At the end of Jan/beginning of Feb, I was searching for a fresh start. I was anxious to move forward, and I knew that a new fitness/wellness plan would be a part of that. A consistent theme through my pain management journey has been the need to build strength. I had heard about barre classes a few years ago, and had always been more than a wee bit curious. Let's face it - the girl that grew up watching FAME, remembers Flashdance, and was a member of the JV gymnastics team in high school....and then became a dance mom for years....that girl was destined to try barre at some point.
I signed up for a month unlimited pass at All Wellness in Burlington. Then, b/c I am exceedingly practical, I calculated how many barre sculpt classes I'd need to attend to really "get my money's worth." I have an absolutely free gym pass from my employer, so to plunk down money for fitness is a very big deal.
After my first class, I felt old, fat, awkward, inflexible, and out of place. I cried on the drive home. BUT. I also felt kind of awesome. The endorphin rush prompted me to sign up for the next 4 classes. They happened to be scheduled four days in a row. I decided that what didn't kill me would (potentially) literally make me stronger...and so I just went for it.
Oh, friends. This is the part where I get all teary-eyed. This is the part where shit gets all life-changing. This is the part where I tell you about an AMAZING instructor, and equally AMAZING classmates. First, the classmates. By & large, they're young enough to be Hope....and that? That makes me smile. It allows me to spend a few hours a week with awesome energy that reminds me of my baby girl. They smile at me, and say hello. They don't judge that I'm old enough to be their mom. They just unroll their yoga mat next to me and get to work. I don't think that those girls - with their lululemon tights & free spirits - I don't think that they realize how much light they brought to my life in the darkness of February. I am so grateful for those girls.
Second, I have to tell you about the instructor. Hermine. She. Is. My. Hero. She cheered me on during every single class. No matter how hard things got, or how much pain I was in, the sound of her voice saying "beautiful, Katrina!" gave me the sheer courage to keep going. She made me feel special and seen. She made me laugh with her stories of Lifetime movies, and the way that she starts talking about Adam Levine to distract us from the crazy hard isometric movements that we're doing. She makes the phrase "tuck on the tuck" actually seem sensible and do-able. I am not exaggerating when I say that she saved me. She helped me to believe that I could feel strong again. I am not where I want to be yet...but I am so much farther then the day that I started.
I would guesstimate that I have cried after more than 50% of the classes. They are HARD. I won't be going to barre for the next several days b/c I'm headed out to CA tomorrow for a tradeshow. It will be the first stretch of class that I've missed in month (and since I've been going 5x per week, that's significant). I will miss it....and I'll look forward to getting back to it.
Read more from Katrina on her blog, figuring out 40.