I should have been doing this the whole time. In eight weeks I have seen my body change a little, but my mindset change a bunch. I wish that I had started journaling that change like they suggested when I started my journey at Mind Body Barre. Oh well, this journey is just beginning, and I can start it now.
What better use of a blog than to track the journey I’m on. Sure, it’s just a way to journal my thoughts, and sure, there may not be many people interested. But hey, if it even helps one person, then YAY – my journey and struggles are worth it. Even if that one person is ME.
Let’s start back at the beginning, January 15 to be exact. Actually, I’d say it starts even earlier than that, October of 2013 to be exact. It all started with a harmless Groupon deal that I purchased on a “I really want to get healthy and have heard really good things about Barre, oh look here’s a Groupon for a Barre studio” whim. I could never have imagined how that one $25 purchase would impact my life. Enticed by the promise of toner/leaner muscles and a connection of the mind and body in a cool down at the end of class, I figured it was worth a shot. I knew nothing of Reiki at the time, and nothing of the power of the mind when it comes to physical fitness. Sure, I knew that you had to have mentally decided it was time to get fit to stay committed. And I knew that it would take a mental willpower to stay committed. But one thing I learned in my journey over the past month, is that it is so much more than that.
One of the aspects that kept me coming back for more for Mind Body Barre is their focus on the Mind/Body connection. Before taking my first class I decided to look into the studio I had just purchased this pass for. I was immediately impressed by the first sentence of their mission statement where they state “you are not just a client, you are part of our community of learning and whole living through mind, body and spirit.” Impressed, but skeptical. I wasn’t sure that I would really find what I was looking for. See, I’m a bigger person. I’ve struggled with weight challenges for what seems like my whole life. And I was a bit intimidated to go into a fitness boutique studio with all the girls I imagined would be in great shape and judge me for my lack of wellness. Oh, and did I mention that during the exploration of this studio I found out it was owned and taught by a former NFL cheerleader – yeah, not intimidating at all….
As I made the 30 minute trek to the studio for the first time, I had in my head several thoughts of what I expected:
- I HATE exercise, what really makes me think this will be better?
- I’m going to run into the mean girls, I just know it. (I blame this on too many ABC Family shows)
- I hope there is a spot in the back, I don’t think anyone needs to see all this in their face the whole time.
- Man, it’s early. (my first class was scheduled for 8AM on a Saturday Morning)
What I found:
- A very friendly purple haired woman (also a former NFL cheerleader, and sister to aforementioned owner).
- I was an hour early, and there for the wrong class!
- NO Judgment.
- Other women my size.
- A love for exercise that was ignited.
All it took was one class and I was hooked. As I mentioned above in my list, I actually showed up way to early, and for the wrong class, but Kayla (the very friendly purple haired woman) was so nice about it. Made me feel better by saying lots of people show up super early for their first class. And then said I could just join the first class instead of waiting for the second. She made me feel so comfortable I immediately agreed – plus, I was thirty minutes from home…just far enough to make driving home not worth it as I would have had to turn right back around. So, I grabbed a mat and a set of drum sticks and parked my behind right up front. For the next 45 minutes I rocked it in Pound, and didn’t even realize I was exercising. Sure I felt out of breath, and I had to modify EVERYTHING, but I was having genuine fun. Who’d have thunk it? I was sweaty and sore and felt so good about myself. It was at that point that Kayla said we could lay back and enjoy the hard earned cool down.
That first class was epic, but it was after my second class there that I started to feel the true mind/body connection they encourage. As the instructor went around giving a brief massage and filling the room with the scent of lavender during our cool down, she said words that I try to remind myself of every day “honor your body for what it did for you today. Even if it wasn’t everything you were hoping for, you are here and that is what matters.”