Meet Me at the Barre- Bonus Soul Food Sunday

Photo by Hans-Peter Flickr

Photo by Hans-Peter Flickr

The day before Thanksgiving, I decided I wanted to try a Barre fitness class. It was something new and yet something about it seemed familiar and appealing. Ballet mixed with pilates …sign me up! I ventured to my first class. I was so nervous, not only was I new to this I was also going by myself, with no one to lean on for support.

As soon as I walked in, it felt like home. The wonderful owner of the studio was standing inside the lobby area. She and I chatted about what type of fitness activities I partake in. She warned me that everything about the first class would be super awkward. She then introduced me to my instructor for the day.  She was so friendly and showed me around the studio and walked me through what materials I would need for the class. I immediately recognized my nemesis from my dance days, the rubber bands. I grabbed them and stood at my place at the barre. Luckily, my first class was me and one other lady who was very sweet.  I struggled with a few moves here and there, like keeping a dodge ball behind my knee and lifting it (it bounced across the floor about a hundred times. My instructor assured me it was the balls fault, not mine.)

As the first 15 minutes of class went by, I was sure I was going to die. But after awhile I stopped staring at the clock. I was in my happy place. My instructor told me that I did really well for a first timer. I left the studio feeling amazing and had smile on my face the whole way home. It struck me that I had not done an activity that made me feel that way in a long time.  I went back two days later because I missed it.  This time it was a much fuller class but I placed myself up front by the mirror so I could make sure I was performing the moves correctly. Once again I left feeling full of life. It reignited a fire in me that has been out for awhile. I love dance and I love pilates, combining the two was perfect for me. I knew I had to purchase more classes.

I have been going now every week at least once per week and it is still my happy place. I feel more “zen” there than I do in a yoga class. In yoga I tend to start thinking about other things because I get bored. When I’m at barre, I am in the moment focused strictly on the activity and thinking of nothing else. I always leave feeling I can conquer the world.

The night after the 2nd class I had a dream that I owned my own studio. That morning I woke up at 4:30am and began doing research about franchises in the barre world. Turns out, they want you to have a lot of money… I’m a teacher so that’s out. However, I am looking into other options and trying to plan for the future. I know it sounds crazy to try something twice and decide you want to commit your life to it, but I think when you feel a genuine passion for something it’s worth exploring. This is why I encourage anyone to try new things or things you may have done 17 years ago that may be worth revisiting. Find out what drives you and motivates you to get out of bed in the morning. I’ll be honest, it’s kind of a crappy feeling when you realize what you are doing isn’t what you want to be doing, but I think it’s good to be in the uncomfortable place that forces you to look at your life.

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