… and now I am tired & have photos

It’s been a loooong weekend full of physical fun. And now I have sore legs to show for it. (lots of photos below, I promise…)

The weekend started for me at 4pm on Friday, when I left work and took Wendy to the orthodontist. She only has one more post-braces follow up visit after this. Her smile is lovely. The ortho just moved to a new office, and there was a nail salon next door. It smelled like manicure when we walked in. I felt bad for all those prepubescent kids lying there with open mouths, trying to breathe through their noses while techs put fingers on their teeth – and behind it all is a lingering smell of someone getting fake French tips.

Eww. And I told them that. As much as I loved their staff and experience, and it was such a 180-degree change from the terrible experience we had with her sister’s orthodontist, it is just gross to breath in those chemicals.

We came home and collapsed together for an hour. I think we watched 2 epsiodes of A Gifted Man on Netflix (starring Patrick Wilson, who I met recently, and who went to the same high school that my girls go to now.)

Brian whipped up some cod, and I made some sweet potato fries. The kids ate leftovers, and over family dinner we discussed the weekend. Alice realized she had almost no plans, except for a 15 mile run, so she could go out on a date. Wendy wanted some nothing time because she’s been going from school, to homework, to dinner, to school musical rehearsal, to shower, to bed – go go go. Luckily she’s only townsperson #12 in The Music Man so she doesn’t have to memorize a script, just blocking, singing and dancing. Although knowing her, she’ll have the whole script memorized in a couple weeks.

Saturday morning I had a barre fitness class planned at 8:30. As I was getting dressed, I heard Alice come home from her 15 mile run, but it seemed too early. Sure enough, she said her legs were tight and she only did 5 of her 15 miles. She could hardly sit. “I want to do aerial yoga,” she said. I told Alice that I would email her my friend Lora’s link on her blog where she describes a nearby class so she could see if that was what she really wanted.

I went to barre class, Alice napped for an hour, and we met back at home at 9:40. She still wanted to try aerial yoga class, and it looked like the only time this lady taught near us was 10am, so I quickly registered her for the class online, she got dressed, I grabbed a pair of clean leggings since I was already sweaty, and we drove over.

When we got to the aerial yoga class in The Studio @ The Rubin Health Center, there were only 3 cars in the parking lot, so I figured I could probably squeeze into the class too. We walked in, and the teacher, Tara – who Lora strongly recommended for being so kind and noncompetitive – was so wrapped up in her yoga swing cocoon that we didn’t even see her. (You can read her bio on this page, and ironically the photo at the very bottom of the page of the woman reading in the waiting room is me back when my hair was short. I don’t know why it’s there though…)

Tara came out of her swing to greet us, and I explained that Alice was having a super tight day. Tara asked if we wanted to use the swings because sometimes she teaches without them, and I said the swings were the whole reason why we were there. She had one regular student there, and someone else certified to teach yoga who recently moved and could no longer hang her swing in her new home – so they had some experience. We did not. It didn’t matter. Tara was so sweet and offered great explanations. She corrected Alice in ways that would help her stretch out without forcing her to feel inflexible.


My first gazelle pose

We did pigeon with our front leg nested in the swing. We flipped upside down and hung, did handstands, and Tara stretched us out.

handstands(oh my crazy, uneven hips – at right)

Then we did some partner exercises. At one point Alice was lying face-up in the swing, and I was under her doing a downward dog, so my tailbone lifted her low and mid back. Then she did it back to me.

partnerdogHere Alice is stretching me out. I walked my hands on her forearms, and then she tugged back slowly. IMG_3005_Alice_Raffi

Alice gets her stretch on with Tara

Alice gets her stretch on with Tara

I can’t describe the feeling of lying back in the swing. It’s a cross between a hammock and a cocoon. A hammock is much more open and airy. The yoga swings were silky fabric which allowed us to create our own colorful space and block everything out but the ceiling.

I would not say this class was physically demanding. It was not fitness for me, but rather fun. It was a release of pressure and a rush of excitement because it was new. After class, Alice said she loved it and felt an inch taller. It definitely brought pep back into her step.

Tara asked us to stay a few extra minutes, and she worked with Alice on forward fold from the hips, and downward dog with hands against the wall at shoulder height. One thing she said really stuck with me, “We often think about where we are headed. When you practice Yoga, remember where you came from. As you lean into a forward fold, don’t think about trying to reach the ground, think about where your hips are and how you folded over.”

Alice made immediate progress with Tara’s hands-on suggestions. She also said Alice would benefit from yoga with her legs elevated, and I reminded Alice that we had some yoga for runners poses on Digital Running with legs up a wall.

We left hungry, so we stopped at Rollin’ Oats on the way home and got some food from their deli counter and ate in the cafe. We split a piece of portobello mushroom quiche and a turkey panini with a side of tortellini salad. The panini was on their fresh-baked, herbed focaccia bread, which was awesome! We also tried their fresh-made roasted red pepper hummus which was quite creamy and flavorful. Not spicy. Lunch was nice, and the conversation and time together was even better. Alice had a stressful week, and had to cut her run short, and it seemed this hanging upside down from silk was just what her psyche needed. She’s already asked twice to return, even though she knows we can’t until next weekend.

(I just had to add panini and focaccia to my WordPress spelling dictionary. Panera would be proud.)

After the luxurious morning of focusing on balance and fitness I had the glorious pleasure of scrubbing our bathrooms. My tub is a large garden/corner tub, and I squat inside it while cleaning it, and squatted while washing the floors, so my legs were DONE by 2:30pm from being used steadily since 8:30am. Wendy snuck in a workout and some hula-hoop practice while I got some laundry and nail trimming done. Then I remembered that I had a book on hold at the library. Brian and I made a quick library stop, where I got 2 books for me, one for Wendy, a movie to watch that night, and the Glee concert to watch with the girls if we had time.

The book I had on hold was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan. I think I heard about it from Oprah magazine. I don’t even remember. I just read a synopsis somewhere, quickly put it in my library queue, and then forgot about it until the library emailed me that it was available. When I first opened it, a library receipt fell out that said it had last been checked out on Wednesday. So someone got it Wednesday, read it, returned it, and I had it Saturday. That meant it had to either be so good they couldn’t put it down, or so bad they never finished it.

So far it is quite cute. Very modern and techie with a love for the smell of books and mystery twist. People in the book work at Google, design logos, talk about typefacess – right up my alley! But they read real paper books. As do I. I’ll let you know how it goes when I finish it.

Last night we watched Heath Ledger’s last movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp and Jude Law are also in it. Johnny Depp and Jude Law always make me smile. Except for the end of Gattaca, that didn’t make me smile, but it was still a great movie. Anyway, we were about 10 minutes in to Doctor Parnassus when Wendy said, “Whoever made this was definitely on drugs.” About ten minutes later she asked, “Do I have to watch this?” and went to her room. Alice was at “The Hobbit”. Brian and I both dozed off a few times during Parnassus, partly because it was so weird I think, but I was too stubborn to go to bed. I wanted to see the costumes, Johnny Depp, and to know how it ended. I give it a B.

We stumbled into bed and I slept until 7am, when I woke up to a quiet house and read more of my book. Then I caught up with my mom on the phone and we booked a flight for me to visit her next month during the long President’s Day weekend. She said she needed some mother-daughter time. She’s been helping out her aging parents a lot, and I think she needs to be around some young blood and have a fun time!

Then I remembered that Katelyn, who used to teach at Yogablu, was offering a pay-what-you-can outdoor yoga class along the waterfront. Banyan trees, birds, water, grass – gotta love yoga outdoors!! And Florida in January!!

beachdrivejan2013IMG_20130127_120211We worked on crow and headstand a lot. I’m glad I had taken some time off from headstands and handstands, because this weekend sure was full of them! My neck was ready to support me without any trouble. But it was a very active class, and my tired legs from Saturday became heavy legs by the time class was over.

me, playing with my headstand

me, playing with my headstand

After hitting the grocery store with Brian, all I wanted to do was sit. So I sat on the couch and Wendy sat on the floor in front of me, and I curled her hair while we watched Suburgatory. I polished my nails, I found a lentil burger recipe for dinner, and the kids went through their closets and made a donation pile.

Now it’s post dinner and I want to read some more of my book. I also know I have 2 loads of laundry to put away, but my legs still want to be elevated. Barre class tomorrow is going to be a b!tch!

All in all, I recommend aerial yoga, not for weight loss but for FUN. I do not recommend scrubbing bathtubs – but rather paying someone else to do it. I recommend this lentil burger recipe. I also recommend outdoor yoga, and wintering in Florida and making time to read with your kids – which I forgot to do myself the last 2 days. Too much TV I guess. But it’s not like we were couch potatoes!

And I recommend flying out to see your mom without anyone else every one in a while, and for me I think it’s been 4 years, so it’s time!


Blogger Barre Class

Maria and me

Maria and me

Saturday I was able to hang with a few of my Tampa Bay Blogger friends at Above the Barre Fitness for a bloggers only class. I arranged the class with the owner, Maria, to help her spread the word about her great studio and results-enducing classes.

I wanted bloggers to be able to ask questions and take photos without disrupting a regular class. I was hoping to really fill her space, but after a few cancellations at the last minute there were only 8 of us.


(Caroline, Mindy, Stephanie, Margarita, Katie, Lora, Me and Tess)

Me setting up the room for everyone

Me setting up the room for everyone

Maria walked everyone through her basic barre class with just a touch more added explanation – but for the most part she used the same reminders and verbiage she does in her regular classes. Her favorites seem to be “Zip it up!”, as a reminder to hold in your tummy, and “Shaking is changing” when your 50th rep of plies causes your legs to SHAKE so badly that you want to quit – but you know the burn is what is causing your body to change.

Here’s what to expect in a basic class:

We start with a warm up

We start with a warm up

and then work our shoulders until they burn - even though the weights are 1-3 lbs.

and then work our shoulders until they burn – even though the weights are 1-3 lbs.

And we hinge over for mid-back and triceps

And we hinge over for mid-back and triceps

Lower body work - heels high like you are wearing your Jimmy Choos!

Lower body work – heels high like you are wearing your Jimmy Choos!

Then on to a wide-leg stance, pulsing knees back and squats with heels high

Then on to a wide-leg stance, pulsing knees back and squats with heels high

There were was barre work I couldn’t take a photo of, where you sit with your butt on the floor and your back on the wall under the barre – round back, then flat back, then stretching. Caroline got one photo like that…

Then we get on the floor for planks and pigeons

Then we get on the floor for planks and pigeons

Forearm planks from BFFs Lora & Katie

Forearm planks from BFFs Lora & Katie

Lunges, that's me in the back right!

Lunges, that’s me in the back right!


Rolling down to a C-curve for ab work

Rolling down to a C-curve for ab work

Quieting down in the dark for booty blasting bridges

Quieting down in the dark for booty blasting bridges

We don’t usually talk in class, so the extra banter from the blogger girls was fun! Everyone seemed to feel the burn and still enjoy themselves at the same time. Lora was crowned queen of Pigeon Pose, and Caroline managed to sneak in a photo for the Awkward is Awesome fitness challenge (above). I think Margarita wins best hair after a sweaty workout!

After class, a few of us went right down MLK to Rollin’ Oats to have brunch in their cafe. We probably could have talked for hours, but we all had stuff to do so 1.5 hours was about as long as it stretched.


I ate a delicious spinach-feta turkey burger, a small piece of their broccoli quiche and some cold green bean sesame seed salad – and it all cost under $6!

turkeyburgersIt was a hearty lunch with a variety of fresh flavors, and everything was delicious! I love living so close to Rollin’ Oats. Sometimes I wish they knew me by name when I checked out.

I also tasted their curry chicken salad while I was there – which to my delight had both raisins and walnuts in it, and which put me in a chicken salad mood for the next day.



That night I prepped my lunch for today while thinking about chicken salad. I had some bagged broccoli slaw that I chopped slightly smaller, added some curry, red wine vinegar and mustard – and then tossed in some of the shredded chicken left from dinner. I stirred in roasted, chopped garlic and raisins. I’m not sure if it was broccoli slaw that had chicken in it or curry chicken salad with broccoli in it, but who cares? Then I screwed the lid on the Bullet’s cup, left it overnight in the fridge, and enjoyed the blend of flavors for lunch today! No photo, it went in my tummy too quickly!

I also picked up a cute black and white striped Calvin Klein dress with an aqua belt, but I returned it after hanging it in my closet and realizing I had too many black/white/grey dresses. 5? At least. If I’m going to spend the money, I’ll get something with a greater wow factor!

I had a wonderful complement at work the other day. Grandparent’s Day is coming up at my girls’ school, and I was asked to take a family photo of a couple with the 4 grandchildren they have at the school. I was told that the photo would be used for an ad, and had to be approved by the Grandma, who might want to see a bunch of options. So we took standing photos, and sitting photos, and hugging photos, and the grandkids balancing on a tree root coming out of the ground photos, and at one point I even told the 4 kids that grandpa had something in his left pocket and let them all run to him to find out what it was while I snapped a bunch of shots. It was a cute idea, but those didn’t work out too well for our needs, not enough faces in the photos. After the photoshoot, I sat with someone from the school office and we narrowed down to 10 photos, and then 2, and finally one winner. I then found better smiles for 3 of the children in other photos and used Photoshop to put their best faces in the photo we liked. It was then emailed to Grandma for approval. And she said, “The photo is wonderful! I know how hard it is to get a group picture where everyone looks good, and you’ve done it! Thanks so much for your time and patience this morning, for knowing how to deal with children, and for your artistic eye. It was a lovely experience, and you have a real gift.”

Now, I’m not a photographer, but I will soak up any compliment regarding “knowing how to deal with children” or my “artistic eye”!! Those are things I certainly take pride in, and I am glad they were recognized. And I’m glad she wasn’t upset that at one point I used the word “dumb”. (Not about one of the kids, about one of my pose ideas that didn’t work out.)

Tonight we are having breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs, french toast and of course bacon for Brian. Brian loves bacon and it is a rare treat in our home. I think bacon is to him what rich chocolate mousse is to me.


Today I was back at barre class, and since it is already the 21st and I still have a bunch of classes left, I doubled up and did two back to back! My friend Tanya was in the 2nd class, so at least I got to roll my eyes at a friendly face when it hurt!

When you try a new fitness class – like we did at barre class – do you prefer to be with a friend or amongst total strangers?


Yummy Smoothie & more

So much to catch up on…

We got back from the Ragnar Relay Florida Keys, I got an awesome new cell phone, Brian had to buy a car to replace the one that got totalled in Alice’s car accident, I’m on day 7 of my Barre Challenge, Brian ran the Disney Marathon, and I got a Magic Bullet.

I can’t fit all of that in to one post, but the Barre Challenge and Magic Bullet are fastest to write about, and speed is important today.

3 days in a row of barre class did not kill me. My calves are not disabled, thank goodness. But Thurs was my 4th day in a row, so I took an evening class – to put more distance between them. I usually rest between workouts, but I have to fit 24 classes in this month while being out of town for 2 weekends.


I’m glad the class is different every time. I’ve been with 3 instructors and never know what to expect. From the music, to the moves – it’s muscle confusion for an hour. The pattern is the same – short warm up, shoulders, triceps, standing leg workout, seated leg workout, plank & pigeon, abs, cool down. I actually feel new, tiny muscles near my obliques getting hard. There were 2 classes where I had a lot of individual attention due to the size of the class, so the instructor showed me a few advanced moves to see if I could do them. In one you have your chest, shoulders, head and elbows curved away from the wall while sitting on the floor, arms on the bar, legs extended. Like this:

You lift one leg, then the other, then you tap your heels together. The first time I tried this move, I could not lift my legs off the ground. The second time I did a set of four, then rested, then did 6. And Thursday night I was able to do 10! I was so excited to see a result in ONE WEEK that was all because of ME! I wanted to tell the whole class right then and there, just raise my hand and say, “Last week I could not do ONE of those and I just did TEN!” But I just smiled. Well, beamed. 🙂

On Tuesday I learned “pretty pushups”. It’s more challenging than a girl push up because you use one leg, but not as hard as a standard pushup. It’s just what I needed to add to my repertoire! As I was doing them the owner of the studio said they were so pretty that she needed to take a picture. So here I am, doing pretty pushups with great form 🙂

pretty push ups

Morning workouts are well fueled by fresh smoothies. Our family has killed a blender and 2 smoothie makers from overuse. There’s the strawberry, banana, whatever fruit is left in the house smoothie; and Brian’s chocolate, banana, spinach smoothie. Tthe Magic Bullet looked so easy and cute, and my aunt sweared by it for her margaritas. We put it on our Christmas list, and Brian’s parents gave us $50, so we could buy one at home instead of having to fly it home from St. Louis.

Last week as a fluke while at Target buying bananas I checked out the Bullet vs. the Ninja, and lo and behold the Bullet was marked down to $49.99 + I would get a $10 Target gift card with purchase. SCORE! So I bought it and put the cups in the dishwasher when I got home, so the next morning they would be ready to use. Then Brian could fuel for the  Disney marathon weekend.

Here’s how I made my first Bullet smoothie:


1 banana, which had been in the freezer. That’s where our overripe bananas go. They are great for smoothies because you don’t have to add ice, and also great for baking if you let them sit out for about 20 mins to soften.


About 3/4 cup frozen raspberries


About 3/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt


About 1/4 cup V8 V-Fusion, Brian’s favorite way to get veggies in his diet.


About 1 TB soaked chia seeds


Then I blended for 10 seconds. Yes, 10 seconds. BOOM! YUM!

I’m so happy I bought this!! I can’t wait to make my own hummus in this and see if it is better than my $7 Publix chopper.

I also joined Instagram this week, hook up with me: http://instagram.com/rafdarrow


January 24/7 Challenge

The first month of the year I am excited to say I will be toning and tightening at Above the Barre Fitness in Florida, with their 24/7 January fitness challenge. I had just tried one of their classes, when I received an email that said:

Take the 24/7 Challenge. Work out for 24 days out of 31 and see how many inches you lose. The cost is $139 for the 31 days and includes a tank top. Get measured before and after. Starts when you want to commit.

For me, this will start Jan 2. It will be difficult to fit 24 workouts in the month with my race travels, but I’m going to make every effort!

I stopped in the studio  last week for “before” photos and measurements. I met with the owner of Above the Barre, Maria, who is darling and dynamic. She used a lot of positive reinforcement when talking to me about what I want to tone. She promised that my tush will be way tighter! She also thinks a month (and more) of barre class will help my scoliosis. I have to focus a lot on form when I work out, because my hips are uneven both in height and back-to-front due to an S-shaped curve in my lower spine.

Me, before the Barre 24/7 Challenge, Dec. 2012

I thought perhaps we were taking measurements too soon, since I often spend time with my inlaws during the holidays in the Magical Land of Fudge and Parkay. She suggested I focus on keeping my glycemic index low. I honestly don’t know much about that… I just know I often let myself eat whatever I want in moderation the last week of Dec and first week of Jan, but knowing this is coming up might help me with the moderation aspect.

After photos and measurements, I took a one-hour barre class taught by Maria. The music was funky, the movements were tiny and repetitive, and I felt my muscles tire out. Their Allendale location, nearest to me, is new – and still building membership. If you want to try a tiny class with a lot of personal focus from the teacher and ease for asking questions during class, this is the place to go!

Maria emailed me the next day to see if I was sore, and I wasn’t that day or the next day, so she said we might have to “bump it up a level” next time. But during the class I seriously felt like I was working each muscles until I couldn’t any longer, and then paused to rest before adding a few more reps.

I don’t expect a complete body transformation in 30 days (I don’t desire a complete body transformation), but I hope for renewed workout enthusiasm, slightly smaller hips, tighter triceps and maybe a new friend or two at the studio.

Here’s the song we warmed up to, “Let’s Go”! Let it get you moving today:


How are you going to jump start your workouts in 2013? Come join me at Above the Barre!


I tried Barre Fitness

December workout challenge catch up: Thursday was a yoga day. Friday I did not work out. I’m upset about it, but my right trapezius was locked up and I was moving my head like a robot. (I did wash the kitchen and living room floor before company came, though. That takes more motivation than a workout!)

When Saturday morning came around, I woke up pain-free. I decided to try something I have been wanting to try for a LONG time. There is a fitness method called “Bar Method.” It uses a ballet barre, thus the name. There are moves that are ballet-ish, pilates-esque, yoga-like; but it’s really its own animal. My friend in Chicago was talking about how it was shaping and toning her body, and she’s built a lot like me – curvy on the edge of chubby. Drew Barrymore says it “knocks your butt off.” And I LOVE ballet. I MISS ballet from when I was a kid & tween. So I thought this could curb some of that. (Yoga doesn’t.)

Now, let me quickly introduce you to Suzanne >>

Classically trained at the NYC based Lotte Berk Method, the original barre studio in the states, Suzanne Bowen is the Nashville, TN, based creator of BarreAmped, BarreAmped Fire, and BarreAmped Boot Camp, where “classic barre meets extreme results”. She has a website, blog, online videos & challenges, etc. She is the Jillian Michaels of Barre.


Now back to me… 🙂

This barre method school that is about 25 mins away from me opened a 2nd location that is RIGHT by my house. Like, it takes me 110 seconds to drive there and I pass it 4 times/day. They teach BarreAmped.

And THEN Corey, who I work out with, saw a Groupon for their classes. I still have not been able to locate the Groupon online, but I decided today was the day to try it out!

I emailed in advance about what to wear, but did not hear back. So I wore workout leggings and a tank, and assumed we’d be barefoot from the videos I saw online. I brought a water bottle and a small towel. And then I drove the 110 seconds to Above the Barre.

(Meanwhile Alice was out running 8 miles, and Brian was out running 20 miles. Maybe I should have at least walked to the studio…)

(this is actually me after class, that is why my top is sweaty)

I chatted briefly with the teacher beforehand. She asked what kind of workouts I do now. I told her about park workouts and yoga. I said I used to dance and miss it. I said I used to weight train but don’t belong to a gym anymore. I also mentioned that my husband is a running coach and I am his worst advertisement.

She said she used to be a bodybuilder and couldn’t believe how well this method worked. She handed me a thick workout mat, a small unweighted rubber ball (like a dodgeball but smaller), and 1 lb. hand weights. She told me 3 lbs. is the most they use, and sometimes she only uses 2 lbs. so I shouldn’t feel insulted by 1 lb. I wasn’t. I trusted my instructor to guide me through a first class appropriately.

There was one other new student who came as a friend of a regular student – probably getting in on the Groupon, and 7 of us in total. The room was mirrored on opposite walls with ballet barres on both sides and karate black belts (aka “straps”) hanging from the barres.

It’s not spelled bar. It’s French people!
Here’s some official BarreAmped promo jargon:

BarreAmped is an ultra results-oriented fitness regime based on modern and classical dance moves (though it is not a dance class), Pilates, yoga, and deep stretching. It’s a kick-butt workout that lengthens and elongates your muscles, tones your body, strengthens your core, and leaves you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

In comparison to dance classes where many people feel intimidated, BarreAmped® classes are packed with all types of people. Most people who take BarreAmped® were never dancers but can benefit from the strength moves and graceful transitions based on modern and classical dance.

In comparison to yoga which usually de-emphasizes results, BarreAmped® stresses the results of lean thighs, lifted seats, flat abs, and toned arms. But BarreAmped® is so attuned to form and position that some of the mental meditative benefits of yoga are felt throughout and at end of class.

In comparison to mat Pilates, BarreAmped® is weight-bearing. This produces dramatic, proven and often quick results. BarreAmped® is very inspired by Pilates techniques using imagery and precision just as classic Pilates classes do.

Here’s my take on it:

This is NOT a dance class. There are not wide, graceful movements and you won’t have to spin with a partner or solo across the studio floor. This is a class focused on tiny movements using those micromuscles that often get overlooked. And there is enough repetition to tire those muscles out. You can probably do all of these moves at home, but you may not be sadistic motivated enough to get through enough reps that you think, “this hurts… now I’m shaking… but there’s 10 more reps… I can do it… now HOLD for ten? Are you kidding me??!”   But with a video to follow I might…

Because you need to stay focused on form and movement, you can’t think about your laundry list of items to do all day, so that is comparable to yoga. But because I was new I could not focus above and beyond what I was doing, like I do in yoga. In yoga I connect. I don’t know how else to describe it. I think about those in need, I send good vibes out to friends who are ill, I want to save the planet one leaf at a time. But in this class I was thinking stuff like, “heels together, knees out, shoulders back” – over and over. Again, it was my first time, and I worry about proper form, so that could change with time.

In this class, you don’t tuck your pelvis, like ballet. But you do keep your core zipped up tight the whole time. We didn’t do any kicking or punching. The teacher said the class is a little different each time, and she will vary the level based on the students in the class.

Most of the class did not move quickly, but transitions were VERY quick. So little slow movements, then quickly switch to the next little, slow movement. Now on your knees for the next little, slow movement. This was true of the stretching as well, so while I am used to a luxurious pigeon with about 1-2 minutes per leg, she did about 2-3 breaths per leg. I felt like I did not have enough time to stretch during the class, even at the designated stretch times. I wanted to do a yoga class afterwards to stretch everything out.

As I was leaving, a student was coming for the next class. I asked how often she comes. She said 2 days a week is good, but 3 days a week is what changes your body. She is a Pilates instructor, and still comes to do with class 3-4 days/wk. She said it targets her butt like nothing else. (I wonder if she has ever tried running?) She told me I should stay for the next class. (But I only get the first one free, I thought.) I surveyed my body and said my legs could probably do it, but my shoulders could not.

All in all, it was a great experience. I wish the class was followed by an hour of yoga. I’m glad there was fun music. I absolutely worked muscles that have been ignored until they were shaking. I was happy with my form. I felt feminine and strong. I loved having my hand back on a barre again, but deep down I think I want adult ballet class and yoga and boot camp and weights and a little running thrown in. With the time and money for all of it! And a trainer who knows my body well enough to schedule it all out for me 🙂

It feels good to dream.

It also feels good to shower after a workout – so, bye!

Thanks Above the Barre Fitness for a freebie!