Pure Barre

#WhyIBarre

Yes, I barre because of it’s power to change the lives of clients and teachers all over the country. Yes, it’s my passion and my therapy. Most importantly, I do it because I love dessert…well, maybe that’s not the most important reason, but it’s definitely up there 😉


It’s challenging to capture in less than 15 seconds all of the reasons why I eat, sleep and breathe barre. Between teaching classes, working in the office and leading trainings the list seems to get a little longer each day.

  • The physical and mental benefits. – Ok, this one is a little selfish. Trust me, if I didn’t make time to take class you would not want to be around me. I’m sure you’ve encountered me during a time where I wasn’t making time for this. And you thought I was bad when I was hangry. I could go on for days letting you know how much I believe in the Pure Barre technique, but would much rather you just come take a class with me or from me so you can experience it for yourself.

  • The teachers. – I’ve had the privilege of meeting hundreds of Pure Barre teachers over the past 4+ years. I love to hear their stories and how Pure Barre has impacted their lives. I’ve called three different cities home since I’ve started teaching and the group of teachers that I found myself with each time became such an important part of my life. It’s so fun to keep up with the extended network of teachers that I’ve taken from when on the road or met at countless trainings. Not to mention, a lot of time and effort goes into becoming a really great teacher. Most of the 2,000+ plus Pure Barre teachers have other jobs, significant others, children and many other things going on. I’ve always admired all of the individuals who make the commitment to teaching and being a part of such a positive community.

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier

“Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre.” – Gail Goldwin

“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” – Mary Lou Retton

  • The owners. – From the outside looking in, opening a Pure Barre studio can look so glamorous and sometimes easy. It’s. A. Whole. Lot. of. Hard. Work. The owners all over the country continue to inspire me each day with their commitment to helping make a difference in the lives of so many clients and teachers.

“It takes a lot of effort to make something look effortless”
― Ben Mitchell

  • My coworkers. – My full time role is the Training Specialist at Pure Barre.  There are two other amazing girls that work full time on the Training Team with me.  I am beyond blessed to call these two girls (oh hey, Katy and Katelyn) not only my coworkers, but my friends. Like any job, it has it’s moments and some days are better than the others. At the end of the day, through the ups and downs, if you can say it’s all worth it…then you know you’re in the right place. Shout out to all of the Teacher Trainers and Corporate employees that put up with all my shenanigans on a very regular basis.  A special shout out to those who have to deal with me chugging a Red Bull and then heading in to teach class — your seat will thank me even if you do not.

  • The clients. – You’ve probably heard (or read) this from me before, especially if you’ve read any of my other posts that turn into a I ❤ Pure Barre overload, but I can’t reiterate this enough. At least once a week, I find myself with tears or chills while teaching because I’m just that inspired by the people in the room. I know this sounds dramatic, but hey, I am dramatic, so that’s ok.  The whole chills thing has seemed to die down with the recent introduction of Platform…and I can’t tell if I am sweating or crying… but teaching this has put me on a whole new level of being inspired.

  • My Mom. – Practice what I preach. I somehow convinced her to give Pure Barre a try and before I knew it she had taken more than a 100 classes.  My Mom is basically my accountant, therapist, personal assistant, best friend, travel agent and….geez, I’m pathetic. I’d really be a hot mess if I didn’t work out from time to time to get my head at least a little level.

  • My Dad. – I always felt bad that my Dad didn’t have a son. My traumatic one “season” of playing basketball, let me know that playing sports was not my thing. The one year of field hockey was a pretty big joke too. I channeled my competitive edge into dance, track and anything athletic that did not require too much hand / eye coordination. Pure Barre has made me strong in a whole new way.  Since I know he will not read this…this is basically me subtly saying, I’m ready for a race or a pushup contest…just not a game of H.O.R.S.E.

  • My boyfriend. – 4+ years of me teaching and he still hasn’t taken a class.  I’m totally ok with that though.  The other day he asked about the trampolines that we’re using now.  I had to let him know that unfortunately they weren’t trampolines, but I think he’s on to something with that.  I get hangry when I’m hungry. I get bratty when I’m barre deprived.  I don’t think he really likes either. When I’m hangry and bratty, I can’t imagine that I’m the greatest person to be around. Basically, I barre because my boo. (If I’m trying to appeal to the young 20 demographic – I barre because bae.)

If you’re just dying to read more *eye roll* about my obsession, don’t worry there’s plenty more…

If you take Pure Barre….why do you Barre? If you don’t, why do you run – CrossFit – Zumba – or whatever other form of physical activity it may be… What makes you stay in your current job? Hopefully there’s a reason besides $$$! ❤ 

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Come On Make Me Feel Alive

Last Wednesday, I made the trip to Nashville for the annual Pure Barre conference. The conference is attended by (almost) all of the current franchisees across the country. To say things have been busy lately would be a huge understatement, but then I am quickly reminded how blessed I am.

The ride out to Nashville was quite picturesque, which made the drive go much quicker than five and a half hours.  Once we arrived, there was lots to do before all of the owners started to arrive the next day.

On Friday, quite the large group headed to take Pure Barre together.  It was definitely the biggest Pure Barre class I had ever been a part of…

IMG_5193Pure Barre Pop Up Class in Centennial Park.

We made it a little more than halfway through class, when Mother Nature decided to turn our sunny skies into a down pour.  I think the best part of the class was when it started raining…we definitely could’ve done with out the complete downpour, but hey, a handful of us stayed all the way through!

Over the years, I’ve met some amazing women at countless classes and trainings.  These two lovely lil ladies will always hold a special place in my heart since Pure Barre Charleston is where I got my start…

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The Jen(n)s.

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” – Oprah Winfrey

Ahhh, more talk about Pure Barre?! Sorry (sort of). There are other things that matter to me too — don’t you see all my fattening food pics?! I am definitely aware that my job does consume a lot of my time. Like with any job, there’s going to be ups and downs. Good and bad. Hopefully more good than bad. Most importantly, hopefully at the end of the day it is all worth it.  I love the positive moments that happen throughout the week that help cancel out some of the not so positive moments.

This past Saturday morning was one of those FOR SURE.  After a long week (what week isn’t long), I was a little nervous as I set my alarm for 4am as I went to bed on Friday night. I’m sure it was after midnight, but we can pretend that it was Friday night.  I actually woke up wide awake at 3:45am and was torn between falling back to sleep for another 15 minutes or just getting up. You know how awful you usually feel if you just fall asleep for a short amount of time.  I didn’t know if I could risk it. Honestly, I don’t even remember what I ended up doing.

Anyways, I grabbed a LaraBar and my room temperature Red Bull and started to get myself together. A normal person would’ve had their Red Bull in the fridge, but I refused the keys to the Mini Fridge. I can’t have that kind of temptation in my life.  After getting myself together, I made my way to Pure Barre White Bridge where I would be teaching 18 owners from across the country.  I always love teaching a class to all teachers.  Mainly because you’re in a room with people who are just as obsessed as you are. This was the first time I taught to all owners.  This was even more exciting.  Not to mention it was a class that they have never taken before (more on Pure Barre Platform soon).

“I get nervous when I don’t get nervous. If I’m nervous I know I’m going to have a good show.” – Beyonce Knowles

One of my favorite things about teaching, is that 99% of the time I still get this nervous feeling before I go into teach. My heart rate goes up. I’m talking quicker (is that possible?). I have 80 things running through my head. I head into the room, put the headset on, make sure the music is on…and then get the party started. Even after over four years, this feeling still hasn’t gone away…and I hope it never does.

You know the moments in life that make you feel so A-L-I-V-E? It may be one sentence that someone says to you. A commercial that changes your life. A really big moment that is just so unforgettable.  Whatever it is…and whenever they happen…it’s so important to just stop for a moment or two and be truly grateful for what just happened.

I’m sure 0 out of the 18 women that were in that class on Saturday morning will read this, but I am shouting it out to you all — THANK YOU!!!  I would say that class gave me chills, but I was too busy sweating the whole time. After teaching, I decided to take and I’m not sure that I ever tried harder in a class than I did.  I was just SO pumped up.  After teaching and taking, I didn’t want to leave. I lingered around for a while and finally just went and sat in my car.  I felt like I could run a marathon. Instead, I called my Mom (who didn’t answer) and headed to get avocado toast and a smoothie…

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Smoothie not pictured. 😦 

I kept thinking, I want to relive Saturday morning again and again. And, there’s no reason I can’t.  Just let the positive outweigh the negative. I saw this the other day on my friend’s Instagram and literally laughed out loud:

Speaking of Instagram, I saw another post that captured my Sunday night perfectly. After the Pure Barre class in the park, Pure Barre Platform class and then getting a little too serious on a mechanical bull, I left Nashville feeling like I entered a MMA ring.

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So after another whirlwind week that would go right into the next, I headed back to Greenville to spend the last little bit of the weekend with my man.

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” – Lady Gaga

Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to follow my dreams and have the love of my life by my side.

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It Gets Better

I was going through some old emails this morning and came across the emails between Jen (owner of Pure Barre Charleston) and I as we were getting ready to head to Vail, Colorado for training FOUR years ago. Ok, so clearly I was going through some emails from quite a while ago.

I realized that I had posted this (see below) a little under a year ago, but never shared it via NPSS, so thought I would share…

I went to my first Pure Barre class in April 2010.  I found out about Pure Barre from a coworker who started teaching it in Alabama. When I saw a studio opening in Charlotte, I was really excited to give it a try. Five minutes into it, I wondered if I would make it out of the room alive.  I walked out of the class after 55 minutes of tucking, pulsing and circling, wondering what the heck just happened and why anyone would put themselves through that willingly. Naturally, I bought the New Client Special and went as many times as I could in that 30 day period.

Soon after, I relocated to the Pure Barre-less Charleston, SC.  A few months after moving further South the Charleston studio was announced and I immediately reached out to the owner and inquired about teaching. Several months later I found myself heading to Vail, Colorado for training. training

The first and third photos are snapshots that Jen (owner) captured at training.  I used to make Jen promise that she would never post these pictures anywhere. The first photo could be described best as “the stank face” meets pure pain. Training was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had and I remember thinking WHAT did I get myself into.

Three years later (almost to the day) I was able to take a slightly different direction career wise and make Pure Barre my full time job.  Over the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with so many amazing clients and teachers from all over the country and can honestly say each day seems to get better and better.

I remember being at a networking event about a year ago and had someone ask me “What is your passion?”  I had just met this individual and found myself without an immediate response.  When meeting people I’ve gotten so used to being asked “What do you?” or “Where are you from?” but had never been asked “What is your passion?” I had plenty of things that I was passionATE about, but what was MY passion? The more I started to think about it I realized that my passion was to be able to make a positive impact on other people’s lives.  I am so grateful that I have been able to combine my passion with my job.

So, why am I blabbing on and on about all this? For me, Pure Barre has been the most important “thing” for me over the past three years.  When Jen, the owner of PB Charleston, reached out to me about meeting to discuss the possibility of teaching, I was at home in Massachusetts for my sister’s services.  More than ever, I felt like I needed to be a part of this amazing community that I stumbled upon a year before. Taking class meant I could leave any problems, issues or concerns at the door and have 55 minutes of mental clarity.  Teaching class gave me a chance to help serve as a positive influence for the clients that were leaving their own problems, issues and concerns at the door.

My legs still shake when I take class. I still look at the teacher who is teaching the class that I am in and think all the lovely thoughts that run through client’s heads when it’s my turn to teach.  Since the flow of the class stays consistent, but no two classes are exactly the same, I’ve never gotten bored or even considered it be a typical workout. The second and fourth photos are from today.  Just like any of the clients I’ve had the pleasure to interact with and teach over the years – no two journeys are exactly the same.  Most of the time, we don’t always know what our coworkers, friends and family are REALLY going through.  Life is messy and finding a way to balance it all can sometime seem impossible. There will always be obstacles with family, friends and careers. For each of our own fitness and health choices the ups and downs often seem never ending.

“It’s going to get harder before it gets easier, but it will get better. You have to make it through the hard stuff first.”

For anyone who has ever taken a Pure Barre class, you know that once you get the technique down it definitely gets harder before it gets easier… but it DOES get “better”. It gets better because you get stronger physically and mentally. It gets better because the first time you hold your plank for the first time you’ll feel like high fiving everyone in the room. It gets better because you’ve noticed you’re able to keep your heels lifted just an inch higher or stay in the most challenging position for the whole time.  It gets better because you’re making time for yourself to improve you. It gets better because you’ll meet some amazing people in the midst of it all.

Even if you’re never taken a Pure Barre class, there’s a good chance that there’s some aspect in your life in which this quote is relatable to. I hope that anyone reading this finds a way for their passion to become their career or at least for their career to allow enough time for their passion.  Either way, just remember no matter where you’re at – it always get better – don’t worry.

Written on October 20, 2014. Since then, I’ve relocated to Greenville, SC (April 2015) when I decided to accept a full time position at Pure Barre Corporate. I’m still teaching. I’m still taking. And I am most definitely still shaking. ❤ 

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S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night

“S A T U R D A Y night
S A T U R D A Y night
S A T U R D A Y night
S A T U R D A Y night

Gonna keep on dancin’ to the rock and roll
On Saturday night, Saturday night
Dancin’ to the rhythm in our heart and soul
On Saturday night, Saturday night
I, I, I, I, I just can’t wait, I, I, I, I got a date”

…Not so much, more like updating y’all and sipping on some Menage a Trois Prosecco (thanks, Julie!) and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 😉

When I was in Houston a few weeks back, I ran into a Walgreens to get some water and noticed a container full of red noses being sold at the checkout counter. I remember seeing some marketing done around the “Red Nose Day” campaign before, but didn’t know what it fully entailed. I always end up donating to the troops when they ask at the airport, or giving a few dollars when they ask at the grocery checkout line so clearly I bought a red nose.

IMG_4159When I smiled, I looked like a crazed clown.

If you’re like me and are not fully sure what Red Nose Day is all about, here’s a little insight…

“Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. The inaugural Red Nose Day will be held in the US on May 21st, 2015. People across the country will come together to have fun and raise funds and awareness. The day’s events will culminate in a three-hour entertainment TV special on NBC featuring the country’s favorite comedians, musicians and Hollywood stars—it’s a show not to be missed!”

The founders have worked on several TV shows / movies, including “Love Actually” (which, I actually love) and the more I read about “Red Nose Day” and its history, I really liked what I was finding out. I suggest you look into if you’re not familiar with. I had planned on wearing my nose to take class, especially since it’s Pure Barre red, but it was kind of hard to breathe.

Last weekend, I went to Atlanta to lead two different trainings.  We stayed in Buckhead and had a sweet lil view…

IMG_4195“…where the playas play”

A while back, I came across a blog post from Life of Blyss about Pure Barre and we made the connection that we had some mutual friends / acquaintances. I’ve been a reader of blog since and it was awesome to finally meet her at the training I led in Atlanta.  I love being reminded of how as big of a world we live in, it can seem very very small at times. (Hi, Alyssa!) We chatted over a quick lunch and made sure to send some Snaps to our friend Christina. You know, to rub it in her face that we were hanging without her.

I had a travel partNAH on my trip down to ATL.  We got to celebrate National Burger Day, hang with some of Randall’s high school friends and do a little exploring. Have you ever been to Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar? I fell in love. The food was delicious, the drink was perfect and the bartender was exceptional. The only thing I didn’t like was making a decision on what to get. I’m still sad I didn’t have enough room left for a milkshake.

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I kinda look tall!

I’m totally loving these shorts. A friend of mine, Cortney, just started an online boutique – Coco Bleu – and these lil thangs were snagged from there. Check it out!

After Atlanta, it was off to Charlotte for a few hours to go to a friend’s son’s 1st birthday party. Yes, a few hours – such road warriors. I’m so out of touch with what the latest toys are, what cartoons are popular and all things toddlers. Bring your babies around me so I can get in touch!

I went out for a late night grocery shopping trip the other night and came back with lots of essentials.  This was by far the most important purchase.

IMG_4194Brownie + Cookie = Brookie =

I took a day off the other day, but have a lot of trouble “powering off” entirely. Sometimes when I take a day off, I feel like I end up doing more work.  I need to get better at that.  At least I made it out to work poolside for a bit.

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Just Me, Myself & I.

I had a chance to catch up with a friend of mine, Sarah, last night.  She was in Sparkle City leading a training so we grabbed dinner, shared lots of laughs and then got down to the real business….
IMG_4213Krème de la Krème.

If I celebrated National Burger Day, I was SURELY not going to miss National Doughnut Day.  I’ve only been to Krispy Kreme one time and it was years ago in D(M)yrtle Beach. When you bite into one of these bad boys it’s like air. Air = No calories, right? Calories, smalories. Who cares?! They were giving away a FREE doughnut to each costumer.  This place was a mad house. Line out the door. Multiple lines of cars wrapped around the building and down the street. People we’re like tailgating in the parking lot, Y’ALL.  One mother walked away proclaiming to her son, “It’s not worth it, we’d be in line for an hour.” I really wanted to tell him his Mother was lying, that we didn’t wait in line THAT long, but realized that would probably doom me for some really bad karma when I have kids one day.

Over the past few years, May 28th – June 4th has become a pretty emotional week for me. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why my sister’s time here was cut short. However, I am grateful that I did have her here for 19 unforgettable years. Seeing the lives she impacted and all of the wonderful times she shared with friends and family leaves us all with countless memories to cherish forever. Any time when I’m in a funk, feeling uninspired or unmotivated, I remind myself that I’m living for two so snap out of it sister.

Whether you believe in God, believe in signs or think things are just a coincidence… I can’t put into words the feeling I get when I am blessed with little reminders every so often that make me truly feel that my lil one is still right here with me, just in a different way than I would’ve preferred.

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Best and Final 10

Yesterday I taught my “last” two classes at Pure Barre Lake Norman. I say “last” because I definitely plan on coming back to teach from time to time when I find my way back up there. Hey, I’m at least coming back to Charlotte to get my hair done by Kristy Misch.

To show our love and support for one of our amazing teachers, Michelle, we all wore orange (color for leukemia awareness) since she couldn’t be there. Michelle had been in remission for 17 months (she kicked AML‘s @$$) and unexpectedly came out of remission earlier this week. They have started treatment to achieve a second remission…

“After that she will have at least one 5 day booster treatment at Wake with a bone marrow transplant immediately after that. Two years ago there were some matches out there for Michelle. We hope they are still out there. If you would like to see if you are a match you can order a kit online at bethematch.com. It only involves a cheek swab and even if you aren’t a match for Michelle you may be someone else’s match. The age limit is usually 45 or under.” – borrowed from a post on CaringBridge by Michelle’s mother

Michelle has the most amazing spirit and attitude about EVERYTHING and it’s so incredible to see that her spirit and attitude stays the same under her current circumstances. Michelle and I were joking earlier in the week about this whole thing not “being compliant”. She was ome of my fellow 30 Cleaners and we would often joke around about all of the things that we had to eliminate. For her, her beloved Nutella, was not an easy thing to say farewell to for 30 days.  We also joked that her lack of Nutella brought about the current circumstances and with enough Nutella everything would be fine. #NutellaForTheCure.  When I got home today, I opened one of the gift bags and to my surprise found a thing of Nutella with the hashtag written on top.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  She is so so thoughtful, sweet and high spirited. Such an inspiration. After having the privilege to have her mother at the studio as well during my time at PBLKN, it’s no wonder she turned out so amazing.  Anyone who has met either of these two ladies would have nothing but wonderful things to say.

After the 8:30am class.

After the 9:45am class.

I wish there was a way to bottle up the energy that I felt in that room during that two hour span. I’ve had the pleasure to get to know each of the women in these two photos on a much higher level of them “just coming to take a fitness class that I teach”. I’ve heard stories of struggles and triumphs, shared laughter and tears and they’ve impacted my life in so many ways.  I look forward to seeing each of them continue on their individual journeys and the journey of the Pure Barre Lake Norman community.

It was definitely hard heading to the airport yesterday leaving all of these beauties behind at my apartment…

At least Randall will have some purple to look at while I’m gone 😉

I’m often guilty of eating dessert first – especially when I’m hangry – so CLEARLY, I had to sample the Bundt cake and cupcake that was given to me. Guess they’re trying to sabotage all that lift.tone.burn!  I opened up all the cards and read them, but then brought them all with me so I could really read them once I got on the plane.

You all are too sweet and so thoughtful. I can’t thank you enough. Gifts are great, but your kind words are even greater and I will cherish them forever and ever.

If you aren’t amazed most of the time you aren’t paying attention.” – Michael Lipsey

One of our clients, Allison, included a poem that she wrote for me. Allison is such a talented writer and what amazed me most is that she threw it together this morning. She mentioned it was corny, but I think it’s anything but. I absolutely loved it:

For Danielle:

A raven-haired beauty,
Danielle’s easy to spot,
With that rock-hard body,
Just lookin’ all hot.

Her passion for chocolate
Runs deep in her veins,
And her DQ obsession
Seems to never wane.

When she’s not at Pure Barre,
Danielle blogs on ‘Net,
Often funny, yet poignant,
Thoughts we soon won’t forget.

Always up for adventure,
Won’t back down from a dare,
From shooting a firearm
To cool purple hair.

Danielle’s love for her family,
Randall and friends,
Is honest and pure,
She doesn’t pretend.

We’ll miss her fast talk
And that gleam in her eye,
But she’ll stay in our hearts –
This is not goodbye!

I absolutely love it!!

During the last working part in class it seemed only right to use “Turn Down for What”. For a number of reasons

  1. I knew it would make at least a few of the clients particularly happy.
  2. It fit perfectly with what we were doing.
  3. How could I cry listening to Lil Jon?!?!

Well, well, well – come to find out I actually CAN cry during Lil Jon. Who would’ve thought? As I was counting the last 10, the entire class joined in with me to count my very last Final 10. If you’ve never been to a Pure Barre class this might not make any sense. Even if you have been, you still might not get why I started to tear up.

As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” – John Stainback

It was one of the most memorable bittersweet moments and I will never forget it. Then, came the real tears as this song came on for the stretch:

I won’t run far
I won’t run far
I won’t run far

I can always be found
I can always be found

If you need me
If you need me
If you need me

I can always be found
I can always be found

If you want me to stay
If you want me to stay
If you want me to stay

I will stay by your side
I will stay by your side
I will stay by your side

I won’t run far
I won’t run far
I won’t run far

I can always be found
I will stay by your side
And I want you to find me
So, I’ll stay by your side

If you need me
If you need me
If you need me

I can always be found
I can always be found
I can always be found

I won’t run far
I won’t run far
I won’t run far

I can always be found
I can always be found
I can always be found

Yesterday was a blur. A beautiful, beautiful blur.

“You have to remember that goodbyes are temporary because no one ever really leaves and nothing lasts forever. People are always with us, because they are in our hearts and in our memory. The only thing we can depend on is change… Life is just a series of moments — a string of pearls that make up the necklace of your life and so every once in a while, to complete the circle, you need to end a chapter.” – Amy Poehler

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The Adventure Continues

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”  ― Jon Krakauer

In the next couple of weeks, I will be packing my bags and heading a little further South. This girl just got a little bit more seduced by the South. I’ve accepted a full time position with Pure Barre Corporate and need to be closer to the headquarters in good ole Sparkle City. Like most things in life there’s pros and cons to just about everything. I’m sad to say “see you later” to all of the amazing teachers and clients at the two studios that I currently spend most of my time at, but am honored and excited for this new opportunity. Friday, April 17th will be my last official day teaching in Birkdale.

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, you also never get a chance to make a last impression. And more often times than not, we don’t know when we are doing something for the last time. The other day while I was teaching I had an “ah ha” moment during one of the “calmer” parts of class. A few thoughts ran through my mind:

1. What if this is the only class of mine that someone in this room ever takes?
2. What if this is the last class of mine that someone in the room takes?

Better try to make it my very best, right?

We always know when it’s someone’s first class, so that didn’t cross my mind. I started to think about this even more as the next couple of days went on. Just as I took my thoughts with me outside of the studio I took the whole idea outside of the realm of Pure Barre.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.” ― Lemony Snicket

I agree, often times first impressions are entirely wrong, but that doesn’t make them unimportant. More importantly, whether they are right or wrong they are usually quite memorable.

If it was going to be your last time seeing someone, whether it was a stranger, friend or family member, I would assume that you would want to leave that individual with a positive impression. While you might be less concerned with how a stranger remembered you as, it’s quite possible you would still prefer that he or she remembered you in a good way. After all, there are times that our interactions with strangers or acquaintances can have the same kind of impact or even larger impact than friends or family can.

“Seize the day.” “Live everyday like it’s your last.” “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” We hear sayings like this all the time. While they can seem quite cliche, when it comes down to it they really are true. There are so many things that add craziness to our lives blocking us from focusing on what’s really important. When we least expect it we are thrown a curve ball that snaps us back into reality and allows us to focus on what is actually important. However, that usually only lasts for a short amount of time before we find ourselves back in our routines with all of the hustle and bustle.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be teaching each class as if it was the last one that a client would ever take from me. I’ll apologize in advance 😉 Since the mindset can easily be transferred into any interaction, I’ll also carry this mindset outside of the studio. If I grab lunch with a friend, return a phone call from a family member or give someone a compliment…I’ll keep in mind it could be the last time that I ever interact with that person.

Better leave them with a good last impression, right?

Dine, Pure Barre, The 30 Clean, Think - Speak - Inspire

Every New Beginning Comes from Some Other Beginning’s End

A little over a month ago, I decided to accept the challenge to participate in The 30 Clean with a few dozen Pure Barre clients and teachers. I went into it with the mindset that is was going to be extremely hard, but knew I was going to do whatever I had to do in order to make sure I made it to the finish line.

The Pure Barre community is unlike any other bond that I have experienced in my adult life. It takes me back to my competitive dance days. The group of girls on my dance team were more like sisters – we shared lots of laughter, tears and were by each other’s side as we all grew up and headed off to college. The clients and teachers at each studio become one big family and it is SUCH a positive environment to have in your life. You’ve read all about my love of Pure Barre – so back to The 30 Clean.

First off, let me tell you a little bit more about The 30 Clean as far as the interaction goes. I’ve already talked about what foods were being eliminated and what I was hoping to get out of the challenge. On a daily basis, the participants on the private board were encouraged to post photos of breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were also given feedback, answers to our questions, daily tips and a whole lot of encouragement. At times, my Facebook news feed was flooded with food photos and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t drive me a little crazy sometimes. I was trying to really stick to my three solid meals a day, but every time I opened up Facebook – BAM! – there’s my mind thinking about food again.

Secondly, I will let you know as day #30 comes to a close…

  1. I am so proud of myself.  As much as I went into it determined to do it, I guess there was a little doubt lurking in the back of my mind (or should I stay in my stomach).
  2. I (sort of) stuck to the program. The only reason I say sort of is because this should be pretty black and white, no gray area, right? All of the foods that I ate were compliant, BUT there were times that I had food in between the three meals. I am fully aware when I am hungry rather than when I’m bored and knew to listen to my body. I wasn’t trying to pass out while teaching or rip off my boyfriend’s head.
  3. I notice a huge difference in my body. My skin is better. I fall asleep much easier. The quality of my sleep is higher. I have more energy. No stomach issues (compared to almost daily stomach issues). I lost a little over three pounds (not a goal, but added bonus). I lost inches. I see more definition in my muscles (PB you’ve been doing your job all along but now I can see y’all a little better!)
  4. I could go back and do the exact math, but I would say about 80% of my meals were homecooked. That’s probably the exact opposite of what it was before. I love cooking, but would always wait until I was hungry and then get annoyed with the idea and hop on in the car and go grab us food from somewhere.
  5. I felt like I was eating fairly healthy…However, the more I think about it, I know I had a dessert like item just about everyday. I would eat lots of vegetables, but the way they were being prepared wasn’t usually the best option (oh adding cheese and butter isn’t a good choice?). Because I was getting some much take out food or going out to eat so much, I rarely knew what was actually going into my food. Even items that I would purchase at the grocery store – I rarely looked for the RIGHT things on the labels.

So, what’s next? I learned a lot. More importantly, I felt and saw the differences. I loved all the food that I was eating. However, there are definitely things that I will add back in. For me, it’s all about balance and moderation. Is it ok if I have a few pieces of Easter candy that I know is NOT good for me? I think so. Should I eat 3/4 of the bag? Absolutely not. Other people would argue that certain things should be eliminated indefinitely. I like to be realistic with myself and know that a piece of pizza or a cupcake may find it’s way into my hands within the next week or so and I don’t want to make myself feel guilty about it. Hey – I already know the repercussions and that my stomach will most likely hate me, but that’s the risk I’m willing to take 😉

And, one more thing before I go and I’ll make it short and sweet – even though I could go on for days about this…

Today some of the participants that were on this 30 day adventure with me shared before and after pictures. With those pictures they shared measurement and weight changes. The most important part, that had me in tears, were the descriptions of how they felt because of being able to make those changes. Some were shocked. Others had a new found confidence. Motivation to make this a lifestyle change for themselves and for the betterment of their family. Looking back on the board of all the photos, encouragement, struggles and triumphs – it’s beyond inspiring. I am so proud of each and every one of them. Most of these women have already inspired me inside the studio and now they have taken it to a whole new level.

This may be the end of this particular run of The 30 Clean challenge…but, for most of the people who participated they have seen such a difference in themselves both mentally and physically that I think most will at least take some of their learnings along with them. After all, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

I truly believe that one of the most important things in life is to surround ourselves with people who motivate, inspire and encourage us. Think about the people that you associated yourself with and more importantly spend the majority of the time with. If they don’t do these things for you, maybe it’s time you start to incorporate more people into your life who WILL motivate you, inspire you and encourage you to accomplish all of your goals and dreams.

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.”
– Karl Marx

To read more about my 30 Clean experience check out We Become What We Repeatedly Do, Almost Halfway There and The Starting Line.

Pure Barre

‘Cause my legs start shaking / Whole body was quaking

Well, first of all, this is not going to be a remix to an AC/DC song. I haven’t gotten into song writing just yet. BUT, after a few Pure Barre classes you might be “knocking me (someone) out with those American thighs”.

Friends, family members and complete strangers often ask me what Pure Barre is. What should they expect? Is it a dance class? Like yoga? How about Pilates?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to my first class a little under five years ago…

You may feel a little hesitant walking up to the studio, but no fear, you’ll be greeted by a Barre-tender, Teacher or client…and if you’re lucky all three.

Greetings

After you get your paperwork filled out and head on into the studio your Teacher will be sure to explain to you what to expect and of course what tucking is:

Tuck

Before you know it, the teacher is introducing herself to everyone and getting the class started. Wait is this a step aerobics class? Marching band? Are we about to bust out into a killer step routine?

Knee ups
What is even happening right now?

march

“Quickly coming down to the floor” – Oh, ok, we’re heading to the floor this should be easy. First up, a little something that looks like this…

Hundreds

Well, this isn’t too bad...

Soon after, your teacher gets you setup in forearm plank and you hear her say “you’re here for 90 seconds”. 90 seconds? Psh, that’s a breeze! About 10 seconds into it you’re thinking…

Plank

When will I get to the end of this plank?!

She’s counting the last 10. YES! It’s got to be break time, right?

Nope, not even close.

pushup

Oh my gosh, why do these feel impossible?!

Yes, finally a stretch…wait, that’s it – I wasn’t done stretching.

Just before standing up to go into weight work, you’ll fire up your triceps a bit and it will feel like your teacher is asking you to do this:

Triceps

She’s not serious, is she?

Two or three pound weights. Finally! Something I can handle.

Weights Nicki

But, by the end of the weight work it will feel a little more like this…

Weights

Is someone going to give me a high 5?

Nope? Ok. Now we’re heading to the barre.

What happens over the next minutes of your life can best be visualized like this:

Shaking

Shaking is a good thing? Oh, no. Something is seriously not ok right now.

Legs

By the end of this, I will have super human strength in my thighs for sure…if I survive.

“Make your way back to the center of the room to stretch it all out…”

Legs

I’m coming, don’t start without me.

Now on to the seat work. If you’re lucky, you’ll do something that’s a little like this:

Seat

Which will leave you feeling like:

Bye

I am OUT of here.

You survived. Class has got to be over soon, right? Or at least it’s time to stretch? Oh, wait, she’s even turning down the lights and getting mats out!

Your teacher will let you know you’re working on your abs, but for some reason you’re feeling it everywhere BUT your abs. Does this chick even know what she’s talking about?!

Confused

Am I the only one that is not getting this?!

Uh oh, music is coming back up. She just keeps telling me to exhale.. wait, we’re still working our abs? What is going on?

Abs

I’m focusing on my breath and my abs as much as can, but I know I can’t be doing this correctly.

Alright, now back to the center of the room to finish out your abs. WHAT?

Lady Gaga

Ok, if you say so…

I wonder what I should make for dinner tonight. FOCUS. Abs may be made in the kitchen, but you need to work on them here too!

Ok, great I survived. Abs are finally over.

Cobra

Oh, I love this part, I feel like Superman.

Superman

…Superman after he’s finished saving the world.

She’s turning the lights off! Yes, we must be done…

backdancing

“Tuck side to side” … Nope, still not done.

And then finally, you’re done you made it. You’re stretching and all you can think..

Nap

“Give yourself a round of applause.”

Dang right, I’ll give myself a round of applause. More like a standing ovation.

Clap
Bill

That is…if I can stand up.

I’m out of here! Will I be back?!

Yes

Yes! Yes! Yaaaaaasssss! 

Yes

You tucking know it!

It might just leave you admiring all that hard work the next time you catch your reflection.

dani
Pure Barre, Think - Speak - Inspire

Love What You Do and Who You Do it With

People, people, get your minds out of the gutter.

Last night, I went out for Mexican (and margaritas) to celebrate one of our amazing teachers, Courtney, who is relocating to embark on a new adventure with her husband.

MargaritasHey, remember that time I cut out sugar?

I always get sad having to say “see you later” to a coworker, especially when the coworker is also a friend. And then I started to think… The majority of the people who have become some of my greatest friends over the years were my coworkers. I’ve been lucky enough (for the most part) to always work with really awesome people. This has often made my jobs not always feel like work…and when it did feel like work, the people I was surrounded by always made it so much better.

Currently, at the two Pure Barre studios that I work at (right outside of Charlotte, NC) there are thirteen lovely ladies that I get to call my coworkers.

TeachersIt’s rare to get ALL 14 of us together at once – woohoo!

These thirteen women are so much more than coworkers – they are more like family. And here are a dozen reasons why I’m so happy to have them in my life:

P  Passionate.. about teaching and everything that they do.
U  Understanding.. there to lend an ear or two..or shoulder to cry on.
R  Reliable.. they’re always there when you need them.
E  Energetic.. when you’re having “one of those days” and need a boost.

B  Beautiful.. both inside and out.
A  Above Average.. in everything that they do.
R  Reassuring.. that everything is going to be alright.
R  Resourceful.. hey, because LIFE happens sometimes.
E  Eager.. to share their stories and listen to yours.

L  Lovable.. all day, everyday.
K  Kind hearted.. is there a mean bone in any of them?!
N  Necessary.. in MY life and in the lives of so many others.

Well, well, well.. wouldn’t my fifth grade teacher be proud?

Amanda, Belinda, Courtney, Frances, Jamie, Jenna, Jeri, Julie, Kate, Katie, Michelle, Stephanie, and Vanessa – I love you all!

And before I go, here’s four of my favorite quotes about loving what you do:

“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.” – Johnny Carson

“The people who make it to the top – whether they’re musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos – are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid.” – Quincy Jones

“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” – Warren Buffet

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou

What about you? Have you had coworkers turn into friends? Do you love your job? If not, what do you need to do get to where you do love your job and the people that you work with?

Pure Barre, Think - Speak - Inspire

Thursday Thoughts: I Tucking <3 You

https://danicote.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/pb.jpg
Photo Credit: Deeana Kourtney Photography

Three months ago, I posted a note on Facebook entitled “It Gets Better” sharing my story about how I was introduced to Pure Barre and what that journey has looked like over the past four years. I often think about how inspiring the clients, teachers and owners that make up this amazing community are and how grateful I am to interact with these individuals each day. Day to day words are left unsaid, calls are left unmade, emails are left unsent, appointments canceled, lunch dates rescheduled…and yet, it’s so important to let those that impact our lives know that they are appreciated and that all that they do does not go unnoticed.

How many times a day do you ask someone else or get asked “How are you?” And how many times does the answer actually give an authentic answer as to how that person REALLY is doing? We can wear many different masks, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Often times, there’s much more going on with the people that we interact with every day than we could ever imagine. Whether they are our closest friends, a long lost relative or a complete stranger each of us has the power to control what we share and who we share it with.

I read this quote earlier today and found it quite appropriate…

“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting of another person.” – Mr. (Fred) Rogers

Continue reading “Thursday Thoughts: I Tucking ❤ You”