What I Learned From Doing 30 pure barre Classes in 40 Days.
I did it! I finished my challenge! I didn’t think I’d make it, and the polar vortex tried to stop me by canceling a couple of my morning classes, but I still got all 30 of my dots. I’ll admit it, if you do something enough, you start to get sick of it. But it also will teach you a lot about yourself. I’m a big believer in applying lessons learned in one area of your life to other areas, so here are seven things I learned from taking 30 classes in 40 days and how I’ll use them going forward.
- You need to make yourself a priority. Before this challenge, I was writing off my exercise time and using it to catch up on sleep or homework or TV. But by scheduling my workouts just like any other meetings or classes, I committed to having some “me” time each day – and that time made me sleep better, gave me more energy, and generally made me a happier person. It made me more organized so that I could fit in my workouts, even on the busiest days. And I didn’t even have to take a 6 am class to get this done!
- Everything’s better with a friend. I was lucky enough to have a pal come along for a few classes (special thanks to Andrea for tagging along on a few Friday afternoons!) and it was infinitely easier to get through the classes when I knew I had a friend pushing through them with me.
- Patience is key. Building new muscles – and skills – comes in small steps. There are moves that I can do some days but not others, and moves that I couldn’t do at the beginning of this challenge that I’m so proud to be able to do now. I’m now able to take the good days with the bad. I’m thrilled when I can do the hard moves, and I don’t beat myself up on the days that I just don’t quite have it in me.
- Take pride in the little things. Along the same note of the last one, it made me so unbelievably happy to be able to do a move for the first time when I couldn’t do it before (Namely, ab work sitting under the bar where you lift your legs in the air. That stuff kills me every time.) That sense of accomplishment is something I won’t forget, and something I’m always striving for as I try new things.
- Don’t compare yourself to others – just getting yourself there each day is an accomplishment. Everyone has their own version of hard. I fully believe this, and for me some days are harder than others with my migraines. I need to remember that each day is a great one and that I should proud of what I can do, and to not compare my life or myself to others. It can be challenging when you see that dynamo in class who seems to be all muscle, but I think this is especially important in life: nobody has it all – there’s always a some sort of hidden struggle and you need to cut yourself, and everyone else, some slack.
- Who you used to be doesn’t have to determine who you are now. Because of an old shoulder injury, there were certain movements that were always hard for me in pure barre. But during this challenge, I decided to start from scratch and work my way up from the beginning with lower weights, and gradually I was able to do all the exercises with the same weight. Now, you’d never guess I used to have issues with one of my shoulders. This just goes to show that you can’t let old memories hold you back from where you are today – you just have to live in the moment and build on the strengths you have now.
- You have to treat yourself every once in a while. I would NOT have gotten through this challenge without letting myself eat pretty much anything I wanted. I was not doing this to lose weight, I did this to get back in shape and get back on a schedule of taking time for myself after letting my personal health go a bit last quarter. The funny thing was, the more I worked out, the more I wanted to put good food in my body for fuel. But I always made sure to reward myself for a job well done, whether it was in the form of a hot chocolate, a red velvet donut, or the bacon egg and cheese sandwich that has now become my weekly ritual.
Now that I’m on cloud nine after accomplishing what I didn’t think I’d be able to do, I can’t wait to get back in the studio tomorrow and keep tucking towards my next goal: to join the 100 club at my second studio in two different time zones. I’m over halfway there – my goal is to get there before the end of May. We’ll see how that goes!