Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Things About Pure Barre

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a great week!  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia today.  I finished my fifth Pure Barre class this week and wanted to share some things that I figured out along the way for those of you who want to try it, but are a little nervous like I was.  I will say that after my first class I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  I knew that it was a great workout, but it was a little intimidating.  It was also NOTHING like I thought it would be.  For some reason I expected classical ballet music, and it's not the case at all.  It is upbeat and fast paced.  Obviously I am no expert here (visit Courtney for a lot more about Pure Barre!), but I did learn a lot in my few classes!  

1. Get the sticky socks.  You don't necessarily have to get the Pure Barre ones, but it made a big difference when I started doing class in socks with a good grip on the bottom.  I will say that I love my Pure Barre socks because they are really thick and comfy.

Hi Maddux!!

2. Expect some feedback from the instructors.  I made sure to tell them ahead of time that I was a newbie which was helpful because they helped me get set up at first.  I have only been to one studio, but I'm assuming the format is pretty much the same where the instructor models the move and then walks around to check form.  They have made the slightest adjustment to my form that made the biggest difference in where I felt the movement.

3. It's ok to not be super flexible.  Guys, during the ab section there's a part where you lift your leg up.  A majority of the girls in my class had their leg all the way up almost touching the barre.  My leg was pretty much straight out in front of me.  At first it really bugged me, but I felt the workout a lot more when the instructor gave me advice on how to adjust to meet my inflexible needs.  Also, while I looked around a lot to make sure I looked similar to other people, most of the girls are so in the zone that they don't even notice what you're doing.  I learned to just focus on my workout and do my best instead of worrying about how my body just isn't bending like some of the other girls.

4. It's hard.  The first couple of workouts I was so sore for days after.  Eventually my body started getting a little used to the movements so it was slightly easier, but I have a feeling if it is easy the instructor will help you adjust to challenge yourself a little more.  I purchased a couple of DVDs that I think helped me a lot because it gets you more accustomed to the movements.  Also, the warm up is the same in the DVD so I felt a lot more comfortable at the beginning of class because I felt like an old pro.

5.  Find deals!  My first class was on a free "Love Your Body" event on Valentine's Day.  My last four classes were purchased through a Tax Day deal.  I got four classes for $60.  Usually single classes are $25 each.  If you're like me and aren't ready to commit to a full plan (it's a little daunting if you see the price tag!), then these deals are ideal (especially if you're new and trying to get used to it!).  My DVDs were also through a deal.  I got a tank, two DVDs, the socks, and one of the resistance bands used in class for a great price.  Follow Pure Barre on social media and sign up for the e-newsletter if you want to stay on top of offers.

While I probably won't be purchasing any packages in the near future (my closest studio is still about 25 minutes away), I really enjoyed trying out a new workout.  It's possible that most of this is mental, but I felt like I started to tone up a little bit when I added Pure Barre into my newest half marathon training plan for the first few weeks.  I encourage you to give it a try if you want a challenging workout.  Bonus points for not being super sweaty afterwards!  (And you guys know I sweat A LOT.)  **Just FYI, Pure Barre in no way paid me to say nice things about them.  I just know it's a big trend right now and I wanted to give you guys my honest opinion!

Have a great weekend!

Have you ever tried Pure Barre?  What did you think?  Any advice for newbies?    

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Things I've Learned Lately

Haaaaappppy Friday!  I am linking up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar today!  Make sure to check out the awesome blogs joining in the fun.  I have been absent on the blog front lately.  Part of it is because I haven't been training for anything and the other part is that priorities have just been elsewhere.  I'm happy to report that I started a training plan for my next half on Wednesday, so I'm sure I'll be inspired to document those adventures along the way.  As I was trying to think of a good topic to write about today, I realized that I had a lot of random thoughts floating around (like always).  I figured I'd share some things I've learned lately with you.  Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!

1. Love can last a life time.  Before you roll you eyes and think that is totally cheesy, let me explain.  My nice friend and I just headed to Colorado to join a TON of my family to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.  It was so great being out there watching them renew their vows to one another.  They are each other's rock and have been a fabulous team and a wonderful example of what love can be.  I'm so thankful that I was able to share in their special day!

Obvious where were get our good looks from.
Photo cred for these awesome selfies goes to my sister!

2.  It's ok to say no.  Last summer my uncle and cousins convinced me to hike up to the top of St. Mary's Glacier.  As a nonhiker, this was pretty traumatic for me (even though I will reluctantly admit that it was a great experience and I'm glad I did it!).  My family and I returned to the glacier again this summer.  My nice friend, dad, and I got to the glacier first.  My nice friend was feeling adventurous, so my dad and he took off to continue climbing.  I sat my butt down on a rock, enjoyed the views, and had a great time being silly with the gals in the family when they arrived.  I had a great time and did not regret my decision to stay behind.

Last year's view from the top.

This year's view from the bottom.
It was a little rainy, a lot fun.

3. Sometimes you just have to ask. So, you guys know my love of Reba.  When I was little I was really upset that my mom wouldn't let me dye my hair red so that I could look like Reba.  (Obviously, we are twins except for that red hair thing...)  When I saw that Reba was performing in Vegas I really wanted to go, but didn't think it would actually happen.  I mentioned something about it to my aunt and she was immediately onboard with the idea.  So much so that we actually booked our tickets already!  Vegas here we come!  I'm so glad I brought it up, because I might have missed a fun opportunity that may not come up again.

I woud be ok if she sang Fancy over and over again.

4. Grocery shopping can be exciting.  I know what you're thinking.  Grocery shopping sucks.  It really does.  BUT, after eating out a ton of meals, it was nice to be able to get back into my regular eating groove.  When I eat out I am of the opinion that I should try what I want to try, even if it may not be the healthiest thing on the planet.  At home I try to eat a lot cleaner.  My fridge had been pretty pathetic leading up to my Colorado trip, but it is stocked back up with fruits, veggies, and of course, sriracha hummus.  Definitely a good feeling!

5. Learning is exciting.  I've always known this, but it's been renewed in the past couple of weeks.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I started grad school.  It is a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to be a student again, but I get a little giddy every time I think about the fact that I am a grad student.  I am so excited to learn more and see what opportunities this opens up for me.

What have you learned lately?  Or been reminded of recently?  Have a fabulous weekend!