Posts tagged ‘ballet’

November 6, 2013

Meet Ya at the Barre?

Image

Saying, “I’ll meet you at the bar,” just got a little sassier. The bar I’m talking about is so cool, it has an extra RE to its name… Barre; as in RE-invent yourself; RE-define girls’ night; RE-prioritize your schedule. Barre Bee Fit was the location of my inspiration to challenge myself into an entirely different fitness level. When I first visited the new studio in Dallas, Texas, I arrived anxious, fearful, and a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish the class. Running marathons I can do, but holding ballet poses, pulsing, and maintaining a flexible perception for one hour left me less than confident.

When I arrived, I heard energetic music coming from a large, open room to my right. To my left were some of the friendliest, leanest, and happiest ladies I’ve met. Any place I get to wear leggings and socks, I’m a fan of—especially on a cold, rainy evening like we were having that day. Any chill in the air disappeared as we started class.

Image

I love a fitness instructor with a rockin’ playlist. The playlist really makes the instructor, in my opinion. It’s definitely a first impression thing. If I were dating instructors, I would ask to see their playlist before agreeing to meet them. Music therapy is a tool used in the quest for holistic wellness, so don’t under-estimate the power of music as it relates to your energy level and mood.

Kelsey was our instructor for interval barre class. To be honest with you, I didn’t know what interval barre meant, but I knew it would be challenging and fun. Now, let me confirm—interval barre is aggressive cardio with strength training set to an awesome playlist. Adam Levine takes you to your final seconds of a plank hold and Imagine Dragons serenade you at the barre lifts. At one point, I thought Kelsey went crazy and doubled our reps. No such luck—this was all intentional and part of her well-crafted, aggressive class choreography.

Kelsey isn’t the enemy anymore, but coming to class on an empty stomach was my rookie mistake, and my new enemy. Noted. Kelsey is the perfect combination of aggressiveness and affirmation. As a matter of fact, this barre is inspiring with words of affirmation decorating every corner of the studio. If you start to give up on yourself, just look at the walls and read. Game back on!

Image

Barre class isn’t the time to get soft, and I felt the energy in my class get tougher as we moved through the hour. The consistent but not over-bearing direction, coaching, counting, and interval announcement from Kelsey was appreciated when I stopped thinking altogether.

As the music became slower and graceful, I realized I was dripping with sweat and parts of me were twitching from the muscle work. As we stretched, I felt a surge of energy… or was it pride? Either way, I felt accomplished and glad I went to the barre that night. If you live in Dallas, I am jealous. I drive 25 miles to attend classes at Barre Bee Fit in the Design District. Those of you looking for a challenge, to jump start the holidays with a fit bod, or to experience a new kind of barre, check out www.barrebeefit.com and sign up for a class at the Dallas location. If you’re a Facebooker, like them at http://www.facebook.com/BarreBeeFitDallas.

Image

Go ahead… raise your personal bar and experience a new kind of sexy. You’ll be dripping with sweat from you hair to your grippy socks, but feel like a supermodel. Try it and RE-peat!   –Lacey

P.S. I meant to get a photo with Kelsey after class, but I completely forgot. I’ll have to go back. 🙂

Advertisements
July 29, 2013

The Joy of Exercise

I choose joy

Happy Monday! It’s Brooke here. Have you ever thought about exercise as a joy? What about when you were a kid, before physical activity became Something You Had to Do? Do you remember how carefree you felt running around with the wind in your hair and the grass beneath your toes, even if your knees were skinned? Gosh, I miss that feeling!

The Good Old Days

When I was little and time stretched beyond infinity, I rejoiced in playing in the yard, swimming, and biking around my neighborhood at every opportunity. For a few preteen years, I also played soccer, mainly because I loved being with my friends on the team. But as a shy, once-timid girl, the thought of meeting a ball coming at me full throttle and me battling with another person for possession was mortifying for me. I can hear my dad (our coach)’s voice yelling “Hustle, Brooke, hustle!” to no avail. The other fly in the ointment was my being made to run a lot in the blazing Texas sun, so I’m pretty much done with running, thanks.

NoRunning

For many years, I had no perception of how important physical activity was, outside of the requisite school-mandated P.E. classes. Fortunately for those around me, I was sprung from these classes before people could truly appreciate how uncoordinated I was. In 6th grade, we were required to choose our path going forward for the next year—band, choir, or athletics. The totality of our future experience would spin out in different ways according to what we chose. Even friendships would flourish or diminish by the simple fact of sharing (or not sharing) the same physical space with a population of kids every day for the next 6 years. So, for that span of time, my exercise was no more strenuous than trying to dance/twirl or march/stand at attention as a majorette in the marching band.

Time to Play

When I arrived at college, I had to choose (again) mandatory P.E. classes. So, I decided to take all the “sports” I’d always wanted to try. I blissfully took several semesters of ballet, feeling like a graceful swan and a thrilled little girl at the same time. I even signed up for fencing—very challenging. Apparently, coordination is important there as well. But I liked the metal bra cups that the girls had to wear inside their uniform (instant curves!). Then I found archery. . .  True love!

archery target

This makes my heart skip a beat . . . look at all those 10’s!

Archery was the start of everything wonderful for me at school. I found my adored friend, Suzy, in this class. And I stumbled upon my joy when Suzy and I joined the archery team. This group became my family at A&M—that tends to happen when you see each other day in and day out for hours. Not only is archery a beautiful sport of precision and focus, but the gear is really neat too! I’ll share more shooting adventures in a future post, but my point here is that I found something that made me happy. And you should too!

Exercise is joyful when you find an activity that feels like play instead of dread. You don’t have to do 100 sit-ups or lock yourself in a gym to exercise. It’s a big world out there! If you feel confined in your life or so stressed out that you can’t breathe, go run until you forget all that stuff. Feel the need to punch something? There’s always kickboxing, karate, or MMA. Have you always wanted to try burlesque dance? Then go for it! Think of an activity involving some bodily movement that would make you feel carefree and energized. No judging, no recitals (please!), and it’s totally ok if you mess up. Just find your joy!

XO, Brooke

Joy in action!

Joy in action!