I’ll be first to admit it: I am a striver. I’m constantly progressing from one thing to another, seeking “the next thing.” Does this resonate? If you’re someone like me, you’re one who consistently has a lot going on. For me, the last few years have been both comical and a little overbearing at times.
My younger brother was in a life threatening ski accident that has left him blind in his left eye, and deaf in his left ear. I broke my ankle two weeks before what would have been my first marathon, moved across the country, started and completed my Masters, traveled out of state once a month for a good two years, and had 9 friends visit me in LA during the month of February. People in my life have died, and other friends have given birth. I started a new job in graduate admissions, moved homes, and became a strict pescetarian by choice. In my spare time, I’d tell you that I like to make French macarons. Life has been full!
It wasn’t until I found myself stranded outside my apartment one evening after I dropped my keys down the elevator shaft because I was juggling my gym bag along with my work bag and 5 bags of groceries for the dinner party I was hosting the next evening, plus the mail and phone in hand, that I realized that I was doing a lot. Yes, physically… in that very moment, but also in life overall. And if I am even more honest with you, I was tired without a foreseeable break in sight, and deep down knew that my body wasn’t strong enough to carry me through both my stressors and areas of great joy!
Somewhere in between my papers on identity development theories, mentoring a group of high school girls, and meeting Giada de Laurentiis, I discovered Pure Barre. And in a season when I was stretched thin for time, it’s funny Pure Barre never became another thing to do on my list. It quickly became an integrated part of my day, and as a result, my body, mind, and self confidence have gotten stronger through Pure Barre, giving me a stronger self to carry me through all that life holds! I found Pure Barre post ankle injury when I desperately missed running and the accomplishment feeling after a 9 mile run, but Pure Barre captivated me with its small movements and working an area to fatigue. My first class was love (and hate) at first burn at Pure Barre Bellevue when I was home in Seattle visiting my family. And at my local studio Pure Barre Beverly Hills, I fell in love with the people at the studio, intensity of class, energy of the instructors, the muscle burning sensation brought by little presses and pulses, and the Pure Barre-isms like, “the higher the heels, the stronger the thighs!” or “the smaller the movement, the more effective the workout!”. Some of those sayings have stuck with me. Doing things small goes against the Angela Bae dictionary. I was used to big results in my life as a result of big effort!
However, each class is a constant reminder that keeping the movements small is the best way to be effective, and I take this metaphor outside of Pure Barre to focus on the areas I want to work. It reminds me to invest specific energy and time into my athletic, professional, and personal goals. It tells me to focus intentionally on my family, friends, and faith, which are most important to me. It encourages me to hone in my energy very specifically to the areas I want to see change.
So now you won’t find me juggling 5 bags of groceries, with my mail, keys, and phone at the same time. Instead I’m actively trying to go against my nature to slow down, minimize, focus on the present, and to keep my movements small when I want to make them big. Your time is valuable too. So I encourage you today… just trace a dime!