Laura has taken over 200 classes and is still seeing new results, getting stronger and gaining focus. Keep reading Laura’s inspirational story and find out why she “hopes that Pure Barre will bring to you what it’s brought to me.”
I spent a good part of my adult life being an active weekend warrior skydiver. I accumulated 2100 skydives, instructor ratings, and competed at Nationals five times. It was as much fun as you can have with a jumpsuit on! I also accumulated several herniated discs in my neck that were completely debilitating. After my third round of cervical fusion in ten years, it was time to hang up my rig for good. My surgeon asked me to find some way to keep my shoulders, upper back and core as strong as possible while complying with orders to avoid all high impact forms of sports/exercise and never lifting more than ten pounds over my head. That was a very tall order, and also felt incredibly discouraging. I had no idea how to replace what had been such a huge part of my life for so long, as well as the physical outlet I needed to feel balanced. How was I supposed to get strong now?
I was in my mid-40s, realizing I was facing chronic pain for the rest of my life. This was no way to live, so I started to address these issues by finding an amazing life coach (thank you, Melanie Curtis!) to help direct my work towards a positive and rewarding existence. I gave yoga and Pilates serious focus but kept feeling like something was missing and I was still battling major pain management issues. About a year later, I had a particularly painful day and felt like drowning my physical woes in a vat of frozen yogurt. When I arrived I found out that my favorite shop was out of business! Instead of unlimited toppings, a big banner declared that Pure Barre was coming to New Tampa, Florida. After a little research, it seemed like LTBing might be effective for me, but I missed my yogurt shop, and I thought “this had better be good!”
The Pure Barre New Tampa opening day rolled around and I was ready to give this barre thing a try. I purchased the new client special, knowing I’d have to give Pure Barre a fair chance, and it was not love at first shake. In fact, it took all four weeks, a dozen classes and an embarrassing amount of whining before I fell under the LTB spell. The biggest thing I noticed after the first few months was that while I was sore nearly every day, I was no longer in pain. There’s a difference! I had no idea! With each class, I found I could hold a plank a tiny bit longer, get a little deeper in to form and, best of all, my brain was quiet while I working harder than I had ever before. I was and still am stunned by this. As of today, I’m at class #232 and I still see new results and surprise myself with how strong I’ve become or where I could use some focus. Is there room to get better, to work harder? Always. Our Pure Barre teachers work hard to keep things fresh, know their clients and how to motivate them. I have been trying my entire adult life to find some form of exercise that can hold my interest and I have finally found my thing!
I’m 47 and for the first time in my entire life, I know what an oblique looks & feels like. Are those my thighs?! Yay! My surgeon is impressed and loves that I’m now the strongest I have ever been. I’m a bit of a marketing skeptic but I’ve found that the Pure Barre mantras work for me. I’ve found out that I CAN do anything for 60 seconds, I DO put in my best effort for Final 10, I DO remember why I came to class (on Sunday mornings, it’s for the pancakes), I DO leave my day behind and spend 55 minutes working on my best me. Not only can I now isolate muscle groups, I can talk my way through any type of physical discomfort in and out of the studio. In less than a year and a half, I’ve gone from worrying about chronic pain ruling my life to worrying about why my teasers are so bad. That’s a swap I’ll take any time!
When talking to others who are just considering Pure Barre I tell them to please give yourself the time and space to learn the technique. No one is an expert at first. As a matter of fact, we’re all learning all the time and everyone experiences moments of colossal awkwardness. It’s ok! Watch the Technique Tips videos, go to Breaking Down the Barre, talk with the teachers and your fellow students. It all helps. I have some physical restrictions – as my neck is one big block, and have a torn calf muscle – but there’s a modification for just about everything and you will not lose any of the effectiveness. All you have to do is ask and learn. Finally, learn to love corrections. Every time you adjust and correct your form, you’re deepening your understanding and mind/body awareness. No one is judging or rating you, it’s all about creating the best learning environment so you get everything you can out of class. It’s so rewarding, I have actually burst into tears describing it, which also makes me laugh!
It’s my sincere hope that Pure Barre will bring to you what it’s brought to me.
– From Laura Song, Pure Barre enthusiast from New Tampa, FL