Did I make it to all my weekly workout classes? How many calories did I burn? Am I seeing results? These questions run through our heads as we plan our monthly and yearly fitness goals. And, while we tend to focus on the physical benefits first, Pure Barre provides so much more than that. We know many of our clients found us because of a challenge in their life, or Pure Barre is what got them through a difficult time. It’s those mental and emotional benefits that keep tugging your heart back to the studio.
We spoke with client, Brenda Alkins, about her inspiring journey with Pure Barre and why she made taking class a part of her daily routine, despite being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.
Can you give us some background of your experience with Pure Barre?
I started taking Pure Barre classes in February 2015 at the Syracuse, NY studio. I loved the challenge of every workout and how my mind was at peace after each session. However, due to vacations and other conflicts, I had to take the summer off. I was just returning to the workouts when I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at the end of October 2015.
How did you continue to incorporate Pure Barre in your life once you were diagnosed?
Because of the nature of my job, I was taken out of work so I could focus on my treatments and kicking cancer’s “Pure Barre Ledge.” Pure Barre became my daily routine again. It gave me a reason to get up and get moving, people to talk to, and a focus outside of cancer.
Were you able to attend classes while going through chemo?
Yes, however there were mornings that I really didn’t feel well and had to force myself to attend a class, always knowing I could stop or leave if I needed too. Plus, I ALWAYS felt better after the exercise. I tolerated the five months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation, without getting any colds or infections, despite my lowered immunity. Pure Barre helped me to maintain my physical, mental and emotional health throughout chemo,
What changes have you seen in yourself as a result of Pure Barre, despite your health conditions?
Unfortunately, due to the steroids and the medicine I was required to take, I have not seen the physical results in my body. But, I was able to maintain my strength and stamina during all of the surgeries and treatments, and feel I am mentally and emotionally stronger than I was when this whole journey started.
What was one of the most challenging things you faced during your treatments?
One of the hardest parts of the whole process was being bald, but everyone was very supportive and I never felt self conscious while attending class. One client even organizes a hat and scarf donation for me.
What is your favorite thing about Pure Barre?
I love the sense of community and acceptance. The Syracuse Studio Owner, Cathy McKie, and the teachers were some of the first people I told about my diagnosis. They equipped me with modifications and new exercises to try following my surgeries and were always so encouraging every time I entered the studio.
The clients, teachers, and owners at each studio make up a strong community that inspire us daily. Though each client represents a unique aspect of the community, it’s the time we spend in the studio and the relationships we build that make Pure Barre so much more than just a workout.