Disruptor Series: Jill
Why we love Jill ... I know her story will resonate with so many of our students. The difference between Jill and any other student who may not have tried class yet for fear of putting themselves out there, is her radical way of showing up for herself, no matter how uncomfortable or nerve-wracking. She shows up for herself consistently, patiently, and with the best positive attitude and hilarious sarcasm (which is much appreciated by all students & staff). I am so honored to know Jill, to have her in class, and to be able to share her story now!
Submitted by Jill Santopietro Panall
“Disruptor” doesn’t seem like an obvious word for a jiggly, middle-aged mom who owns an HR consulting business and chases around a five-year-old, but I hope that I’m able to encourage and inspire other people with the example of how I conduct myself and my firmly held belief in saying YES to opportunities that come across your path!
I came to Buti in November of 2018, after seeing how much my good friend Ashley Ahl Mahoney was getting from her own Buti practice. She was my awesome dance-Sherpa, leading me up the mountain to Buti! And it was a hard mountain to climb- feeling out of shape, tired, run-down, and overwhelmed certainly didn’t make it easy to get out and try Buti. In my adult life, I’ve mostly been active, from rugby to yoga to Tai Chi and Kung Fu and I took up the Israeli-developed self-defense practice of Krav Maga, starting as a student in 2006 and then as a certified instructor in 2009. However, despite my deep love of self-defense, I fell into a big rut after I had my son in 2014 (at age 38), left Corporate America and started my own consultancy in 2015 (with a baby in tow), and became a member of the Board of Directors at Anchor of Hope Diaper Bank. With kid stuff, board meetings, work and life, I just wasn’t getting into the studio as much as I wanted to and I had all of the reasons- No time! Too busy! Too many obligations! I said a big YES to a chance to appear on the game show Jeopardy! in 2016 and to many opportunities that left my HR business booming. I was saying YES to everything… except taking care of myself.
I started to get more run down: I woke up at night worried and anxious, my gall bladder conked out, I got pneumonia right after that gallbladder removal surgery and I was just becoming this slow, tired, sedentary and uncomfortable person. I talked with my amazing primary care doctor, a fierce woman herself, and we discussed how I had really gotten so “out of touch” with my own body. Like it was this fake body I was just propelling around, rather than really inhabiting it. I knew that I had to get back in there, fast, before I became so disconnected that I had bigger health problems, which were looming. To help me get started, she prescribed me a low dose of anti-anxiety medication to help calm that constant feeling of “I am behind on EVERYTHING AT ALL TIMES” that I always felt in the pit of my stomach and that was holding me back from taking time to take care of myself. When that feeling began to melt away, I started to see self-care as less “this made-up thing for rich ladies with lots of time on their hands” and more like “a thing everyone needs to keep going”, so I came in to take a Buti class…and the rest is history.
I don’t see how you can NOT love the energy, the infectious joy, the opportunity to move, groove, shake and stretch and the wonderful sense of community! I came to Buti to find myself but I found so much more in the process- friends, business opportunities, a community committed to diversity and inclusion, ideas, inspiration, challenges, sweat, tears, glowing face paint, and so much more. Saying YES to Buti was saying YES to myself again.