5 on Friday: The Pretty Ballerina

If you hang out with me on Facebook or Instagram you might have noticed that I’ve been going to barre a lot.

No. Not the bar, Rory Gilmore. Barre. That ballerina workout thing I told you about a while ago.

I have probably gone to almost 20 classes in less than a month. 5 times per week for 2 weeks in a row.

I don’t even know anymore. But these classes are like crack.

Why don’t I just break this down 5 on Friday style?

One. I’m not falling asleep or gasping for air.

I have never gotten into yoga because it has always seemed kind of slow (I could be very wrong about this, I’ve only been to YMCA classes). And things like Crossfit terrify me because I am not made for weights or any kind of competitive environment. But barre is like this nice in-between. It’s slow enough that I feel genuinely relaxed and recharged at the end, but it’s intense enough that I also get that touch of soreness that hurts so good at the end of the day. The in-betweenness also makes it a great workout to fit in at lunch and get back to the office and not smell too bad.

Two. I don’t feel out of place.

Barre classes are going to attract people that are probably not… Poor Moms. Like Kelly said in her interview, it’s a premium service. I think my biggest hesitation was feeling wildly out of place, but I haven’t. Everyone is nice, and there isn’t even close to a mean girl vibe going on which I think is due to the instructors. Every instructor that I have met has been super friendly, helpful, and willing to answer any questions you have at the end of class. This really does set a friendly tone at Neighborhood Barre. I would say it took me about 5 classes to feel like I was ‘getting’ it, and every instructor assured me that this was normal which really helped me not throw the towel in too soon.

Three. I am celebrating my femininity. 

One of the first classes I went to one of the girls brought her man. He was a fit guy that probably played football in college or something, but barre was clearly not ‘made’ for his body. Now, I’m not saying guys can’t do barre, but it was neat to see that there are some things that a woman’s body is better at than a man’s. Getting on your tippy toes and squatting an ungodly amount of times is one of those things.

Not only are our bodies more suited to barre, there’s also something really subtle about the strength required for barre. The moves are small, you are moving your toe in a circle or pulsing ‘just’ an inch. And maybe the first one or two movements are ‘easy,’ but after a few seconds of the ‘simple’ move the muscle getting worked starts shaking like it’s trying to move a semi or something. On the surface it doesn’t look like much, but boy oh boy do you need to be strong to survive. And so I look at the feminine roles in our world, as moms, wives, daughters, and we look at the surface and we think the things we do (making dinners, planning vacations, comforting sad pre-schoolers, wrapping presents, etc.) ‘don’t matter,’ but they do! They are small movements, sure, but boy do they require strength.

Wait. I’m not done.

Almost every move, especially the seat and leg work, leaves me closing my eyes praying for relief. Do you know what else does that? Labor. (Or so I’ve heard since I had epidural almost as soon as I got there). If you are preparing for labor I would highly recommend getting yourself to a barre class. Labor is a mental game of letting the pain wash over you, and believing this intense pain won’t last forever/kill you. Barre won’t just get your core ready for some pushing it can get your mind ready for game day, too.

Four. I value it.

I signed up for their special of unlimited classes for $100, and this might just be the Poor Mom in me talking, but I refuse to miss a class. Because every class I go to means I’m getting more bang for my buck. So I make sure I get to class in the morning because I don’t want to waste the money AND I actually get something out of the investment I made. Because true story? I have a Planet Fitness membership and I’ve been paying $10/month which has been a complete waste of money because I haven’t gone but maybe 3 times the first week that I joined. I was scared that an unlimited barre class  membership would be a similar waste, but since there’s enough skin in the game (or money on the table?) I’m motivated even when I don’t feel like getting up for the 5:30 A.M. class.

I really don’t know anymore.

Five. Sex.

Let’s just say that I haven’t peed when I sneezed in a while.

If you’re in the Brentwood area looking for a workout you’ll love, you should totally come with me one morning or afternoon (first class is free!). They have a challenge going on, and I’m planning to do 20 classes between September 14th and October 13th. I might be almost dead by the last two or so classes, but I’m gonna try!

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