right? However, in the muck of it all, it is so easy to get side tracked and fall into a pattern of constant comparison and let self-doubt and insecurity outshine your artistic nature. In my opinion, the key is to find what sparks your creativity and then follow that all the way to that burning flame of desire. This is where it got interesting.

I learned that while some of the things that used to create a spark still did, others no longer worked the same way. It was now time to discover what new things could become inspiring, instead of doing the same things, over and over again, with the same results. The biggest shift came when I decided to say yes to things and people that I would normally have said no to, especially to myself. Like going to the beach solo and turning my phone off completely for a day, heading out to dance to music I am not used to shaking it to, on a night when I would really rather have stayed in with my pup and cuddled on the couch, taking a class or two that I have stayed away from, telling myself I would eventually take them, or going to see a film screening at the last minute, even though it was not in my schedule and I didn’t know anyone but the person who invited me. Those are just a few examples of things I chose and while they might seem minor to some, they were a big deal to me.

There are still SO, SO, many things left to explore but all in all, I feel as though I am heading towards something great. And though I may not technically be an Olympic Gold Medal winner in my life or career and even if the course changes or begins to change again soon, I feel more grounded and much more on track! It feels fantastic to be excited, once again and I am looking forward to all of the challenges that lie ahead. After all, what is life or success, without a lot of exploration and even more hard work? #Boring

What do you do to stay in championship shape?

Burgandi Phoenix

About Burgandi Phoenix

Actress Burgandi Phoenix, is currently working in several independent feature films, slated to begin production in the summer of 2016. She has produced 2 short films for the 48 Hour Film Festival and is working towards producing her first feature film in 2016/2017. Burgandi is often described by those she has worked with, in class and on set, as a positive, bright light, with endless energy. She is working very hard, towards being on Prime Time Television, as well as, in her fist major motion picture. She aspires to work with, Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, William H. Macy, Lena Dunham, Gina Rodriguez, Seth McFarlane, Patricia Arquette, Angelia Jolie, Zooey Deschanel, and Jeffery Tambour.... just to name a few. She has had extensive training including UCB, Lesly Kahn, Stella Adler, The Laura Henry Studio and is currently enrolled in an ongoing class at the Stuart Rogers Studio. Burgandi's danced as a company member with the Tucson School of Ballet and Ballet Rincon for several years and eventually went onto train in belly dancing, salsa, ballroom, modern and lyrical. She is currently the national spokesperson for talentboom.com, an entertainment media company and a huge animal lover.