I am quite pleased with myself. Seriously, I am patting myself on the back right now. After an almost year-long hiatus, I worked out. I did cardio. I broke a sweat. I had aches and pains to show for my efforts. This is a big deal for me, people. I am that girl, or I’ve at least become that girl, that loathes anything that smells like exercise—I don’t run on treadmills, I don’t climb Stairmasters, I don’t race to nowhere on stationary bikes, at least not willingly.
No, I haven’t been unfairly blessed with a hot bod that requires zero maintenance (those days sunset when I turned 27). I just get bored, lose interest, and make excuses as to why I can’t hit the gym and move forward aimlessly on a machine (e.g., I have to work, find a babysitter, catch up on my Netflix DVDs, make shredded chicken in the Crock-Pot, lay on the couch, the list goes on and on and on). The well-documented health benefits and guaranteed shedding of pounds aren’t even enough to make me do it either. I guess twenty years of dance and team sports ruined my chances of becoming a gym rat. I need an exercise regime that keeps my mind engaged and requires some level of thinking, concentration, and hopefully choreography.
So, what got me off my a@*?
To be honest, I got sick of hearing myself complain about the state of leftover baby jiggle. I think I said it reminded me of the Marshmallow Man’s sister or something along those lines. And then there was that incident with the exterminator. The guy hired to spray for ants, gasp, asked me if I was preparing to have a baby. Yup, dude, I just gave birth to a two year old!
I also wanted to reclaim some time to myself. I wanted something that was convenient, affordable, and promised results. Then, I found Cardio Barre, a studio offering ballet-inspired cardio classes in my ‘hood. Major bonus: they offered free on-site childcare. Un. Heard. Of. And if that didn’t extinguish my excuses, Living Social offered a $40 ten-class pass that my friend also purchased. Bye-bye jello, hello J.Lo.
The hour-long classes are fast paced and move from one balletic pose to the next. The movements are tight and controlled but repeated to give you long, lean muscles (I will no longer have a reason to get a butt lift if I keep this up). The choreography and transitions between movements were not as fluid as I would have expected, but I have to remember that it is an exercise and NOT a dance class. Overall, the class was challenging enough for an out-of-shape mama like me; it proved hard enough to make it feel like I was working, but it wasn’t so physically demanding that I worried about keeling over on the spot. I need a towel if that’s any indication of the kind of workout. The instructors are super positive, too, which is likely why women of all ages and sizes come back each weekend.
If you can’t make it to a Cardio Barre studio, check out these Cardio Barre and Pure Barre DVD workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home where you can channel your inner Jennifer Beals or Natalie Portman too.
This post was adapted from a piece first written for Salt & Nectar.
Image by Cardio Barre.