so this one time, i showed up for my monday evening pure barre class just like the 483 mondays before and instead of just leaving a little sore, sweaty and a little worse for wear, i left as an ambassador to the solana beach studio (and my reign officially commences today and runs through the end of the year).
so you know, in case you didn’t already know this, God is awesome.
but yeah, among the titles i currently hold -director of membership, amateur fashion blogger, daughter, sister, friend, trader joe’s frequenter, horizontal striped-shirt enthusiast, almond butter consumer, and of course, instagram creeper, i can now add “pure barre ambassador.”
what does this mean exactly? i’m still not quite exactly sure, but you know it sounds pretty fancy and kind of important, doesn’t it?
just kidding, i totally know a few things about my newly granted title and since you asked so nicely, i’ll tell you all about them!
first of all, i’m tasked with the duty of promoting pure barre with copious amounts of blog posting, facebook commenting, link sharing, overall pimping out of the workout i’ve fast become obsessed with over the past 18 months. so by “tasked” i mean that i’m basically encouraged to do exactly what i do on a regular basis, so you know, it’s kind of awesome to know that my extracurricular activities have an actual purpose now.
then there’s the whole awesome perk of being able to treat up to four guests per week for a complimentary class in hopes that they fall in love with lifting, tucking, and burning as much me.
i’ll be featured on the pure barre solana beach facebook page as well as have my brief interview and snazzy head shot posted on the pure barre community boards, too. so get your autographs now, y’all, my celebrity status is bound to give even emma stone a run for her money. i best invest in a body guard now, right?
i mean, KIDDING.
at the end of my term as ambassador,10 of my closest friends and i will be treated to a private class with an instructor of my choosing.
and finally did i mention that i also get a free t-shirt (because it’s always about the free t-shirt)?
in all seriousness, i am so incredibly flattered and grateful for this title and opportunity. what an honor to be an unofficial marketer for the workout that has helped my milkshake bring more boys to the yard, and for the studio whose staff has become like a part of my extended family. i look forward to being even MORE relentless with my pure barre-pimping ways. so if you’d like to come take advantage of my newly christened perks, please oh please let me know. and tell your friends that they can take advantage of me, too (wait, that came out wrong). but really, if you’ve ever thought about taking this workout for a test drive, now is the chance, y’all!
check the class schedules here.
then check my schedule here:
mondays | 4:45 p.m.
tuesdays | 5:15 p.m.
wednesdays | 4:45 p.m.
thursdays | 5:15 p.m.
saturday | 8:00 a.m.
then check your schedule there (and by “there” i mean i don’t know your schedule so imagine me pointing to your google calendar).
and see where the three intersect.
(and of course, i’m not totally rigid, if you want to come to a different class, then just let me know and i’ll try to (in the words of tim gunn) “make it work.”)
then call me maybe, slap those lululemon crops and grippy socks on, and get ready for some sore thighs and tushies!
also, henceforth, i’d like to be addressed as “ambassador” shawna when referred to in casual conversation.
and in case you are curious as to what i may or may not have said in my interview questions, i’ve posted them below. i’m also adding a few links to previously written posts about pure barre, so if you’ve read through them before, my apologies for being a repeat offender. also this is like the longest post ever.
1) How did you first hear about Pure Barre and when did you take your first class?
I first heard about Pure Barre from Lululemon, of all places. I had decided to participate in their “Sweat Once a Day” challenge, where for a whole month they offer free classes at a variety of studios and gyms in order to promote a daily sweat. Being a gym rat myself, the mention of a ballet/pilates-fusion-type workout intrigued me, so I checked the class schedule, found one that fit into my schedule and braved the barre on March 10th, 2011. I remember the exact date because not only did I write a blogpost about my experience on my personal blog the very next day, but also, you tend to remember when you’re served a big helping of humble pie…
i wrote about said experience here.
2) How has Pure Barre changed your body and lifestyle?
I kind of wish I had taken one of those “before” shots like they show in infomercials for weight loss products, because my body has changed quite dramatically since taking up Pure Barre full time. I’m lighter, leaner, and more toned overall. Plus, the junk that perpetually seems to be in my trunk is definitely a lot tauter, so basically my milkshake is bringing all of the boys to the yard these days and I have all of those hours of seat work to thank!
In all seriousness though, I kind of feel like, even after almost two years, Pure Barre and I are still in the honeymoon phase in our relationship. He’s all I ever think about, I can’t wait to see him at the end of the day, and I brag about him to all of my friends. I’m borderline obsessed with him. But the healthy kind of obsession, not the one that requires restraining orders.
3) What is your favorite part of class, favorite position?
My favorite part of class? Does the cool down count? Just kidding, I think it would be a tie between thighs and ab work at the end of class. I might get dirty looks for this, but I LOVE knee dancing. Apparently I was blessed with some aggressive quad muscles because I seem to have the stamina to last through the entire knee dancing routine without too much pain and suffering (sorry for the humble brag), plus the song choices that usually accompany said thigh section are usually upbeat, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good Flo Rida song to knee-dance to? Coming in a close second for favorite exercise would be the fetal position in the seat portion of class. I think I have an affinity for this one because not only do you feel it almost instantaneously but the moves remind me of those Jane Fonda workout videos from the 80’s, and it’s my mission in life to look as good as Mrs. Fonda someday.
4) What advice/suggestions would you give to somebody just getting started in the Pure Barre technique?
Well first of all, wear pants. If I’ve learned anything in life it’s that frozen yogurt is a perfectly acceptable dinner option and that there are no shorts allowed in Pure Barre. Also, be sure to bring a hair tie. I know, I thought I wouldn’t need one for my first class, either, but trust me, even if you’ve had your sweat glands removed, you’re going to produce a little healthy glow over the course of those 60 minutes and you’ll want to keep those locks out of the way of that neck sweat.
Jokes aside, I think the best advice I could give someone is to cut yourself a little slack. No one is a Pure Barre master on day one of class. No one. Those gals around you performing the moves with what seems to be zero effort are either fellow instructors (so they don’t count) or ladies who have taken many, many, MANY classes and have diligently maintained loyal to the workout in order to be at their advanced level. Chances are they were just like you when they started, too. So don’t give up! The chair position will get easier, eventually your legs won’t shake as much in high relevé, and flat back won’t be so daunting. Like any skill, it takes time to perfect the positions. And in the meantime, pop a few aspirin for those sore muscles, focus on your own individual improvement, and simply take one class at a time.
i wrote a reflection about all of this here.
5) Describe the feeling you have before and after class.
Actual internal dialogue prior, during, and after a Pure Barre class:
(Arrive to the studio). Alright [insert favorite instructor here] is teaching! I love her! I can’t wait to see what exercise she has for us! (Music starts) Woo, I have tons of energy today, I can tell this is going to be a great workout. (While holding plank position). I HATE planks, they are the worst exercise of all time, we’ve had to have been holding this for at least nine minutes, I think the instructor lost count… (Moving into upper body) My biceps are really toned these days, too bad tank top season has already come and gone…Ugh, these weights are really starting to feel heavy, okay, she’s doing the final 10 countdown…PHEW! Warm-up DONE! (First thigh exercise, Bieber song comes on)” (singing to myself, and sometimes out loud, too) I just need somebody to looooovveee,” great song choice, I’m totally distracted from the burning in my upper quads by Bieber’s beautiful voice. (Thigh section ends) Survived thighs, I mean, we’re totally on the downhill side of this workout. What should I make for dinner? (Seat work commences) Standing pretzel is the worst; I don’t think I can get my leg any higher. Wait, the instructor just told me “great job, Shawna” looks like I’m doing something right! Yay me! (Moving from flat back/round back into more abs on the mat) FAVORITE part of class right here, folks. Hold in your abs, Shawna, you don’t want poofy abs, remember? And come on, you can get lower than that, it’s skinny jeans, season. Wow, I’m really feeling the lower crunches today. How many more of these are we doing, teach? (Back dancing) only a few more minutes left of class; just have to make it through a little back dancing. Clench those cheeks, girl, you didn’t come this far in the workout to give up now! Plus, remember those cookies last night? (Final stretching) You sing it, Adele. Yikes, my IT band is sore. Easy does it on that straddle stretch; you want to be able to walk tomorrow… (Rolls up one vertebrae at a time to last position) AND DONE! What a great workout, now, time to go home and watch Real Housewives of [insert city here].
In all seriousness, there are days when making it to Pure Barre is bit of a struggle, an actual struggle as I usually get caught in a bit of traffic on the northbound side of Interstate 5, and a mental struggle as in, I flat out don’t feel motivated to do anything else but veg on the couch in my PJ’s.
But then I think about the fact that I’ve never once in my life ever regretted a Pure Barre workout, and that going to the Solana Beach Pure Barre oftentimes feels like my own personal Cheers, where everybody knows my name and well, when I take those things into consideration, suddenly my unmotivated self gets a fire lit under her and those sixty minutes often become the best part of my whole day.