My love of health and fitness began well, in utero. I have a journal that my mom kept daily when she was pregnant with me and often wrote about how she stayed healthy during pregnancy. I can remember bouncing and hopping along to cardio VHS tapes in the living room with my mom and doing leg lifts on the floor beside her. I lounged in the waiting area doing homework many nights while she killed it, and I mean KILLED it, at American Karate Center’s kickboxing classes and then I practiced my imitations later at home. At my dad’s house we ran at night when he got home from work or would head to American Family Fitness. Being healthy and active wasn’t ever a negotiable option for me. It was always a lifestyle that I am really blessed to have witnessed in my earliest memories. It set me up for a successful life of activity, health, and mind/body wellness and I knew no other way.
I’m competitive by nature and I get bored when I feel like I have mastered a fitness routine, machine, or workout goal. As a kid, I loved ballet, tap, jazz, cheerleading, ice skating, soccer (Total doozy my mom said I sat in the field and picked flowers the entire time) and gymnastics. Over the last 2 years, I was hearing the buzz about Pure Barre but never committed to going. I can be a creature of habit and kept going to the gym I belonged to at the time. Thankfully, social media prompted me to notice that the local Pure Barre Midlothian studio had a free weekend of classes to support Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, Virginia. I won’t lie, I was nervous! “What if I suck?” was running through my mind as my competitive and perfectionist tendencies began to solidify. But, who can say no to free? I lost my grandpa to cancer in 2016 and it truly felt like something I had to do. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I don’t know what your preconceived notions are of what goes on at Barre. Gone are the days of matching buns, leotards, and pink tights. Picturing a rail thin woman barking orders at you and correcting your plié like your first dance teacher? Scratch that. Your teacher will be friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable (and have some KILLER muscles). You’ll be lifting, tucking, and pulsing to an eclectic playlist that will change each time. You only need put on your best yoga pants, top (Sports bra too, that would be awkward if you forget that) and bring your “Best self,” water, and sticky socks!
I headed in to my first class in February 2017 and grabbed weights, a ball, and a tube and found a spot in the back crammed in among lots of other ladies. The music started and 5 minutes in I knew I was hooked. It immediately brought back my love of dance coupled with some serious, and I mean serious, arm, abs, legs, seat (fancy word for your booty!) work. Here I am 5 months later, celebrating my 100th class. Am I bored? No way – don’t have time to get bored. Too busy shaking at the barre for those last killer 10 seconds. Still unsure or hesitant?
Here are my Top 4 reasons why you should try Barre:
- You will be surrounded by BAD ASS women, excuse my language but there is no other way to capture it. I knew no one when I started. This isn’t prima donna ballet where everyone is tall, thin, and blond. You will be sweating next to women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Special shout out to the pregnant barre babes – you may be tucking and pulsing next to someone who is 30 plus weeks pregnant. They are the true MVP’s! I’ve gotten to know some really amazing and strong women and I am inspired by the teachers and their ability to push me harder every single time.
- The classes and routines are ever changing and there is no way to master it – you can always extend your leg a little straighter, lift a little higher, and pulse a little lower. This class will never get old because it keeps me fighting for better form, higher heels, and stronger muscles.
- Accountability. The Mind Body App is used to schedule and book classes. I love this aspect because I know once I hit book class that someone has seen my name pop up and I have reserved a spot. Are you someone who likes to cancel last minute on your gym partner or have to drag yourself off of your couch to make it to the gym right before they close? Having a booked class and knowing that there is a spot waiting just for me gets me up and moving at 430 am even when I am tired.
- 55 minutes just for YOU. There are no kids yelling and banging on your bedroom door while you are working out at home, body builder dudes making weird comments/noises at you to impress you, people waiting impatiently for the machine, or over packed classes with different people each time. Its 55 minutes where nothing else other than your body and mind are present. The worries, stressors, and to do lists can wait. I leave class feeling refreshed, strong, and completely prepared to kick butt and conquer the day. When you feel like stopping or quitting, you look in the mirror and you keep going. Not to impress anyone around you but for YOU.
Intrigued? Want to know more? Find your local studio and head there pronto. Try something new – branch out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I just talked you guys about how to set goals in my last post. So here is my next goal – 250 classes I am coming for you. If you missed my last post on goal setting check it out here. My next goal target date is February 28, 2018 – a year from when I fell in love with barre.
XOXO from your barre loving friend,
P.S. Those little eyes are watching you. I walked in the front door yesterday morning at 630am to my 3 year old waiting at the top of the steps and saying ” You did it mama? You did the dance class today?” I let him open my gift with me and he said “WOW you got this shirt for doing 100 dance classes?” He was so excited because he sees my excitement and joy about being active. I can only hope one day my boys tell their kids about how their mom made time to be active and fit even when she was sleep deprived, exhausted, and busy because like my childhood, its just a part of what we do…..Not negotiable, not every once in a while, not a short lived phase, its our life. Pay it forward friends – its the best investment you will ever make.