My first Barre3 class came at a moment I needed it most. With a very challenging baby and an uninvolved and unsupportive partner, I hadn’t slept in almost two years. I was tired and weak, craving connection and a safe space to be myself and receive love. To say it was beyond my comfort zone is a laughable understatement. I hated feeling so vulnerable, weak, and even invisible. Those first few classes were hard, in fact I’m still amazed at myself that I kept coming back. It was in the fourth class that I finally released, tears flowed as I sobbed on my mat at the end of class. My instructor reached out to support me and through tears and hiccups, I simply cried, “I AM SO TIRED.” I was so tired; I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually tapped out. She hugged me and I felt loved and supported. I only remember her looking straight in my eyes and saying, “Keep coming back; it will get better.”
Somehow, I kept coming back. And 600 classes later, I’m still going back. Constantly learning to prioritize, push, and love myself.
What I’ve learned, and continue to learn Every. Single. Day.:
Find the place where you feel successful but challenged
We need to push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, challenging ourselves inspires change and growth. But it’s a balance! Find the sweet spot where you feel successful but challenged.
Nothing is as important as your breath
Breathing is obviously not optional, yet it’s surprising how many times I find myself either holding my breath or not inhaling/exhaling deeply and completely. But breathing allows us to push ourselves and calm our bodies. So don’t remember to breathe! Taking a few moments throughout the day to focus on deep breaths calms the nervous system and invited clarity.
Sometimes, showing up is all that matters
It’s true, some days you will just not be your best. But showing up, whether in class or in life, is the first and most important step. And being honest and compassionate with yourself about where you are is crucial. There are the days I call attendance days. Just showing up reminds us that taking care of ourselves is not optional. Making the choice to show up opens up the potential for change and connection that otherwise would not happen. Some days it may be the best you can do, and THAT’S OKAY.
Meet yourself where you are and do not compare yourself to those around you
You can only do what you can do at each moment… embrace where you are and avoid lamenting where you want to be. Small steps in the right direction is what creates sustainable change.
Your body needs strength just as much as your spirit
Our bodies require strength to avoid injury, it’s pure and simple.
Taking time for yourself is not optional
Making it to class, taking a bath, prioritizing yourself has to happen in order to show up for others. One it becomes habit, it becomes a lot easier to follow through. It has to be a non-negotiable, not optional part of your day. But it also doesn’t need to be long or involved: just try small, simple moments where you matter the most.
Sometimes you need to take a break and that’s okay, you will come back stronger
Pushing yourself to the point of breaking serves no one. Being self-aware of your breaking point is crucial, so establish your boundaries before you get there. Avoid judging yourself for taking a break because the moments of rest are just as important as our active challenging moments.
Make everything you do intentional
Intentional movements, in exercise and life, creates healthier and sustainable change. Make everything you do come from a place of love and self-awareness.
Love is everywhere, you just have to be open enough to receive it and comfortable asking for it
When you open yourself up to the possibility of love and support enables you to see it. Believing that the universe has your back enables yourself to spot opportunities for connection.
Some days I want to be seen and others I want to hide, but both are okay
Barre3 has been there for me, like a loving, supportive, and challenging friend through the most trying moments of the last four years. On days when it’s the only thing of significance I manage to tackle. On days when I cannot stop crying. On days I feel weak and vulnerable. On days when my body aches but I know I need movement. On days when I simply need to remember to breathe. Even on the days when I don’t want to be there and I don’t enjoy it. On days when I need to be pushed and not think, about anything. On good days, and hard days, on the sad and lonely ones, it is always there. I just need to show up for it. Barre3 is more than my friend, she is me: learning, loving, pushing, and being gentle with myself. It continues to bring me back to life. Thank you.