Why I Stuck With This Workout
Updated: May 30, 2022
I have always attended Barre3 classes several times a week since the day we moved to Needham. Being a member of Barre3 Needham has been a lifeline for me.
The first day I tried Barre3, I fell in love with the workout. It is the perfect balance of cardio, tiny muscle burning movements, yoga, along with stretching and mindfulness. It doesn't take someone with a ton of coordination to figure it out and you don't need to be a ballet dancer to do it.
When Parker was an infant, I lugged her bucket seat into Barre3 and deposited her with the childcare staff day after day. I would go into the studio every morning for my workout, trusting them with my baby. I took that hour for me, and I cherished it. Sometimes I brought Parker and the boys to the childcare. I would squat, sweat and roll my eyes with the women around me, as we were forced to listen to the crying coming from the small cordoned off space right outside the glass door to the studio. I would shake my head and pretend the shrieks weren't coming from my three kids.
As the years went by and the baby weight began to slowly drop off, I continued to attend these mornings classes. I found friends here. I became a part of this community. The instructors were warm and welcoming, and I felt a part of something. The mantra was often the same, "it doesn't matter what you look like, just be who you are." There was a sense of togetherness at Barre3 Needham. A family. So many friends always coming to just be. It was often my only social outlet of the day, as my hours were spent chasing toddlers around, changing diapers and dealing with preschool drop off and pickups.
In the early years, I drank some evenings, but I never liked showing up to my Barre3 classes with a hangover. I didn't like not getting the most out of the class, so I didn't drink much the night before. As the years went by and the kids got older and my dependency on alcohol increased, I began to find ways to make it to class each morning, regardless of a hangover or not. I often dragged myself there.
Even if I had drank a bottle of wine the night before or had been out drinking with the ladies, I forced myself to get to my Barre3 class. I often popped handfuls of Imodium and pepto bismal and Advil just to get through the class, polishing off bottles and bottles of stomach meds a week. I was so anxious about feeling sick during the class, but I just had to make it through my workout. Sometimes I would throw up before going to class, but I had to make it there. I didn't want to let my drinking effect my workout routine. Because I continued to convince myself of one thing - if I was still working out regularly and getting through my Barre3 classes, then this thing called alcohol didn't really have a hold on me. I was sure that everything was still okay and my evening habits were completely under control.
Who was I kidding? Maybe I fooled a lot of people for a while. But, definitely not myself. At the end of every workout class the instructors lead us in something called breath work. Breath work is when you are forced to lay still on your mat and essentially meditate for 3-5 minutes. As you can imagine, this was absolute torture for me back when I was drinking. By the end I just wanted to be done. I wanted to get home. Sometimes I knew my kids were waiting for me. Other times, my hangover was peaking. One time, I remember the instructor asking us as we were on the mats to think about something in our lives that we wanted to work on. She asked us to concentrate on a piece of ourselves that we wanted to fix. As I lay there on the mat, hungover, thinking about what was broken inside me, all I could think was - "I need to stop drinking." This thought terrified me. It made me angry. It spooked me. And it came out of nowhere. It wasn't for at least three more years that I finally was able to stop drinking alcohol though.
I still go to my Barre3 classes, and they still mean as much to me as they did the first day I walked into the studio. They probably mean even more to me now! They make me feel balanced, whole and at peace with myself. I tried to maintain this perfect facade for so long, but I wasn't fooling anyone. Today, I attended Liz's workout, and I hadn't been to her class in a while. I was reminded of the days when Parker was in the childcare, and the anxiety I felt was at an all time high due to my hangovers. But today, there was no anxiety. I was at peace. I was able to truly enjoy my workout and there was no lying to myself. No secrets. No shame. I relaxed through breath work and didn't worry about all the ways I needed to change myself. Instead, I thought about the last eight years and the different versions of myself that have laid on this workout mat. As the lights came on at the end of the class, I was relieved to know that there wasn't a part of me that was still trying to escape it all. #barre3 #barre3needham #barre