- Sporty is not a term anyone would ever use to describe me. I am an indoor girl, and I am a lazy one at that. Give me an hour of free time and I will spend it reading on the couch.
- I am a quitter. I dislike things that I don't immediately pick up. This is why I learned to drive at the ripe old age of 28.
- I'm out of shape and overweight. Surprise! This is why 90 percent of the pictures on my blog are of my kids (that, and they're really cute). It also means that not only do I really, really need more exercise, it means I really, really don't feel like strolling into a gym filled with fit, sporty people watching and judging.
I've been working with a wellness coach for the past seven weeks, and I've been very halfheartedly working out on my own at home. This has unsurprisingly led to halfhearted results. My coach challenged me to find a class or gym I'd be willing to try...and when I drove past the Pure Barre studio near our house, I thought, "how about that?"
I had no idea what I was in for - or that I'd be hooked on it. I came home from my first class so pumped that I signed up for a 30 day unlimited class package for new clients, and I signed up for another class the next day. I marched into that second class ready to lift, tone and burn (the Pure Barre mantra) and feeling a little smug that I was hardly sore at all after my first class.
The morning after that second class? I woke up so sore and with a pain so deep and low in my abdomen that I briefly worried that my appendix might have burst. I was about to consult Dr. Google when I realized that I had a second deep, intense pain...on the other side. I didn't need an emergency appendectomy, I'd just awakened long-forgotten lower ab muscles. I took the weekend off and the soreness subsided...and I headed back to the studio for more.
Tonight I take my fifth Pure Barre class, and in honor of my first week of classes, here are five things I think you should know about Pure Barre:
1. Anyone can do Pure Barre. In five classes, I've seen a range of ages and body types. If I can make it through a class after so many years of sedentary living, so can you.
2. Breaks are built into the class. Long, long ago when I was in college, I used to do aerobics classes with my roommates. In every single class, all of the stretching and cooling down happened at the very end of class. In a Pure Barre class, stretching happens throughout the class. Just as I'm feeling like my legs are going to collapse and send me into a heap on the floor, it's time to stretch out sore muscles before moving on to something else. These stretching breaks have helped me push through and keep going
3. You'll be working too hard to worry. Remember when I said I didn't want to walk into a gym with eyes on me? In a Pure Barre class, you and everyone else will be working too hard to pay much attention to what others are doing. Are my leg lifts as high as the next woman's? Probably not, but I'm too busy trying to keep going to notice - and that's been a huge motivator as I come back again and again.
4. Modifications are allowed and encouraged. Back in my aerobics days more than a decade ago, it was always obvious when someone wasn't doing the moves the same way the teacher was. In Pure Barre, the instructors not only call out modifications as they go but also encourage students to set their weights aside and focus on form.
5. All you need are socks. Aside from the price of the classes, Pure Barre doesn't require much of an investment. The studio provides the mat, ball, weights, and stretchy bands you'll use in class. All you need are a pair of socks with grippies on the bottom (which you can conveniently buy right in the studio).