This post has been two weeks in the making. And now, due to a self-imposed deadline, I find myself writing it after an over-indulgent margarita-featured happy hour.
Forgive the typos, won’t you?
Five weeks ago I decided it was a good idea to buy another Groupon. We all know what happened the last time I did that.
This Groupon offered a 5 class pass for Pure Barre.
For the uninitiated, Pure Barre is the ballet-inspired Pilates-style workout that promises to re-sculpt your body, lengthen your muscles, and tone and lift all those troublesome spots: butt, hips, thighs, abs and arms.
Those who have experienced Pure Barre commonly refer to it as “that fucking torture session.”
Or maybe that’s just me.
I didn’t know much about Pure Barre, other than the fact that it was a craze among the Hollywood types. Which meant that I clearly had to try it. I am nothing if not completely and utterly pop-culture obsessed.
I worried, though, about how much actual ballet might be involved, given the class featured an actual ballet barre. As a lifetime ‘curvy girl’, ballet wasn’t in my repertoire.
I secretly hoped that I would show up at class and see attendees dressed like this:
Or, preferably, like this:
Unfortunately my YouTube research showed me that this wasn’t to be the case.
While the video disappointed me from a costuming perspective, it did serve to ease my mind about the difficulty of the workout.
“Phew! There’s no dancing involved. Shit, they’re barely moving. I got this.”, I told myself.
Sweet baby jeezus, was I ever wrong.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Blame it on the tequila.
I purchased the Groupon 5 weeks ago, but it took me over 3 weeks to strike up the necessary nerve to attend my first class. Despite the YouTube videos that made the class look, dare I say… easy, I kept hearing the dire warnings of friends:
- Oooh… Pure Barre is HARD.
- You will be sooooo SORE.
- Just wait until a day or two after, that’s when the REAL pain will set in.
How could that shit not scare you?
So I used every excuse in the book to delay kicking off my Pure Barre experience.
- I think my period will be starting tomorrow.
- Nope, must be the day after.
- Oops, guess it’s the day after that.
- Oh now I’m heading out on a business trip.
Eventually I consulted my calendar and realized that with the kids’ visit, I needed to get my classes started, or I would run the risk of not being able to attend all 5 before leaving Las Vegas at the end of the month.
I hate wasting money, so that motivated me to hit my first class on Tuesday Feb 11th. I had given birth to a 9lb 4oz baby 21 years, to the day, prior. And if I could handle passing that giant head through my birth canal, without the aid of drugs, then surely I could handle a silly Pure Barre class. Right?
But I’m getting ahead of myself again. Farking tequila.
In preparation for this first class I made sure to consult the Pure Barre website, to ensure I had all the necessary equipment.
As it turns out, other than requiring capri-length or full-length pants (no shorts) and tops that cover your midriff (seriously, AS IF I’d show up in just a sports bra…), the only other thing that I needed to concern myself with was a pair of “sticky socks”.
Sticky socks are the ones that have some rubber bits on the sole to prevent you from slip siding away on a slick floor. They are often referred to as yoga socks.
I set out in search of these sticky socks – but despite numerous trips to a variety of stores, the only kind I could find were the ones with the separated toes.
God I hate toe socks.
But I was running out of time, so I bought a pair.
I didn’t try them on until I arrived at Pure Barre for my inaugural class.
And I was horrified at the result.
I had Fred Flintstone feet.
I obsessed over my caveman toes for about 2 minutes, and then I looked around at the women in the class.
Let’s just say you feel like you’re in reasonably good shape, after a year of working out every day, and then you hit a Pure Barre class, and realize you are actually a beached whale.
A pregnant beached whale.
And then the instructor walked into the room.
I could see her muscle definition THROUGH HER CLOTHING.
Hers was a body that made me want to cry. Strong, curvalicious, sexy.
And that ass. I wanted to touch that ass. Cup it. Marvel at it’s high, round, full perfection.
Oh. My. God. Becky. Look at her butt.
If Pure Barre gave those women those rockin’ bodies, I was game to get going.
My enthusiasm lasted 5 minutes.
This low impact class delivered high impact pain.
I repeat: HIGH. IMPACT. PAIN.
The small isometric movements, done for
hours on end a couple of minutes at a time, serve to tone your muscles in a way that I’m not sure heavy lifting or aerobic training can do.
I’ve certainly not felt this level of muscle fatigue during a workout in a long time, if ever.
I winced my way through the class, often closing my eyes and wishing that the angel of death would come and provide sweet relief, until I finally found myself in the final cool down and stretch.
Making my way home, I marvelled at how it’s physically possible that such subtle and tiny movements could cause that much pain.
I gingerly climbed the stairs to my second floor condo, feeling areas in my gluteal region that I didn’t know existed.
When Mr. Enthusiasm asked how the class went, my response was, “I won’t be walking tomorrow. Or having sex again. Ever.” And I believed both statements to be true.
That was the first session of five.
For my second session, I momentarily considered paying homage to the bat-shit crazy Black Swan character, but I wasn’t sure my genetically gifted co-attendees would appreciate the sentiment.
I survived sessions 2 and 3, without further incident.
Session 4 nearly killed me on Monday.
Ten minutes in, I either pinched a nerve in my neck or suffered a brain aneurism. Whatever happened, I am still in pain as of the writing of this post late Tuesday night.
My fifth and final session is Wednesday morning, likely around the time you’ll be reading this post. Wish me luck. Or send the grim reaper to come grant me salvation. One or the other.