Stronger than you think…

A little over three years ago, I walked into a Pure Barre uncertain as what to expect. I had never gone to an exercise place like this before. I had belonged to a couple gyms – you know the memberships you pay monthly but, in the end, hardly ever go to? Is that just me? I also had defined myself as a runner ever since I moved to Dallas which does not require a membership to do. I had trained for half marathons, and I considered running to be the primary thing that kept me sane. That was until I had my twins. After my oldest child was born, I was back to running after just a few weeks, but twins mixed with a c-section made that impossible the second time around. It took a couple months before I was running at all, and a couple more to realize I was not progressing. I was slow, I felt unstable on my feet, and I could never do more than a couple miles. 

So, I decided to try pure barre. I researched it extensively (as is my nature) and then I spent even more time working up the courage to just show up. I kept convincing myself that we probably couldn’t afford it so why even start? I kept convincing myself I’d be embarrassed by not being able to keep up in class. I kept convincing myself that I should stick to what I know – running – even if it was currently making me miserable.

Eventually, however, I worked up enough courage to show up to my first class. It is difficult to describe but there was just this overwhelming feeling of belonging when I walked in the door. The instructor and the women at the front desk were so inviting and encouraging. They learned my name almost immediately. The class was hard, but I didn’t embarrass myself. In fact, the challenge of it made me feel like my time there was worth the effort. The music was upbeat and the crowd was so nice. At the end, they gave me a card to come back to another class for free. I came a week later and then signed up for their intro month… and then their summer special… and now I carry an annual membership.

There is something about investing a little in yourself and your wellbeing that can change things for a person. I’m definitely stronger than when I first walked in but not just physically – I’m mentally and emotionally stronger. I know that I can do some challenging things. I know that I can commit to something – after all, I’ve shown up almost 700 times now. And I know that I have formed some unexpected friendships along the way. 

Going to barre was probably the first thing I did completely separate from my work and home communities. Running, for me, was so solitary that though I had running buddies, I never had an actual community around it. Pure Barre, in contrast, was a real community of diverse women with diverse situations coming together to grow in strength and honor their health. 

Since I’ve been going, sure I’ve lost some weight and gained a ton of muscle. Sure I’ve regained those abs that were destroyed by the c-section. But more than that, I’ve transformed the way I eat, the way I sleep, and the way I honor time to pursue my passions. I don’t think I would’ve started this writing thing if I hadn’t walked into Pure Barre Addison three years ago. I just didn’t have the courage then. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said ““You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face….You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Maybe entering a Pure Barre and taking a class seems like an odd thing to fear, but I did. And I did it anyway. And Eleanor Roosevelt was right – I gained strength, courage, and confidence through the experience. 

Maybe it is something else for you – perhaps a music class or an art class – whatever it is that you’ve been researching and hemming and hawing about – is now the time to try it? What is the thing you think you cannot do and will you have the courage to try it? 

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