Ballet to Work Out? No Way!
While I have always loved dancing and consider myself to have some moves, formal training was never in the cards for me. I took the standard ballet class as a little girl, but was a huge failure. It was then that my mother realized she should just finally give into my Poppa and let me play out in the dirt... with him... and some baseballs.
Since most of my life has been composed of competitive sports and hard core cardio, I never really focused on the art that is toning and building muscle. I just addressed the muscle part in weight training or with my boxing gloves. I always admired those long and lean looking Yogi’s and Pilates people, but just didn’t see myself there. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be there, but as easy as it looked, I had a feeling it was going to be harder than anything I had done before. In the summer of 2010, as my wedding was quickly approaching, I decided the time had come; I needed to do something different to make some last minute changes to my body. It worked out perfectly as I purchased a greedily Grouponed for a month of Barre Method classes.
I went in there thinking that this ballet inspired workout was going to be challenging, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I mean, I was going to four kickboxing classes a day, I could do anything that this point! I entered the room clad in my normal workout gear and realized that I was definitely out of my element. Everyone in there was not only a head to toe Lu Lu'ed, but they were tiiinnny. Was I in the right place? My 5’9 beast-like body was allowed to be here right? I just smiled at everyone, grabbed the gear they had and found a nice corner spot near the exit.
The instructor was a very nice young woman who made everyone feel welcome, she then jumped us right into the warm up. Knee pulls, pushups, lunges and “tiny pulses”. Little did I know, those “tiny pulses” would haunt me for the entire hour of class, and haunt they did. We started doing all sorts of exercises that if watching looked like they could be done in your sleep, but doing them was another story. While surrounded by these tiny dancer people effortlessly doing these damn pulses, I on the other hand, am a grunting, sweat dripping hot mess. While I am convinced these women are laughing at me, I am still trying my best to tuck my stupid hips, tighten my glutes and core while powering through these sets. I loved the way the music went from loud pumping during the movements, to soothing cool down during the stretch sequence at the end of each exercise. I can promise you, the stretching was my favorite part.
As we moved through the class using our own body resistance, bands, bar and small ball for abs, I was really feeling it; and it felt AMAZING! I didn’t realize how many muscle groups had gotten so bored with my usual routine, nor how tight I was from my half-ass effort to stretch each day. I could feel my little muscles getting tight and then getting looooonnnnnggg as I reached deeper into each stretch. It was yet another workout I fell in love with. I mean if you don’t feel it and it isn’t hard, why do it? My motto: pain is change. And change... now that is something I always want for my body. With Bar Method under my belt, Pilates will be my next victim… I can assure you, I am scared to death! But, that will not stop me, I will try it and hopefully love it too!