5 Life Lessons I Learned from Pure Barre


We can rarely predict when we are going to be smacked in the face with a truth that we need to hear. Often, we look for and expect to be changed by the moments in our lives that are "monumental": graduations, marriages, births, deaths, and new chapters of any kind. Yet, something funny happens when you are looking for inspiration: you rarely ever find it.  In times of questioning, my father likes to recall the quote that he heard while nervously awaiting his turn at a golf tournament. "All of life," another competitor said to him, "comes down to a few key moments, and this is not one of them." In the midst of a seemingly trivial activity, he learned a lesson that has stayed with him for decades. I, too, have found that some of the greatest lessons I learn occur in the most unconventional arenas, and from my experience, they are usually the most valuable.

Pure Barre is my daily arena. Whether I am teaching, checking clients into class, sorting retail, or sending emails, I spend my time with phrases such as "tuck, tuck hold" and "the higher the heels the thinner the thighs" running through my head like a broken record. To the outside world, especially the non-fitness minded world, there are aspects of my job that may seem superficial. Others have said to me, "Oh, that would be awesome to just workout all the time," completely naive to the fact that running a business entails quite a bit more than working out. People see boutique fitness as a luxury, rather than a highly educated, extremely efficient form of training. What they don't understand is that those who are in this business are not in the business of sculpting perfect bodies and promoting juice cleanses. I'm in the business of changing lives, including my own.

Every day, I am constantly reminding of these five lessons, inside and outside of the studio, that apply far beyond your daily workout.

All good things come with time

Every day, I have clients ask me how quickly they will see results. Though Pure Barre produces results incredibly quickly for committed clients, it's such an interesting question. After spending weeks, months, or even years not taking care of our bodies, we are incredibly impatient to see drastic change. Physical and emotional changes will only last if they take time to develop. We have to learn to form new habits if we want to undo our habits of the past.

you can do anything for 10 more seconds

When class gets rough and legs are shaking like Jello, there is nothing more rewarding than hearing the teacher count the final 10. It's fascinating, actually, to watch the way a client changes their outlook when they hear those first few counts. What looked like a hopeless situation suddenly turns into progress and a desperate attempt to hang on until the very end. You're stronger than you think, we like to say, and we see it proven true every single day. 

every moment is an opportunity to be a light

You don't know what goes on during someone's day. As friends and coworkers, we get to interact with our peers for a limited segment of their reality. I have seen clients walk into the studio with a huge smile on their face, and I have seen them walk in with slumped shoulders and exhausted expressions. You get one chance, 55 minutes in my case, to be a light in their day. I've had people come up to me that looked miserable during class and tell me how much it means that they have this escape, this safe place. You never know what's going on in someone's life, so be fully present.

shaking is changing

I've written about this concept before, but it never ceases to ring true. Change is born from the tough stuff, the things that are uncomfortable and hurt. We have to get out of our comfort zone and really work to see change, in both physical fitness and everyday life. No one gets to where they want to go by doing the same things they've always done.

You never know what lies ahead

My Pure Barre journey has been one of ups and downs, a few yesses but many more nos, and a lot of closed doors. Three years ago to the day, I traveled to Colorado for the first time and said, "I'm going to move here someday." Exactly one year ago, I was officially approved to open my own studio in Colorado Springs. Today, I am writing this post as a packed class is working hard in the next room. The impossible is possible. Sometimes the smallest movements seem futile, and it's hard to see when things are going to fall into place. But I can be sure, every time I step foot in that room, that the 55 minutes ahead of me will contain challenges and missteps, and I might not know what's coming. Yet, I will make it because I have made it before.

Maybe Pure Barre isn't your classroom, but for me, it provides a constant reminder that building strong habits and working towards something will translate to all areas of your life. It's impossible to experience a change of heart and keep living in the past. Look for lessons that move you forward and maybe scare you a little bit. They will be worth it, and they will continue to surprise you. Just show up, make the time, and listen. You never know what you might learn.