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Pure Barre July Challenge: I did it. Mic drop.

August 8, 2015 Leave a comment

I did it. I finished all 20 thigh, seat and ab breaking classes. It wasn’t easy and the soreness was real. Throughout the month of July I actively avoided stairs so as not to inflict more pain. There were mornings when I’d wake up and my body was so tired that to get out of bed I’d lift myself out like this:

*This is all done in slow motion*

Lift neck

Push elbows back to lift upper body

Ok, gotta put my legs on the floor so just gonna

Pivot

Piiiiivot

Feet on the floor, alright!

As the month went on I noticed that while the classes were still intensely challenging, it didn’t take me nearly as long to recover afterwards as it had in the past. There were also classes I’d walk into having been my 4th or 5th in a row that turned out to be my best performances. It was shocking, but the saying is true, you’re stronger than you think. (Even when sometimes all you think about in class is tacos)

Flipping into a temporary moment of seriousness:

The reason I started going to Pure Barre was because I had injured my neck and I needed a challenging exercise that I could do that was low-impact. In fact, in the month of June I was going to physical therapy to get over the injury and was finally making forward progress after being in pain for nearly a year. Now that I’m nearly at 100% I fully understand and can appreciate that being able to exercise and push yourself is a privilege.  Healing from this made me aware of just how good I have it, and to always be grateful for a healthy body.

Barre

Q’s I’ve been asked about the challenge:

Would you do another Barre Challenge month?

‘Yes absolutely!’. The awesome part about a challenge like this is it really shows you that with a little planning you can really pack your schedule to meet your fitness needs no matter what.

Have you lost weight/noticed any body changes?

Yes and no. I’ve lost a lot of inches, but not weight. I lost an inch and a half off of my waist and hips just during the July challenge alone. So I can see how effective the exercise is. For other body changes, I’m a lot stronger now. I can do push-ups and the splits. Who would have thought that in my 30’s I’d be doing the splits? I can’t really show them off as a party trick anymore as most of the parties I now go to are baby related. Maybe I can break it out during a wine and cheese thing? I dunno.

Are you going to still go to Barre?

Yes, I did a butt breaking class this morning thank you. I need a barre buddy you wanna come?

Any advice for someone starting out new with Barre?

Just keep going to class. You’ll get better and stronger faster than you think. Also, don’t eat spicy foods before class. Just trust me on that one.

Shortly after my last class, an email from my studio went out congratulating all of the challenge winners and naming all of us. They also let us know that the prize for completing this challenge is a free intensive workshop class.

Looks like I’m just going to buy a Barre shirt and say that I won that shit.

To celebrate, I’m ending this with The Cars.

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65 Thoughts I Had While In Barre Class

July 17, 2015 3 comments

{To the tune of Livin’ on a Prayer}

Ohhhhh I’m halfway thereee, Ohhh-Ohh tryna not look like a pear

I’ve finished half the Pure Barre July Challenge.

photo (11)

Last night was my 10th class, it was an 80’s themed class, and I was doing well in the challenge until Tuesday’s little battle sesh. I was slowly murdered by my Pure Barre instructor whilst wearing a side-pony and Ninja Turtles t-shirt.

I’ve compiled a list of 65 thoughts I had

  1. Class number 10: I’m going to crush this
  2. How does this place smell good even if it’s a gym?
  3. All this 80’s workout clothes doesn’t look too different than our normal gear wtf
  4. I like leg warmers I don’t care what anybody thinks
  5. Oh good my spot on the floor isn’t taken.
  6. I see a bunch of girls that I feel like I kind of know, but haven’t talked to in class
  7. We’re like battle buddies in here
  8. Oh shit, I stared at her too long. I’m so awkward
  9. Look.At.Cuticles
  10. Ok instructor is putting on her mic
  11. It’s go time
  12. Knee lifts alright not so bad
  13. Omigod I’m way more tired than I thought my muscles literally feel like bags of SAND
  14. 90 second plank time- just push through this shitty shitty temporary pain
  15. Got a compliment from the instructor. Banking it now.
  16. Hurtssss so much
  17. Already sweating. Looks like I’m just going to be gross right out of the gate
  18. Why do I feel so taxed already??
  19. Moving on to arms
  20. Hey I can see tiny biceps in the mirror
  21. I should just always hold my arms like this
  22. Shoulders are burning. Not a slow burn either, these mofos on are fireeeee
  23. These 2 pound weights feel like a 1000. They are tiny and all cute. Little shits
  24. Oh thank God, streeeeeetch
  25. To the barre ya’ll
  26. Thighs all day
  27. Look at me doing this thigh work like a BOSS
  28. Spoke to soon this is LITERALLY the most painful thing I’ve ever done
  29. Don’t break don’t break don’t break
  30. I broke form
  31. I’m back in, no one saw be cool be cool be cool
  32. Please say this is the final 10 reps PLEAAAASSSE
  33. THIS IS THE LONGEST 10 SECONDS EVER
  34. Moving on! What’s that? More thighs bish
  35. Is everyone else going through the inner turmoil that I am?
  36. Goddamn I want a taco
  37. And streeeeetch yasssss
  38. Omigod I’m doing the splits, haven’t been able to do this since I was 12
  39. I’m sweating so much I think all my fluid from inside is now outside
  40. Ok, girl next to me merely glowing. Not the Swamp Thing like me
  41. Seat work now
  42. I guess that’s what real ladies call butts
  43. I’m awesome at this, lifting and lifting
  44. Instructor corrected my form and this is now actually hard as hell
  45. Ass-is-going-to-pop-off
  46. Is everyone else looking at their butts in the mirror?
  47. Just me. Typical.
  48. Oh yes, this is the one where we lay on the floor
  49. “Go somewhere else in your mind” Instructor says—My mind is focused on the pain in my ass
  50. Excuse me “Pain in my seat”
  51. Hates it
  52. Streeeetch sweet mother of
  53. Grabbing a mat for some ab work yeaah
  54. Ok I’m calling this move the wind breaker, because your girl needs to fart
  55. This class is in very close quarters. Don’t fart don’t fart don’t fart
  56. My abs are shaking— from effort hopefully
  57. Say FINAL TEN PLEASE GOD
  58. Yassss queeeen cobra stretch
  59. I forgot the final sprint- I always forget it DAMMIT
  60. Just gotta get through this last floor bridge
  61. They are playing a remix of Berlin’s Take My Breath Away and the irony is not lost on me
  62. It looks like we’re all humping the air
  63. Seriously how is the instructor not laughing
  64. FINAL FUCKING STRETCHES
  65. Omigod I love this shit

Halfway there guys, let’s see if I can push it through to the end. Also, I stand by my love of leg warmers.

Pure Barre July Challenge: Classes 1-4

July 5, 2015 Leave a comment

SHP-PureBarre-2

So I’ve never done back to back days at Pure Barre before, and before starting this challenge I was really nervous about pushing myself without many breaks. Even after  6 months of classes under my belt, the classes can still be brutal, I’m still super sore the next day. In fact, the few days before signing up to do the challenge I indulged myself with a few days of total sloth just to get ready for it. Pizza.The Wire. Couch. Yes, please.

My first class I sauntered in all-sass, knowing the drill, and thought that I’d relatively breeze through what was about to happen to me. I was wrong, and was humbled by a thigh and seat breaking class that left me doubting I could finish the rest of the challenge. Sweat-soaked and defeated I slunk back to my car where I turned on the AC and thought about getting a consolatory Pinkberry.

The very next day was my first consecutive class, and I tip toed in feeling incredibly nervous that I would even be able to finish the class. I wondered, “Has anyone ever had to leave class to barf from exhaustion??” To stop myself from wondering if I’d be the first girl to befoul the Pure Potty (yes that’s what it is actually called, hilarious) I wanted to talk to an expert.  I struck up a conversation with the girl next to me who I knew was a long-time barre veteran who said “You definitely can do this, I find the classes are easier if you come more often.” Her encouragement made me feel awesome, but I didn’t know if my body would react in the way that hers did to this kind of punishment. I finished the class, and felt way better about my chances of completing this thing. The Barre veteran was right, somehow it is easier if you just keep going.

The morning of day 3 I woke up with what appeared to be hockey pucks in my legs instead of my calf muscles. When I walked I expected to hear the “ching….ching…ching…” of Old West style spurs on my heels as I hobbled into my bathroom. It’s not particularly painful, just weird.

Mexican-antique-spurs

What’s that noise? That’s some girls’ jacked up calves. Don’t worry John Wayne.

I’ve now pushed through classes 3 and 4, and there is a teeny, tiny glimmer of pride building up with each finished class.

Just warning you guys, there will be no living with me if I successfully complete this challenge.

Categories: Uncategorized

Pure Barre Challenge: This May Kill Me

June 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Guess who’s back? Back again. My blog’s back. Tell a friend.

This January I decided to do what everyone does, and GET IN SHAPE dammit! I’ve been a casual runner for years, but it was never anything that was super serious. Mostly I did it for the post-race free t-shirts baby! (And also I did it to be able to describe myself smugly as ‘a runner.’) I loved it, but I’ve had to take a temporary sabbatical from running because I’ve sustained a weird injury.

I’ve been healing from a periscapular strain on the fifth vertebrae of my neck. Which I got from throwing up. Seriously.  I wish it was a cooler story, but it was from a stomach virus. This bug was so intense I was sure that I’d be discovered dead on my bathroom floor. Some years-worn detective would probably have to let my parents and boyfriend know “In all my years I’ve never seen something so embarrassing” and then he’d flick out a half-smoked cigarette. (I’m just guessing at the details.)

During the course of this sickness I heaved so hard that I damaged my neck. I’m assured by my orthopedic doctor that this is more common than I think. I’m skeptical.  I’m pretty sure he’s lumping me in with his geriatric patients. He advised that I needed to find a low exercise intense workout that wouldn’t bother my neck, and this is where Pure Barre comes in.

SHP-PureBarre-2
My first class was January 9, 2015 and thus began my love affair. Pure Barre describes itself as “Utlizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements, it is a total body workout that targets your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.”  I would describe it as “Torture that you come to crave and is low impact on your joints. Perfect for you if you’ve somehow hurt yourself by barfing”

I’ve been at it for 6 months now, and I.CANNOT.STOP. Each class is insanely hard. During each class there is a time when I say to myself “I hate this” but somehow at the end of each class I have a moment where I AM BEYONCE.

This summer there is a challenge that my Pure Barre studio has put out that simply “Complete 20 classes in the month of July” I’m going to attempt this challenge. I will say I’m a bit concerned considering how sore I am after each class. I’m going to document my progress here, and keep you all along for the ride.  And guys, there is a free t-shirt at the end of this I can feel it.

They look so angry... please don't hurt me.

They look so angry… please don’t hurt me.

Arstidir: Punk Rock Angels of Death?

May 7, 2014 1 comment

I’ve recently happened upon this video of an Icelandic Group singing an 800 year old hymn. Apparently, they had just finished a concert and the video was taken late night in a German Train Station with them singing impromptu.

It’s possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard:

I couldn’t help but wonder though, if I had just gotten off of that train, I’m sure I would just assumed that I died.

Literally the thought would be “Oh wow that’s a beautiful, ethereal sound. Wait, WAIT am I dead? Like did I die on a train? Oh man I died in a train station and the angels greeting me are dressed like punk rockers WIERD.”

 

Also, did you see the guy still holding the beer while he sang?  The late-night style is strong here.

So it’s been a while

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi ya’ll. I have been painfully neglecting my duties as an amateur/expert/goddess of blogging.

I have a lot of stories that I’m polishing now. Will post soon.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • A baby shower that had a taxidermy theme and barrel of fire outside
  • Accidentally sexually harassing a trainer at my gym
  • Attempting to bake cinnamon bread and ending up with Gak. (Do you guys remember Gak from the 90’s?? That stuff was the shit!)

Love and kisses,
A

College Road Trips And the Best Threat Ever

August 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m not sure about all of you, but I could fill a book with crazy/fun/weird/possibly illegal stories from my years in college. College is an amazing time when cretin-like behavior can be gotten away with, and you’re broke but so is everyone else so who cares? Everyone is on a level playing field, and we probably all had some sort of inflatable furniture you used as actual furniture; also very likely a futon you would never want to take a black light to. It was dynamic and crazy and I miss those days very often. I tell stories from a wheel house of those years to fill any awkward gap in conversation. I’m not sure how to measure it, considering it is so subjective, but I think my college years and friends I made during that time are better everyone else’s in all the land/interwebs/galaxy. (For people that are wondering I went to Elon University)*

There is one story in particular that I find hilarious, but it’s sometimes hard to gauge how people will take it. The punch line, and easily best part of the story, is just a string of expletives which was fashioned into the best threat ever. Ev-er. Sometimes after I’ve said it, I’m  met with a terrifying pause and polite laughter which means I just offended the hot guy I was talking to, and clearly we didn’t know each other well enough for me to drop a story bomb like that on him.

Yeah I missed the mark on this one.

So I’m submitting it here, for the interwebs to judge it:

It was spring break of my senior year, and my group of friends decided to roadtrip it down to Destin Beach where we were most certainly going to be kicked out of the state of Florida forever post-trip. We split everyone up into three cars, and planned to leave at the crack of dawn to make the 12 hour trek. I was in my best friend Scott’s car, and also riding with my boyfriend at the time, Ben.

Somewhat current photo of how awesome things are when Scott and I have adventures

As far as road trips go, there is one rule you have to abide by if you are a passenger: Do not fall asleep. Falling asleep is an open invitation for the annoyed, very tired driver and other passengers to fuck with your slumbering self. This rule is unequivocally acknowledged.

When we hit the road Scott was driving, and I was in front, while Ben was in the back seat. In the trunk was enough college caliber liquor and beer to keep an elephant herd drunk for a week, so being vigilant on the highway was of particular importance. It also was an insanely long drive, so I was determined to stay awake to keep Scott company, and maybe grab the wheel if perhaps the 5 am wake-up call got the better of him. It didn’t, but we also were all hyped up on mini powdered donuts, cheese poofs and gas station coffee. Ben, however, did not power through.

As soon as we got in the car Ben conked out. Scott and I knew at the moment. It was on. Ben had abandoned his driving captain and first mate for peaceful sleep and we were not having it. Our prank was simple: Scott was going to brush his hands around in a circle on the wheel as if we’d lost control of the car, and I was going to turn around in my seat while we both screamed at the top of our lungs. So after we got to a particularly vacant part of the highway Scott started doing his part and I turned around screaming and it probably sounded like this:
“AHHHHHHOHHHHMYYYYGOOODDAHHHHHHWEREGONNNNNADIIIIIEEEE!!!”

Then Ben, ripped from sleep and thrown into chaos, recognized immediately what we were doing and yelled the best threat of-all-time:

“You guys are both assholes and Scott I’m going to SKULL-FUCK YOU IN THE EYEBALL

Yup. Skull-fuck. It’s a thing. It’s a threat. Just drink that in for a second.

Ben is usually very mild mannered so it just made the whole thing even more hilarious. Also, and kind of disturbingly, after he had yelled at us he passed immediately back out into deep sleep. He slept the entire way to Destin making me wonder if he had been bitten by a tsetse fly, but I think those are only in Jumanji. Whatever, college was a weird time, it was a possibility.

Oh boy, looks like Ben got to this guy.

Anyway back to skull-fucking: We laughed about his threat all week during spring break. Although skull-fucking in and of itself is actually no laughing matter. I know this because I looked it up online and attracted a bunch of really weird malware to my hard drive. Don’t ever Google this subject it will kill your computer. It also makes for an awkward conversation with the IT guy trying to fix your computer.

I always think about this threat when I meet someone who is particularly deserving of a good verbal beating. (Like that guy who keeps talking over you in a group conversation with outdated and overused jokes about how all women should be in a kitchen…yeah…that guy deserves a good skull-fucking) Friends, keep this threat as a trump card in the back of your mind when you need a final flourish to add to the end of an argument.  You will always win.

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