sydney tries: pure barre

To be honest, I thought that I was done blogging. It was never my  intention to keep this thing going, or to even be still this focused on weight loss. The truth is, that i’m days away from my year anniversary and let me say… THIS HAS BEEN A TOUGH YEAR. In 2016, I started the year off at my absolute heaviest weight. I had 50 pounds to lose and was ready to document my journey. One year, 20 pounds less, I’m still working on shaving off that last 30 pounds. It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, but after monitoring my behavior for the last 3 weeks, it’s safe to say that my mojo is back.

I ended up quitting OTF back in October (which I still miss terribly), but it was costing me close to $200 a month, I moved further away from my home studio, and it was important to me to have flexibility in when/where/what time I work out- heyyyyy Planet Fitness. However, since the new year started, I’ve been looking for ways to push myself out of my comfort zone. (Why do I love doing that so much?) Which brings me to my current situation… CLASS PASS.

I was hesitant to sign up, but after some people at work saw success, I thought I would give it a try. I get 5 ‘passes’ a month to try out different studios around Nashville. They offer everything from boxing, to spinning, to yoga, to Tae-bo, they even offer Pure Barre classes. For years, I’ve seen friends and family rave about these classes and I thought it would be a good place to start. What in the fu*k was I thinking?

People warned me before I went. They told me to raise my expectations and that it would be more difficult than I thought. Newsflash: I already thought it was going to be hard as shit. I show up early for class to stake the place  out. It’s filled with Lulu Lemon types of clothes and a very fit desk girl who is wearing a flannel over her work out clothes. I immediately feel under dressed. She greets me (and another newbie) and acknowledges that it’s our first class. I have my hair pulled back in a messy bun, a white work out tank, black cropped leggings and gray socks. The other new girl looked like this:


I think she may have come straight from the Victoria Secret fashion show, I don’t know. So the ponytail newbie starts asking about buying socks. I think to myself, “Should I be buying socks? What is wrong my normal socks?” I then hear that the socks cost $15+ dollars. I did not buy any socks. We go in to the room, take a stretchy band thing, this little ball, and a set of 2 pound weights. This seems fine. I look around the room and it’s covered in mirrors. I do not like that. People start to trickle in and I feel very, very intimidated. The best example that I can give would be: It was like being the girl from the projects that got sent to the P.E class of the all-girl private school. ANYWAY.

Class starts, the instructor Hannah, is very nice and tells the two newbies things about pulsing and thrusting (that may not be right, but I can’t remember what the thrusting move was called). She says that she will walk around and help us as the class goes on. COOL, I actually do like that. We start class off by doing a round of exercises that include shoving both of my thighs (which are BY FAR my biggest problem area) into ONE side of these bands. I look around and everyone is doing this with ease. Mine is cutting off circulation, ugh. We do a bunch of small movements that are not terrible, but i’m self conscious about the way my legs are shaking and bulging.


Then we go to the  bar and some moves on our tip toes, this I can do well. The next section was what I would consider my own personal work-out hell. One leg is bent in a 90 degree angle behind me and I’m squeezing the ball behind my knee cap, doing small pulsating movements. If this only lasted one minute, I would be fine. It did not last one minute. It lasted like five. By minute two I see beads of sweat dripping from my forehead onto the wooden bar. By 2:30, the ball is slipping from behind my knee. Around minute three the ball pops out from my leg and starts to ricochet around the room. REMEMBER: the walls are mirrors, EVERYONE is watching me run around after this ball. It was embarrassing. It also happened three more times. The girl next to me said that she almost dropped her ball too.

With every new section of the class there was more movements that I struggled with. It was the biggest blow to my self esteem that I have had in awhile. It was the kind of experience that makes your lips to start to quiver and you think to yourself, “Do not cry in front of strangers.” Maybe it would have been different if I went with a friend. Maybe it would have been better had I practiced moves before I went. Maybe it would have been better if I had the socks.

The class ended with me turning to the girl beside me and saying, “Thanks for being nice to me, this was the most embarrassed I’ve been this year.” She gave me a hopeful smile, walked out the door and jumped into her range rover. I proceeded to grab my things, quickly run out the door and convince myself that I had earned a glass of red wine.

Am I missing something? Do any of you like this torture? What could I have done differently?

PS. If you’re looking for a slightly better reaction to someone’s first barre class, read here.



4 thoughts on “sydney tries: pure barre”

  1. Sydney, I feel your pain. I’ve been to Pure Barre twice (once in Lexington and once in Brentwood), and I definitely felt like such an outsider. I’ve felt more comfortable at barre classes at different studios (in Lexington- Elle Fitness and Cycle You). The classes are still difficult, but I feel like I fit in more with the class participants. I’ve seen all body types and fitness levels outside of Pure Barre. Also, at the other studios I’ve been to, people either go barefoot or wear normal socks during class. Barre definitely gets easier the more you do it, but I recommend trying a class at a different studio next time. Cheers, Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This pretty much sums up my first and second attempts at pure barre. I just cannot deal with those tiny movements and the mirrors make it so much worse. I also dropped the ball and chased it, ha! I am glad I’m not the only one who is not in love with this class. Spin class is my absolute favorite class to take! I hope you have a better experience next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt the same way the first time I went too! Luckily, I did go with a friend who was also just getting back into working out, and we were at a small studio in a tiny little town, aka less Victoria’s Secret models, more stay at home moms trying to get fit.

    Some things that helped me:
    – When I felt like I couldn’t hold on any longer, I would stand up and take a quick breather and then jump back in to the pulses. Each time it became a competition with myself to see if I could take less breaks during the harder exercises.
    – The realization that no one probably actually watching you in the mirrors. Most people are watching themselves, or at least I’m usually just watching myself. I get excited when I’m working out, and can actually see a muscle peeking out 🙂
    -If the music is good, I mouth the words to take my mind off of the excruciating pain.


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