(me between Amanda on the left, the Pure Barre Allen studio owner, and Valentina, my torturer for the day!)
I did it. I completed my 500th Pure Barre class today. About a half hour ago, actually, and my legs are STILL shaking when I stand up. It just goes to show you that it never gets easier…which I guess is the most important thing I’ve learned after 500 Pure Barre classes. As you get stronger, and better, if you’re doing it right, and you’re committed, the practice doesn’t get easier, it just gets “better.” Sort of like life, I’ve discovered. Life is really hard sometimes, and it doesn’t really get easier, but you can deal with it in a way that makes it feel “better” I think. It’s all in your perspective…
I’m stronger than I think
Now that I know my body can do just about anything a Pure Barre teacher can throw at me, I realize how strong I really am, both physically and mentally. Each class reminds me of that and sets me off on the right path for the day.
Be open to change
I actually went into Pure Barre 2.5 years ago with a completely open mind (which is rare for me, I am usually pretty anxious about starting new things), and was committed to doing it for a month to see what would happen. This is what I’m most thankful for; that I opened myself up to something new & scary (believe me, my first class was not pretty…) and because of that changed my life. More than I ever could have expected.
Shaking means changing
you know that point in your life when there’s so much chaos, confusion, and pain, and you just want to say “enough”? It happens every Pure Barre class; your legs are shaking so much you think you just can’t stay up, you have to stop. That’s exactly the point at which you change. But…you have to…
Stay in it
if you drop out, it’s so much harder to get back in. I feel it every time I let my discipline slide; it takes me weeks to get back to healthier eating, or back into my productive work routine. I’ve learned to think about things in 20 second increments – like when the Pure Barre instructor says “stay in it! You can do anything for 20 seconds!” This used to be the only thing keeping me going in the beginning, when I literally thought I was going to die. But obviously, I didn’t die…I just became stronger. I had to get past my brain telling me that I couldn’t do it anymore. My body was ready…I just had to let it take over.
try harder, go deeper, commit. I have done a lot of different exercise classes & routines in my 42 years, and I’ve never stuck with anything as long as Pure Barre. That’s a testament to the routine, I think, but also to my decision to just do it as often as possible, and commit to making a significant change in my life. It’s not really about “going big or going home” – it’s more about making the commitment to go a certain number of days a week, participate in all the challenges, and do your best every class. Anything you do is worth doing right (my mother always said…), and all the way, and I have seen that really play out in my life with Pure Barre, and leak into other parts too…
Finally (I’ve learned so many important things from Pure Barre…), at the end of every class, the teacher encourages us to “give ourselves a hand” and we do. It’s more of a half-hearted “yay! we’re finished” than a thunderous round of applause, because we’re too tired to move, but still, it’s a reminder to celebrate what we just accomplished. I talked about this recently, and hope to put it into practice more often, but I’ve seen how important and life-changing it is to appreciate the little things, the everyday achievements, in addition to the big things.
It’s really easy to forget to celebrate ourselves, and appreciate our accomplishments, when the day gets busy and things aren’t going the way we planned (it’s much easier to beat ourselves up, no?), but taking the time to do that is perhaps the most important thing you can do. I know it, and I need to do it more often, outside of Pure Barre 😉
Thanks so much to all the teachers and studio owners at Pure Barre Austin, Plano, and Allen for getting me this far; each one of you has made a difference in my life. Here’s to 500 more!!