My Pure Barre journey began when I moved to Birmingham, Alabama from the Philadelphia area. I have always loved to work out, but my true passion was playing and coaching field hockey. I played in college and then coached at my alma mater for four years. When a big move brought me to Alabama, I needed to find something to channel all of that passion and energy, as field hockey is basically nonexistent in the south. I had tried other barre-based classes, but decided to give Pure Barre a shot. I was hooked from class #1 – I left feeling exhausted from head to toe, but also energized! From that point forward, I was hooked. I am approaching my one year “pure barre-iversary” and am looking forward to reaching my 250th class soon.
What I love most about Pure Barre is the combination of predictability and the element of surprise that each class brings. I walk into each class knowing that I am going to do a warm-up and complete core, arms, thighs, and seat workout, but I never know which specific moves we are going to do. There are hundreds of combinations, and I have never taken the exact same class twice. This means I must be focused in order to listen to the cues, but I also get to feel relaxed and comfortable because we go in the same order and follow established guidelines in each set. That’s just what I love about the actual workout – what I truly love the most about Pure Barre is that it has introduced me to an amazing community of women (and some men!) here in Birmingham. I walked into my first class completely new to Alabama, and now I have made lifelong friends at the barre.
Along with the physical benefits of toning up all over, Pure Barre has helped me to become more focused and goal-oriented. Pure Barre has a few mantras that apply to other areas of your life beyond a workout. Some of my favorite sayings are: “You’re stronger than you think,” “Final 10, Best 10,” “Embrace the Shake,” and “Challenge your flexibility as much as your strength.” Changes to the body happen only when someone is exploring his or her limits and then pushing past them – the same is true in one’s personal, work, or spiritual life. Change can be difficult, but it’s almost always for the better.
If someone is considering Pure Barre for the first time, they should DO IT! My advice would be to check out some of the Technique Tip videos beforehand and try to arrive early to ask any questions and get set up. Pure Barre teachers use specific terminology when leading class and it’s important to know what each term means. Make sure to ask what tuck, pulse, freeze/hold, lift, and squeeze all refer to. Once you are set up inside the studio, make a friend with an experienced client – I love when new clients feel comfortable enough to ask me questions. I am happy to help them in any way that I can! Lastly, never get discouraged if you feel a little lost. The person next to you who is executing the move perfectly could be a 500 class club member! Other clients are not watching you and judging you – Pure Barre requires too much internal focus for that to happen, and at one point, we were all taking our first class! Be relaxed, have fun, and make sure to come back for class #2, then #3, then #4… pretty soon you’ll be joining the 100 club!
-Leslie Messick, Pure Barre Enthusiast from Pure Barre Birmingham, Alabama – Riverchase.