I am so excited about today's giveaway!!! I have a genuine and unexpected love for Pure Barre, and have found it to truly be one of my MOST favorite things! As I was thinking about the experiences in my daily life that I would want to share with people as part of this week's giveaway, this was literally at the top of my list. (you know, right after shopping in Paris in the fall...)
I flirted with Pure Barre back in March of this year. And then we started bumping into each other on a weekly basis. After a month of nonstop dates I finally bought a membership and admitted to myself and the entire that world that I was smitten with and in a defined committed relationship with my local studio. Im just going to say it: I am married to Pure Barre. We belong together.
Every morning I am greeted by this lovely sight:
Happy to see me instructors (and sometimes Bogsley the dog) who make an effort to know my name, always express that they are glad that I made it, and immediately welcome me in. Its a positive atmosphere and I felt comfortable here even as an awkward newbie. (And boy was I awkward!!! I cannot stress this enough). I should also mention that prior to walking through those studio doors I had never EVER attended any sort of fitness class, or even so much as stepped foot inside a gym. I was intimidated by the mere thought of exercise. I tried to go jogging once 2 years ago and made it half way around the block before I came to my senses and returned home to the comfort of my electric blanket and Greys Anatomy on netflix.
So you may be curious how a girl like me ended up obsessed with an exercise class when I held such strict beliefs about physical activity being the root of all evil?! Well it went like this: I had 3 kids in 3 years, lost and gained a million pounds, abandoned any sort of fashion sense, entered frump girl phase, started leafing through piles of self help books along with sampling some cymbalta - and every aspect of my sad little existence NEEDED a mental outlet and a timeout from the black hole of motherhood! I finally reached down deep and found my inner cheerleader from 1998 and decided that some type of dance fitness was probably doable. I started by googling for an adult ballet class in my area...and it led me to Pure Barre.
I dragged my BFF along with me and we tucked through our first class together, because if you're gong to humiliate yourself it is always a good idea to bring along someone who can witness the hilarity! I was SO SO terribly lost and unskilled. And after my very first class I experienced a soreness that was unreal. There are no words. It did get easier each time I conquered another hour, but initially I felt like I had been in a full body car accident and tried to only move my limbs when it involved getting up to consume more advil. But by some miracle I kept at it, and little by little I got stronger and less awkward. I also started dragging more and more people to class with me. I call it the "I demand for you to know how amazing this is" effect.
I am a visual learner. So let me explain my muscular awakening via photography:
In class you hold plank for 90 seconds. Well.... you're Supposed to hold plank for 90 seconds.
Some of us just kind of lay there and hang out for a minute and a half.
You do these incredible moves that require intense mental strength to plow through. Like extending from the barre and pulsing your leg one million times until your whole body shakes like you're having a seizure. They call this "muscle fatigue".
I call it the perfect time to run to the bathroom, or adjust my pony tail, or pop up and admire my raccoon eyes in the mirror.
Every once in a while a miracle happens and I can TOTALLY NAIL a position.
Hahahaha. Just kidding. Im still working on correct form. Its a process!
Here during the pose that I lovingly refer to as "the muffin top killer" I was wondering what I was going to buy at Whole Foods on my way home from class....and if there was still dip leftover in the fridge from the night before.
Occupying your mind or "letting the music get you through it" are two very handy techniques I have learned. The instructors are really good at prompting you to stay in your poses and cranking up the tunes so all you have to do is hang on and shake.
By the end of class I feel two parts victorious - one part dead...glad its over and grateful I made it through another day!
There were a few undeniable 'selling points' for me about Barre.
1. First and foremost these classes are hands down the most effective way to tone up your entire body in 1 hour. End of story. After maybe 10 classes even my husband noticed that my legs and shoulders were toning up.
2. There is a dress code - no midriffs showing, pants must be below the knee, sticky socks highly recommended. I appreciated that this is not a show off your body in a naked sort of way establishment. It made it way less awkward for me to roll in there with my un-toned self without feeling like a before shot of an infomercial.
3. Occasionally there is a lone brave man soul who takes on a class - but predominately this is a ladies club. (Men are allowed and encouraged - its just rare.) What this means for me - is that I can roll into class without getting "flexed on" by guys who linger at the mirrors. This studio is NOT a meat market! You will not meet your future boyfriend tucking at the barre.
4. The classes are small - under 20 people. So each session feels like you are having an hour with a personal trainer. You will be corrected, encouraged, pushed to achieve, and uplifted by every single instructor and friend you shake with. There is a definite feeling of unity here. Like, if I were getting married again these people would probably be my bridesmaids.
5. And yet another reason I got completely obsessed with this experience, is because the classes are unlike anything I have ever done before, and the movements spoke to me. Its physical, mental...and somehow beautiful all rolled into one. You point your toes, lengthen your limbs, extend beyond your limits. All the while wearing cozy leg warmers and channeling your inner Jessie Spanno. "Im so excited and I just can't hide it!"
6. And of course the main reason I adore Pure Barre is that you can leave class without dripping in sweat or doing the walk of shame to your car with ruined hair and makeup. You can skip right out of that studio looking like a cast member of The Babysitter's Club.
I can't express how much I adore Pure Barre. It makes me feel amazing. It allows me to eat fancy plates of cheeses guilt-free whilst keeping a thigh gap. Its the BEST hour of my day and I want YOU to come along and join me in my fitness addiction!
And so would Boggsley. He would very much like for you to come also.
So, without further ado - I present to you todays awesome giveaway. One super lucky winner will be getting an entire UNLIMITED MONTH of Pure Barre Boise classes! Since each studio is individually owned, this giveaway is only for the Boise location. (If you're reading from out of town go here to locate a studio near you!)
In addition to your voucher for free classes, you will be receiving this adorable glass water bottle, and a pair of sticky socks so you can hold your poses like a boss!
And because I love ya, Im including one of my favorite Cents of Style work out tanks! So you can OWN IT when you come to class! Shoppers - go here to see the entire line of must-have workout tanks!
I will either personally deliver this package to the winner or ship it to you (tank top shipped separately). And if you're intimidated to start your month of transformation alone - say no more. I will link arms and escort you to your first class!
To win this amazing package just follow the directions below! *** Remember all giveaways end Monday Dec 8th at 9am!***
Our purpose at Cents of Style is to empower women to lead bold and full lives. We believe that if you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good you can do good for others around you. Cents of Style brings you a wide range of trendy shoes, beautiful scarves, and statement-making jewelry, all at affordable prices to make them accessible to you.