Although I’ve always considered myself active my whole life, I’ve never ever been consistent about my activities. I ran cross country in high school, but never really enjoyed it. Looking back I was glad I did it, but in the moment it was something I kind of just floated through and didn’t love.
In college, I actually worked at our campus rec center, which often made me not want to go back and work out when I wasn’t working. I still was somewhat active, even if it was as small as walking to and from class or around campus.
Post college, I joined a nice gym and have gone off and on for the past 6 years. Even though I’m spending a good amount of money each month on my membership, I’ve never taken advantage of it like I should.
Around November of 2017, I purchased the BBG app on my phone after hearing a ton of hype around it.
I started off really liking it, but about two months in I was starting to dread having to complete the workouts. Also, I was still living at my parents’ house at the time and would do the workouts in the basement with a yoga mat setup. I don’t know if it was the loneliness of it, but I was so over it. The final straw for me was when the workouts started to change the further along you got in the program.
I remember really struggling with a move that required you to do a weird jump in the air. I kept trying to master it and would continuously fail. Working out is a huge part of my mom’s life so I knew she’d be able to help. When she attempted to do the same move, she hurt herself. She’s insanely in shape and fit, so I think that’s saying something! She said that this seemed super dangerous, and after reading some reviews of BBG online, I felt like the program wasn’t for me anymore.
2018 for me ushered in a lot of health problems.
I got diagnosed with endometriosis in the spring after feeling a crippling pain in my side when working out. I’m actually grateful that this workout pushed me to my limits that day or else it would have taken me a lot longer to realize that something wasn’t right with my ovaries. I had a pretty intensive surgery in June to remove the endometriosis, and leading up to then I barely worked out because I was so worried I would rupture something.
Long story short, I felt like I had totally lost control of my body. The diagnosis and surgery were really tough and I just knew mentally and physically my body was in a place it had never been before. Once I was all healed from surgery I started exercising again, but again nothing too consistent. Joe and I started playing tennis over the summer and I was always going on brisk walks with him or my mom. I love being outside when it’s nice, and I think the weather has a lot to do with my working out motivation.
Fast forward to September when Michelle, the owner of The Barre Code Cincinnati, reached out to me. I met Michelle in 2017 when I was working on a post with ClassPass and loved my experience at The Barre Code. Again, I wasn’t great with the whole consistency thing and I know this totally sounds like an excuse, but our move and renovation of the condo took precedence over everything else last year. Michelle let me know about a fitness challenge they were doing at The Barre Code and asked if I’d be interested in taking part. I was overjoyed because it truly could not have come at a more perfect time. I felt ready to find something and stick to it, and I was determined to complete this challenge.
After my first class back, I was hooked!
I felt like I was on a high during and after class. One of my favorite aspects of The Barre Code is that it offers a variety of classes. You can take traditional barre, a total body conditioning class, or a “brawl” class that involves lots of cardio. My first class was a brawl class, and I couldn’t wait to get back. I successfully completed the challenge and it kickstarted my love for working out.
This post is going way longer than I had planned, but I wanted to be open and detailed with my entire journey and share some insights. First, I definitely feel more motivated in a group setting. I went into so much detail about my past intermittent workouts because they all have a theme: they’re done alone. For some people, working out alone is great, but if I truly want to push myself I need to sign up for a class to follow through. I also think a group setting makes me workout harder. I was going through the motions when working out alone, oftentimes watching tv on the elliptical or treadmill and zoning out. There’s something so energizing about working out amongst a group of women with amazing instructors.
It’s also important to find a workout routine you like.
If you don’t like doing the exercises, you’re setting yourself up for failure, and I would know! I love the variety of classes I can take at The Barre Code, and each class always switches it up.
Since September my body and mind have made positive changes. My muscles are more toned and my core area is more fit than it’s ever been. I’ve been especially amazed at the mental changes I’ve experienced. I feel like I’m able to push myself harder and do things I didn’t think I could. I actually look forward to working out, and if I’m having a bad day I know signing up for a class will make me feel better. It’s like medicine for your mind and body!
Scrunchie via Bardot Bow Gallery (use code BAUBLES20 for 20% off your purchase of $25 or more).
Photography by Amy Spasoff