Pure Barre, Think - Speak - Inspire

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…

IMG_5215

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…

IMG_5189

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.

IMG_5227

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.

Pure Barre, Think - Speak - Inspire

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. ❤ 

Dine, Play, Pure Barre, Think - Speak - Inspire

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.

IMG_4171

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.

IMG_4199

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.

Pure Barre, Think - Speak - Inspire

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

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
Dine, The 30 Clean

So Fresh and So (30) Clean Clean

I knew I’d be back for more. After surviving 10 days with no sugar, another challenge conveniently fell into my lap – well into my inbox.  In exactly three weeks from today the two Pure Barre Lake Norman studios (Birkdale Village in Huntersville, NC and Morrison Plantation in Mooresville, NC) have partnered with The 30 Clean for their 30 Clean™ Spring Break Challenge.

The description of this particular challenge:

If “Summer bodies are made in the Winter”… and “Abs are made in the kitchen”… then a clean eating challenge starting February 23rd is the perfect prequel to those Spring Vacations!

Did somebody say abs?

abs

First, you choose between “Standard” and “Fit”:

Standard – “The 30 Clean is 30 days of real food and mindful eating. On our standard challenge all challengers eliminate gluten, dairy, grains, sugar, corn and soy.”
Fit – Holds you accountable for not only what you’re fueling your body with but provides physical challenges, workout accountability and goal setting.

Second, how fresh and so clean clean will you be?

The Original Clean – Eliminate everything that was listed, BUT you’re allowed two adult beverages a week (on the weekend) and real 80% dark chocolate (one square) three nights a week.
The Super Clean – You eliminate gluten, wheat, grains, dairy, sugar and anything artificial. You also eliminate alcohol and legumes (including peanuts).
The V Clean – This is the vegetarian and/or vegan option. There’s some wiggle room with organic dairy, gluten free grains and non-gmo soy.

After you register they send you an awesome Start Up Guide. There’s a lot of great stuff in there:
– Nutritional Guidelines
– Links to Resources & Cookbook Recommendations
– Foods to Avoid
– Foods to Enjoy
… and so much more

I opted to buy the “The 30 Clean 30-Day Meal Plan” that is available on their website. For me, I know I struggle with the whole planning component when it comes to eating healthy. It’s very tempting and convenient to stop and grab something from a restaurant or opt for something that takes me less time to prep. If it’s all laid out for me I know I’ll be setting myself up for success. Also, there’s a lot of variety which prevents me from getting bored.

There’s already over a dozen of us (teachers and clients) signed up to do this. I’m excited for us all to be able to take on this healthy lifestyle choice which will not only challenge us all mentally and physically, but really take our workouts to the next level.

BONUS: Right now you can use Promo Code “SUPERBOWL30” to get 10% off on your registration and any other purchases on their website. The code started yesterday and was good for 48 hours, so don’t wait!

Not a Pure Barre client? No problem. The more the merrier – if you have any questions or anything feel free to reach out to me. C’mon, what do you have to lose?

HungryHungry for REAL food that is 😉

So, whose with me?! 

Music

Supa (Dupa Fly) Bowl Sunday

First and foremost, this was me when Missy Elliott took the stage:

CelebrateHow did I not know she was going to be performing?

In no particular order I need to go listen to:

1. Sock it to Me
2. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
3. Hot Boyz
4. One Minute Man
5. Work It
6. Pass That Dutch
7. Lose Control
8. I’m Really Hot
9. Ching-A-Ling
10. Gossip Folks

Reverse It

Because I like to see my family and friends happy, I’m pulling for the Patriots because the majority of them are all huge Pats fans. I’m just here for the food, commercials and half time show. And by “here” I mean sitting on my couch and by “food” I mean the super unhealthy food I went and got for Randall and I before the game started.

Speaking of healthy, I signed up to do The 30 Clean Spring Break Challenge. It starts on February 23rd. Since I will definitely do another post as it gets a little closer, I won’t get into it too much now. Head on over to their website to read all about it. If you’re interested in it and up for the challenge let me know. The two Pure Barre Lake Norman studios are partnering with them so we will have our own group. That way we can all inspire and motivate each other! Looks like I will be listening to a lot of Missy Elliott once that starts 😉

Yesterday, I taught our first (first for our studio) 90 Minute Intensive class. If you’ve ever been to a Pure Barre class before there was an extra 35 minutes of lifting, toning and burning incorporated throughout. The clients who came out totally rocked it – I’m sure they were feeling it today!

Today, I was down in Sparkle City (Spartanburg, SC) leading a training. I actually really enjoy my 75 minute drives down there. There’s no one on the road and I throw on a great Pandora station and I’m there before I know it. There’s something so calming and motivating about walking into the studio before everyone arrives for the day.

Studio

The drive back isn’t always *as* fun, but I’m not complaining. I love having the opportunity to meet people from all over the country that will be using their talents and passion to start teaching at a Pure Barre studio before they know it.

Well, that pretty much sums my weekend!

What did you think of the halftime show and commercials? Who are/were you rooting for? Did you do anything fun this weekend?

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?

Dine

Believe You Can and You’re Halfway There

I’m halfway through the 10 Day Fed Up Challenge, but hey, whose counting? Um, THIS girl. I haven’t been in hiding all week sulking – this week just got a little crazy!

By Monday night this is basically what my brain was thinking of.

Candy

Dramatic much? I was definitely obsessing what the next 9 days were going to be like after surviving Day #1. I realized very early on, this was going to be a very mental challenge. STOP thinking about SUGAR!

Reading this a couple of days ago made me feel a little better:

Sugar alters our biochemical pathways in our brain and tampers with our dopamine receptors. In order for us to get the next dopamine spike, however, we need a greater dose of sugar. That’s why out of the 600,000 food products in America today, 80% are laced with some form of sugar, and more specifically fructose, because it’s cheap and keeps us addicted.

Read the 6 other deadly truths about sugar from The 7 Deadly Truths of Sugar from Summer Rayne Oakes.

Tuesday rolled around and I decided to make another recipe from the Thug Kitchen cookbook and also made something from a cookbook I had picked up at Kohl’s a while back called “Just Four Ingredients Fast! By Delish”. Figured if I was making something from Thug Kitchen (not the simplest recipes in the world) I should balance it with something quick and easy.

From Thug Kitchen, it was the 5-Spice Fried Rice with Sweet Potatoes. It was good, but think I would play around with the recipe a bit the next time I make it.

My quick and easy recipe consisted of eggs, bacon and tomatoes. Where’s the fourth ingredient you ask? I cut out the bread. The recipe? Chop up bacon and throw it in a muffin pan (sprayed with olive oil first), crack the egg over the bacon and throw in the oven for 15 minutes.  Once they’re done add chopped tomato, salt and pepper. You could definitely add other vegetables, either prior or after cooking for even more flavor and variety. Voila!

Wednesday rolled around and I didn’t make it to class so figured I would go for a run before heading to the Charlotte Hornets game with some friends. I wanted to see if I felt better / worse / different when running, but it was hard to gauge since it’s been a while since I went for a run.

We had no plans to go out after, but you know how that goes… Luckily, I’m not a huge fan of beer/wine and there’s no added sugar to vodka.  Hard part was when we went to a grab a snack after the game and everything on the menu seemed to have sugar in some shape or form.

My friends ate their food looking at me like:

Full House

And I was over there like:

Tic Tac

On Thursday, Pure Barre partnered with Luna’s at the Lake in Cornelius, NC to do a class at their boutique. Of course the class was followed by some light snacks – why do yogurt parfaits have to have sugar in them?! That night myself and three of the Pure Barre girls went to try FlyBarre and FlyWheel for the first time. I loved Flywheel. The music was awesome and I love that the lights are out. That way if I’m singing, making weird faces or crying about how I want a cookie no one will see me.

I can even do this:

PeeWeeOk, maybe it’s not that dark in there.

Friday, I went and picked up food for my boyfriend from The Burger Company. Of course, he asked if I would mind getting him a milkshake. Why, of course not as I just stare at it and drool. To make it worse, he was raving about how great it was.

TravoltaExcuse the language, but this was just too perfect…and Mr. Travolta said it, not me.

Today I woke up feeling great. I made a smoothie with Aloha Berry Blend, a ton of spinach, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, pineapple and strawberries and took the Aloha Foundation pack. After taking class, I ran over to Harris Teeter and grabbed a banana and some pistachios. This whole sugar thing really isn’t that bad. Until I walk out of Harris Teeter and..

CookiesYou have got to be kidding me.

Alright, alright. All jokes aside. Let’s focus on the positives:

  1. I notice a difference in my energy level.
  2. I’m paying much more attention to whether I’m actually hungry or just bored.
  3. I’ve found most of the time when I want something sweet is right after I’m eating and MOST of the time the feeling goes away. This whole thing is definitely very mental. I definitely ate sweets every day for the most part and then factor in all that added sugar. Yikes!
  4. I’m paying attention to what’s in my food whether it’s something I am making at home or purchasing somewhere.
  5. I’ve lost 2 pounds. That wasn’t a goal, but I won’t complain.

Now, I’ve just got the rest of today, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then bring on the cookies. Kidding. The whole point of this is to regulate my sugar intake, be little more mindful to what I’m eating and cut back on desserts. I’m actually really enjoying finding alternatives and better choices along with doing some research about sugar and food in general.

Stay sweet, my friends.