We Don't Change by Staying the Same
If you've ever heard me speak about my Pure Barre story, you know that I first took class at age 17 as conditioning for dance. You may have also heard me joke about the fact that my boyfriend, now husband, Ross, and I had just broken up, and I was pretty upset in that season of my life, to say the least. Right off of the bat, there was something cathartic to me about showing up to the barre. In a big way, Pure Barre was a part of healing my teenage broken heart, and it has continued to be a source of comfort and security.
Throughout the past 9 years, Pure Barre has provided a place where I can come exactly as I am, with whatever baggage I am carrying, and simply show up. I have taken Pure Barre classes after staying up late and studying, fighting with friends, and having tough conversations in my marriage. I have shown up to the barre in seasons when depression felt like it was knocking at my door or when it seemed like the rug was being pulled out from under me. I've shown up on 3 hours of sleep after some of the toughest days of my life, and I've shown up hoping that no one else notices how not-okay I actually am. And class after class, 8-count after 8-count, I am reminded that I can do the hard things.
There's something beautiful about being able to control 50 minutes of your life when everything else seems to be falling apart. And in those moments, you realize that you have the strength to refocus, push through the seemingly never-ending pain, fight, and come out alive. Most importantly, you aren't alone.
What might seem like an hour of exercise to some people is in reality, a much deeper connection to community and a commitment to clarity. It doesn't have to be the hardest situation of your life to receive the benefits; you can simply walk away feeling less stressed or more centered, and to me, that's still a win. The impact that Pure Barre has created in my life is what inspires me to encourage that kind of change in the lives of others.
But even for me, it can be easy to forget this. I can get caught up in my work and relationships, until I'm blindsided by a testimony that I wasn't expecting to hear. I've had clients tell me their stories of loss and divorce, illness and betrayal, and then they all say the same thing in their own words, "That's why I'm here. That's why I'm showing up."
Every day, I am surrounded by a community of women who are supporting each other and lifting each other up to inspire growth in one area of their lives, in hopes that it will trickle over into new places beyond the four walls of my studio. After all, we don't change by staying the same.
In truth, a strong fitness community will teach you that there is power in doing the hard things and a magical shift in perspective that comes along with taking time for yourself, so that you can invest in others. I can't fix all the problems in my life, but I can show up to the barre, to the challenge, every day, even when I don't want to. And each time, I choose to remember that I am supported by a group of women who are hungry for their own resolutions. Every client that I encounter on a daily basis has their own story and their own reasons for showing up; it's our job to make sure we provide a place of encouragement and of safety to make their goals seem a little more in reach.
So next time you feel like everything seems a little bit too much or too heavy, I challenge you to find a place where you can detox, de-clutter your mind, and simply dig into the truth that you are enough, you are strong, and God has equipped you to thrive.