I just discovered Pure Barre, a franchise that has recently opened up in Columbus. At first, the experience was daunting, because I felt that I needed to shower beforehand and put on a cute yoga-like outfit before I could feel worthy. They are running a great introductory special of one month of unlimited classes for $100. This is a steal because their regular unlimited rate for a month run $225. Now this is steep, I know, but the work out is phenomenal.
The concept is combining pilates, ballet, and core strengthening for an overall workout that makes your legs feel like spaghetti when you are walking back to your car. Basically, you "fatigue" the muscles (translation - work them until they shake uncontrollably, and this is not just me) and then you stretch them out after each exercise. I really like the music you workout to, and I have seen significant toning results and an increase in muscle strength in one month. For instance, I just carried this gigantic old square Pottery Barn coffee table up from the basement with Brad (I had the low end, natch) and he had to stop and take a rest. I was all, bitch pleeaaase.
I was introduced by a friend of mine, who I play summer tennis with (we'll call her Lori like her mom does), and I am hooked. I just wish it were not so expensive. I am used to working out in my friend's gym, where there is zero social pressure, so I was filled with anxiety on my first visit.
You sign up on line, which is ingenious, because it doubles your obligation, in a sense. If you don't go, you are taking the spot of someone else, AND taking money out of the young owner's pocket. And that's just rude. So there are several social elements working at once at Pure Barre - there is angst about your appearance, there is guilt if you don't go, and most importantly, there is the competitive factor of being able to stretch further and longer than the person next to you.
Anyway, early one Saturday morning, I bribed my kids with Tim Horton's donuts, and ran out the door to catch a class. I basically got dressed in the dark as to not disturb the beast that is my husband during his weekend hibernation.
You exercise in socks and I was proud of myself because I managed to find two that matched in our "sock basket" that houses the entire family's socks. I have neither the patience nor the inclination to pair socks together, GASP, I know. So, each of us has to sift through a pool of socks each time we are getting dressed. (I get a huge reprieve in the summer when it is flip flop season, thank God.) This tradition was instituted early in our marriage and instead of buckling down and getting my shit together, I chose to just get a bigger basket with each successive child. By the way, my husband LOVES this. Wouldn't yours?
Anyway, I am late to the class that has already started and I am discombobulated per usual, as I gather my bearings and place my belongings in one of their cubbies they so graciously provide. Now, mind you, I was even wearing one of their Pure Barre t-shirts that I purchased, so I was SURE to fit in. I rush into the room, (which is spotless, and very zen-like) as the instructor asks us to approach the barre and assume the first position with our feet. I walk quickly to the barre, trying to remain invisible to the mirrors placed on all the walls, and I look down in horror to find a gigantic red wine stain on the top of my sock. I was mortified.
I just can't keep up, and it is a fruitless effort to even try. It almost seems that the harder I try, or the more thought I put into "appearing to have it together," the more miserable my failure. The more pressure that I put on myself, the bigger ass I seem to become. I should just stick to jump roping or running in place in my driveway or something and be done with it, but I have got to represent, I suppose - represent all of the women in the world who strive to do the appropriate, socially expected thing - like appear to have good hygiene when they clearly do not have the time nor the inertia. That is obviously my calling in life - to make people who have it together with their spotless socks that they picked out of a real drawer that morning and actually had a difficult time deciding which ONE of the perfectly lined couture pairs they were going to wear- feel EVEN better about themselves.
Well, your welcome, you immaculately groomed, Lululemon-wearin' ho's. You can count on me to make your eyes roll and give you a giant boost of self-esteem when I burst in five minutes late to your class with my coffee breath and handy wiped clean face and armpits. I will then saddle up next to you at the barre, debuting my new Kohl's workout ensemble for your inevitable amusement. Enjoy!
Pure Barre is located throughout the country and is going gangbusters. It is a one of the best workouts I have ever had, and it is different from anything I have ever done. Their introductory offer is totally worth it. After that, each class is $23. They have bounce back programs for new moms and many other packages you can take advantage of. I have provided the link above.
And for what it is worth, Kohl's has some really cute workout clothes right now. Take advantage of their frequent coupons and Kohl's cash they give you when you shop there and you can get some great deals.