If you know me well then you probably know that I am obsessed with Pure Barre. Before I was a client of Pure Barre Princeton, I was a high school and collegiate competitive dancer. I loved challenging group exercise classes and have been no stranger to difficult workouts/maintaining a healthy endurance. As a member of my collegiate dance team, it was safe to say I was in the best shape of my life. Rehearsals and "practice" were a full time job. I so loved finishing my classes for the day and going back to my apartment to change for team practice. It is where I felt most like myself. But after graduation, the start of a new job, and other exciting changes I lost my ability to get to a dance studio. More so, I longed for my team, a group of women I had leaned on for strength and encouragement.
I tried my hand at a variety of different workouts upon arrival back to New Jersey. There was my stint with a local yoga studio, a couple of pilates classes, and a membership to Retro Fitness. Nothing was ultimately satisfying. I felt completely at a loss. It wasn't until January of this year that I insisted on a change. At almost 29 years old I can feel my body changing. I could sense my energy levels dipping and I constantly felt tired.
I was running low on fuel and yet forcing myself to attend one more meeting, one more social engagement, etc. In January I decided things needed to change and so I started taking barre classes around the Princeton/Trenton area without a membership commitment. In March, I heard of Pure Barre and thought I would check it out. I was concerned about the cost and my ability to stay motivated but decided to inquire. On a Saturday morning I drove over to the studio and became acquainted with the two owners, Jacqui and Jeff. Both were so welcoming. They explained the basic tenants of the class and ultimately convinced me to give it a go. I signed a one month trial the same day and that Sunday I took my very first class.
Life. Tone. Burn. That is the mantra Pure Barre stands behind. I was completely captivated by the class structure. The first class was undoubtedly the hardest, however since then I have taken over 30 classes! I feel better than ever, stronger than ever. Each class has given me more and more to strive towards. I am so grateful to all of the instructors. They allow you to choose your hard, to find your work zone. The class doesn't feel like a competition. Instead I feel surrounded with a team again. When I look around the room I see "my tribe," a group of women that push each other to be better, stronger, healthier, and more motivated. In the last three months I have learned a lot of the technical aspects of Pure Barre. I have seen improvement in my range of motion, posture, and flexibility. I have learned that every class works so many different parts of your body. In fact I'd go so far to say that it is a total body workout. And finally, barre works muscles to fatigue. Not many workouts focus on one muscle group at a time, but Pure Barre does this. The workout brings the muscles you are working to its ledge of exhaustion. When done correctly barre absolutely is effective and over time your muscles and core will get stronger.
For me, I have found my "happy place." The women that belong here are of all ages, shapes, sizes and demographics and yet the fellowship and supportive nature of the studio is immeasurable. I am so thankful for the ladies of Pure Barre Princeton. They have given me so much more than just a resistance band, ball, and yoga mat. I've learned that I am both mentally and physically stronger than I think. I know my body can do just about anything a Pure Barre instructor throws at me. Each class seems to set me off on the right path for the day. And once I conclude my class and step out of the studio I am greeted with a large sign that hangs in the hallway... the sign says,
"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. Tuck, Seat, Pulse, Ledge, Shaking means changing, LIFT. TONE. BURN. Transformation, confidence, strength, sticky socks, 55 minutes, make it count, BARRE."
I read it every day. And each time the phrase in the middle, "shaking means changing," stands out the most. That phrase reminds me of life in general. Have you ever been at a point where there is so much chaos, and confusion, and all you want to do is just shout “enough”? Anyone ever have that experience? This is what happens at every Pure Barre class; my legs shake so much that I am convinced I can't do it, that I have to stop. My arms tremble from the weights, and yet I never give up, I hold on for a little while longer. That’s exactly the point at which you change at barre. I'm starting to see a correlation to life too. Maybe that's the point.
That said, I hope I'll see you there.