My fellow brothers,
I am a man. I drink beer. I eat meat. I watch sports. Sometimes, I do all three at once. I also like to work out. Pushing my body to its limits gives me a sense of accomplishment, pride, and confidence. After a good workout, I am ready to do anything. Take on the world. And there is something else you need to know about me. I do Pure Barre. What of it?
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Dan Boland, a 30-something with the mindset of a teenager (in many ways). I believe my best days lie ahead of me, not behind, and I approach each day with an air of limitless potential. I played professional football both overseas and indoors. I earned a Masters degree in Education and coached high school ball for almost a decade. I continue to teach and coach others as a personal trainer and wellness coach. I also teach spinning and am on my way to becoming a yoga instructor.
I like to consider myself a well-rounded and open-minded person. That is reflected in my workouts. They vary from day to day and rarely, if ever, repeat themselves. Some days, I chose to lift… heavy. Other days, it’s a spinning class, or yoga. Some days, my buddy Jeff and I lift a 55-gallon metal drum over our heads as we lunge walk around a field and see who can throw it farther and higher. The next day, we hit the heavy bag. One day, I go for a long run…another day, I will do a sprint workout…or I will go for a swim. You get the point.
I am active and I enjoy moving my body. And I like to try all sorts of exercise even the ones that seem “girly” like Pilates, yoga, hip-hop, and Barre. And I put “girly” in quotes because that is the opinion of some men I have talked with about something all guys like talking about….working out. But when a bro starts talking about barre being “girly,” I realize that I have been speaking to a poorly misinformed and usually inexperienced dude. They think Barre is easy because “my girlfriend does that” or because there are “a bunch of women in there.”
To this I say….uh, yeah. There are a bunch of women in there. So get in there. And look at their bodies. I mean, don’t look at their bodies like THAT. That would be wrong. And I’m married. (I love you honey.) But seriously though…look at their bodies. Most of them are defined, lean, long, toned, and strong. They are becoming more so each time they attend Pure Barre. That is because Pure Barre is hard. HHHHHAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDD. Please don’t say another thing. Just go. Just one time and I’ll be shocked if you don’t leave class drenched, shaking, and humbled.
When I think back to my first Pure Barre class, I thought to myself, “OK self, you can do this. If all of these women can do this, so can I.” And, then class started…and I was sweating within the warm-up, shaking within the first few abdominal exercises. And then my arms were burning and shaking. And we hadn’t even started in on the legs yet. Oh mama. My thighs were on fire worse than when doing any squats or lunges. My hips were burning. The movement is so simple. Why can’t I do that? Why does it feel like someone is stabbing me with a red-hot knife right there in my hip? And then…seat work… Working towards that Pure Barre ledge. And tuck and tuck and pulse and 2 and 3 and 4 and here to finish, sweat, shake, aaaand fall.
So, men. If you can get over yourself and are willing to try something fun and different, then please get yourself into a Pure Barre class soon. At first, being the only dude in a room full of sweaty women was a little intimidating. I thought that they are all going to be better than me and be looking over here and laughing. But now, I don’t even notice the other ladies in the room. I will occasionally glance around to make sure that I am doing it right and what I notice is that everybody is concentrating so intensely on themselves that nobody is looking or caring what I am doing. And sometimes, I look around and notice that I have better form or am more flexible than some of my female classmates and I think to myself with a smile, “Yeah! That’s right. Look at how pointy my foot is!”