This is the video that has gotten the word out about the #BeBold initiative. Enjoy! I’ll post the documentary clips and interviews as soon as I get them on my facebook and follow my instagram (@rachelizabethm) for photos before, during and post jump! Tweet tweet :)
So many of you are asking why I’m jumping out of a plane, and more importantly, why I’m doing it in lingere. To fully explain, I’ll have to back up a bit and lay down the history that brought me to this opportunity in the first place…
When I moved to Los Angeles a few months ago, I knew I was led here; I was supposed to be here, but I didn’t know why. In many ways, it’s still a mystery to me, but pieces are starting to fall into place. As I’ve always done to build my network and presence in which ever city I’m in, I reached out to a networking group for women entrepreneurs called CRAVE. I had seen their books in Seattle, and knew they were a high-caliber socially engaging group of amazing women looking to build eachother up, rather than competing with one another. I found a CRAVE LA meet-up close by and rsvp’d immediately.
While attending that event, I met the two beautiful and super stylish owners of Esme & Eve Photography (boudoir photographers), Jennifer Hoffman and Marissa Gallagos. We connected immediately. Serendipitously, in fact, as we bonded quickly over the fact that each of us has a tattoo symbolic of what each of us represents in person, and as a piece of an iconic trifecta. Jennifer of ‘Creation’, Marissa of ‘Love’ and my own of ‘Faith’. Incredible, of course, because the three of us believe we were meant to meet and with love, stepping out on faith, create amazing change in this world. After explaining that my business and the brand of ‘Cause Fitness’ was founded on the idea of ‘Fitness for Effect,’ and the dream that I can create and build confidence in others through strength and resilience, we all knew something amazing had commenced.
A year earlier, Jennifer and Marissa jumped out of a plane together in the name of ‘overcoming fear’. In honor of their clients, who face their insecurities and fears to have Esme & Eve take their photographs in nothing but lingere, Jennifer and Marissa stripped down to their skivvies and jumped in nothing but.
After hearing of this, and sharing my own story of overcoming rape through faith, forgiveness and fitness, and ultimately by facing my own fears, the girls invited me to be a part of their initiative. This was only a few months ago. I had just moved to Los Angeles and I was starting my business from scratch in a new city. I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain from a blossoming business relationship and entrepreneurial support system in these amazing women. I did, however, have reservations about modesty, personally, and in representing my brand. They assured me I could cover however I wanted to. It would be tasteful and classy (for what it was) and explained their cause further (taken from the Esme & Eve website):
in the name of
and living a life
it is our goal to
inspire more women
world wide to
do more things that scare them and
follow their dreams.
this is our story and we believe that by putting it out there and speaking our truth we can perhaps inspire other women
to do the same.
Now, not only were they planning on jumping. In underwear. Again. But this time they wanted to take other women on the jump with them.
This initiative, now called, the ‘Be Bold.Take the Leap.’ initiative is “Esme+Eve’s call to action,” as they stated in their press release, “for women everywhere to face their fears, take a risk, and push against whatever it is that is holding them back from carrying out their dreams. The jump from the plane wearing virtually nothing symbolizes the bold action of letting go and moving on with with one’s life. Each of the woman will take the leap for herself and for other women who share her story. (Read more about each woman jumping here).
Amazing. These women, personifying ‘love’ and ‘creation’ are offering me a ticket to fly with them, taking a leap of ‘faith’ with the intention of inspiring a world wide positive effect on women’s self-confidence and sense of purpose? Thoughts of falling from the sky were suddenly subdued by the overwhelming feeling that I had to be a part of this, no matter what.
I agreed. Whole-heartedly. And then I asked what I could do.
We’re jumping from the sky, and capturing the whole thing on video to create a documentary, while bearing nearly all. That brings up a lot of body-confidence issues.
I’m a personal trainer and nutritionist in the business of getting people in the best shape of their lives, so I volunteered to be their coach. I offered my new class, The “Un-Bootcamp”, and my 8 week lean-out training and nutrition program, “Bikinis & Boardshorts” to each of the women originally involved (and I so proud of all of their hard work and dedication to the program).
The weeks went by and word got out about the initiative. Suddenly we have sponsors, emails of encouragement and inspiration (some of concern and/or misunderstanding), and open doors to even bigger platforms of opportunity to share the love with more and more women around the world. It’s taken flight!
In a recent reply to a comment in which the author was upset by my own decision to jump with these women, I explained further where my heart lies in all of this:
“I understand that at first glance what I’m doing looks completely outrageous (admittedly, it is pretty outrageous) and to some people, even some very close to me, judgement will be the first and possibly remaining response. It’s hard for me to handle thinking about at times too, but, as I would with those I know, I urge you to take a closer look at why I’m doing this.
My brand, Cause Fitness, was founded and is rooted in love: love for people, because I love God, and the more I learn about Jesus, the more I understand that his only objective was just that…loving people. So, that is my objective.
Cause Fitness is: Fitness for Effect. This brand was established to share the joys and benefits of a truly healthy lifestyle with everyone I touch, so that by that loving outreach, I can be a tool that God uses to change lives. Through my influence in fitness, He can use me to inspire confidence through strength and resilience, so that people with start to understand their own value through the change in their self-confidence, positive body image, and ultimately find that they are, each of us are, of infinite value to our Father, God, Creator.
Fitness is only a vehicle; a catalyst for positive change; a way to bring light into a darkened world full of disaster, trauma, abuse, betrayal, pain, hurt, and death. Fitness is the vehicle I choose, because in my own story (causefitness.com/bio), when my world and self worth were stripped from me after being raped…my relationship with God was my foundation and stability, and fitness was my physical outlet for the stress and emotion that were uprooted in the process of healing. I know that I am a little ‘crazy’ for being so open about my story, but I also fear nothing because God loves me despite everything, and despite all the hurt and loss of confidence in that season, I know my value as His child and the joy that comes from knowing that only propels me to share it further, on a bigger soap-box, with a microphone, on top of a mountain, or even from the air after jumping out of a plane for film/television.…and beyond!
My hope in jumping isn’t for show or display of self, but it is a bold proclamation of what it means to have overcome something traumatic that could have, and for many people does, destroyed me and my attitude and future. As a Christian, I am called to forgive because ‘to whom much has been forgiven, much is required.’ So that said, rather than let rape ruin me, re-define me with lies of inadequacy, and trap me from pursuing my purpose, by forgiveness because I was forgiven first, I can only see my past as the perfect catalyst for sharing love with other women struggling through similar experiences, or much much worse. Knowing that judgement and retribution are not my job, but the job of a very able and just creator God, I can be satisfied and start to heal and use my story for the good of everyone who will listen.
I can only hope that this event, and the sharing of my story, and the women I’m jumping with sharing their stories, will encourage other women everywhere. Our goal is to encourage women to not be defined by what has happened to them as much as how they respond and not just survive, but thrive and face their fear so as to enjoy a full life of joy and love, rather than staying stuck in a cycle of painful memories and self-hate.
About the underwear…
We’re all jumping because of a different story of ‘overcoming’, so the jump symbolizes a physical manifestation of an internal shift we each have experienced in different ways, and we’re all jumping in lingerie in honor of women everywhere who can relate to one or all of our stories. We realize that it is an incredibly bold move to acknowledge the pain of your past and embrace it as something to make you stronger rather than weaker, so we had to do something incredibly bold. We took what the girls did last year, and amplified it.
Yes, we’re doing it for attention, but we’re not doing it to promote ego (believe it or not, I’m incredibly scared, and embarrassed to be flying from the sky in lacy things despite my relatively healthy level of body confidence). We’re doing it for the attention of the masses. We want to wake people up. Shock the system and break the routine. We’re admittedly trying to ignite a world wide change; an awakening in women’s self perception and inspire positive steps forward for anyone struggling with stories like ours.
For ‘Cause Fitness’, this is just another way I hope to be part of a world-wide holistic health and fitness Effect.
Because after all, Cause Fitness is, Fitness for Effect.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you can be inspired or at least, reflect on why we’re doing what we’re doing and live your live just a little more boldly because of that. Be the change you wish to see in the world and you can change at least one person. Change one person, and you can change the world.
All my love, and God bless you all,
Rachel Elizabeth Murray
A special thank you to all of our sponsors:
*Skydive Skin provided by LATHER www.lather.com*
To read the article that Good Morning America interviewed me for, click here.