Back at the Barre

February 5, 2018

Once upon a time, I was incredibly active. Although I wasn’t a gym rat by any means, attending anywhere from three to four dance classes was a part of my normal, weekly routine. I was a dancer, and I was proud of it.

Due to some major life events, such as starting college, I fell off the wagon after my final recital. For a couple of years, my body stayed in essentially the same shape, though I did find myself getting winded after climbing a flight of stairs. So, you can imagine how I must have felt once I crossed the stage, accepted my degree (holder), and stepped foot into the real adult world. (In a few words: less than stellar.)

Not long after graduation, I traded my retail job for one in an office. While I love my job, my company, and everyone in it, it gave me an excuse to backslide even further. I wasn’t exercising, I wasn’t taking advantage of our office’s standing desks, and I certainly didn’t stop eating like a college student. I felt like I was never going to escape this endless cycle.

That is, until after I got married. You see, I married an active man. And I don’t mean “go-to-the-gym-once-or-twice-a-week” kind of active. I mean “work-with-a-personal-trainer-three-days-a-week-then-exercise-more-at-home-and-deadlift-fallen-logs-in-his-mom’s-backyard-then-play-a-game-of-ultimate-frisbee” kind of active. There was no way I could get away with leading my unhealthy lifestyle.

So, naturally, he pushed me to start making healthier choices with my diet — not necessarily by dieting but by making a conscious effort to not eat like a frat boy. Soon enough, my body started letting me know it was time for me to get back into my former active lifestyle. And, for once, I listened.

I tried going to the gym first, as that seemed like the only financially feasible option at the time. Of course, I lost motivation pretty quickly, as I always feel downright awkward working on a treadmill, stationary bike, or ab machine in a room filled with other people. Plus, I’m not exactly well-versed in different exercises and their benefits, so working out in the private rooms didn’t do me much good, either.

After a couple of months of frustration, I finally decided it was time to look into actual classes. I needed guidance. After a quick search, I discovered Move It Studio, a barre studio not too far from our little city dwelling with a variety of class times that would fit my schedule. This form of ballet-inspired exercise also combines elements of Pilates, dance and, sometimes, cardio. It was intimidating at first but I took the plunge and attended my first class in mid-January.

And I loved it. On one hand, I was challenged, exercising muscles I’d either not used in years or didn’t know existed. On the other, my muscle memory kicked in and placing my hand on the ballet barre felt like the most natural thing in the world. Granted, I leave every class feeling tired, sore and, let’s face it, sweaty. However, it has made me truly feel like myself again, and that is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I’m so glad I found my niche again, and I hope sharing my experience will help you discover yours, too!

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