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My Life CHALLENGERS: Labor Day Friends and Pure Barre

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Angela's Life Challengers

A few years ago, a group of my closest college friends decided to commit to annual plans for Labor Day weekend together. We had each moved to different parts of the country and pursued something different: the corporate world, non-profit industry, graduate school, and marriage and family. We’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively together, and throughout the years they’ve continued to be edifying friends who have challenged me intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. These are friends who tell me the searing truth when I have made mistakes in my life. They are people who know me and have shown me tangible acts of love over the years. Year after year, I am inspired each day by their creativity, curiosity, and care for others. All in all, they’re some of my greatest life challengers!

For this year’s Labor Day trip, we all traveled to Denver, and I had the opportunity to share Pure Barre with this group of friends. Because in the past we’d inspired each other to each run half or full marathons in a six month time span, I was excited to share this exercise I find so challenging with them in the hopes that they would fall in love with the technique as much as I have! It was definitely a worlds-colliding party with some of my favorite people meeting my favorite exercise!

I have loved Pure Barre because I’ve seen the transformation with my own eyes, and almost two years later, I still find class a challenge. Because I am usually heading to class for an early morning session, or immediately after the work day, it’s always a mental game of deciding how hard I want to challenge myself for the next 55 minutes. Like any relationship, friendship or otherwise, I recognize the importance of honesty; the same goes for my relationship with Pure Barre. So I’ll tell you openly that there are days I am just proud to have made it to class, consequently pulsing down straight for my final 10 in thighs instead of hinging back. Other days, my arms are folded over the barre in seat instead of pulling off with straight arms. But most of the time, I am there to take on the challenge.

When I first started, I thought it would be impossible to ever go through class without a little mini break here and there. But now I can hold for the entire duration of planks, have branched out to grab those 5 lb weights, and choose to deepen my stretch with the splits…all of which was not possible pre-Pure Barre. I challenge myself to really stick with it, especially when we are told that we “can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds!” Each day I am met with instructors who know me, my goals, and my “working zone,” and because of them, I am continually challenged to keep my heels higher, sink down deeper, or tuck even harder. I am inspired to see changes and am working towards my 300 Club goal, and I’m sure the 500 Club after that (see first post about striving, ha!). But it’s a challenge I choose to engage with daily, and it is one that has continued to inspire me along the way.

I felt so privileged last weekend to share with this group the challenge Pure Barre brings, and for each of these friends to experience something that has now become a treasured time and something important to me. I wish you could have seen their expressions through the mirror when they first discovered their legs shaking in these poses! My friends certainly felt the challenge as our class included some difficult moves, but I was so proud to see their confusion through the mirror turn into determination, and to have fun through it all. The whole experience was quite hilarious, and one we absolutely loved sharing together. I’ve certainly let Pure Barre enter my life as a change agent for good, much like these girlfriends of mine. Limit Pure Barre to an hour workout, and you may miss out. So I want to challenge you today: share your love for Pure Barre with a friend (or five!), go for those 5 lbs weights during warm-up, slide out to those splits stretch after thighs, keep your heels higher, and sink into your final 10, for each final 10! Let it challenge you to the point of shaking and changing each time you go. If I can do it, I know for a fact that you will get to a place where you can too!

*Special thank you to Pure Barre Greenwood Village for having us over Labor Day weekend. We loved our class!

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