"At first it was driven by vanity. I was in my late 40's, in menopause, and the changes were coming fast and furious...my skin was melting off like a waterfall, and I grew an impressive udder seemingly overnight. I started Barre and I saw improvements, some in just weeks. I felt really good, proactive, and strong; I loved the community I was tapping into, and it was the first form of fitness I have bonded with successfully.
Later, barre became about my health; I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had a hysterectomy within 4 months of each other. Being a barre babe already, helped my recovery from surgery go smoother, helped with pelvic floor recovery, and has improved core function and balance to hopefully help me avoid future falls so I can rock this whole aging thing on my own two feet."
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Via Barre Body Studio
"The end of my junior year of high school, I fell into a deep eating disorder. Within six months, it was to an unsustainable and unhealthy point, at over 45 pounds under my current weight. I've always been an athlete, but while I was sick, I had virtually stopped exercising, with the exception of the occasional light 20 to 30 minutes on the elliptical. Once I decided to get back into running, I had to fuel my body properly if I wanted to be strong and run fast. I made the decision to build my body back from the ground up. Within a few months of hard work and determination, I graduated high school with an again-healthy body and a healthy mind."
“Despite being overweight, I didn’t start exercising to change how I look. I haven’t lost more than a scant handful of pounds in the several months I’ve been working out regularly, and while I don’t look any different, my body feels different. More than that, I inhabit my body differently. I don’t quite have the ease (and definitely don’t have the physique) of the dancers and wrestlers I admire, but I’ve come to relish the post-gym exhaustion that is my reward after throwing myself through all this; the soreness and fatigue have become familiar and comforting, even grounding. In a world where so much of my labor is owned or otherwise claimed by others, this physical work belongs only to me. It’s something I do purely for myself, to enrich my experience of the world.”
"When I ran, that was my time to talk to God. I could feel the spirit. It was so freeing. I could pray. I could just talk to God like I was talking to you. If I needed to cry, I could cry. If I needed to scream, I could scream. I could do anything."
"I barre so hard because it feels so good. I love the variety, I love how good I feel afterwards, and I love the results. I’ve never once gone to a class and thought afterwards 'I wish I hadn’t gone today!'"
"Jogging has always made me feel good, strong and centred. It's my favourite cardiovascular workout and the perfect complement to my strengthening and stretching routines. The thing about running is that no matter how much I sometimes dread getting out the door, I always return feeling happy, invigorated and clearheaded."
"Exercise allows me to sweat out all the gunk within, to release the angst and turmoil, to tap into the joy inside me. Suddenly life is exciting again. I have goals and the energy to work towards them.
"I love working out. I don't go to therapy, and I think that's because I get endorphins from exercise. It's such a powerful tool for me mentally. I know that working out is not the path for me to be skinny. For my body type, that entails eating well and making healthy choices. Working out is a way for me to have mental strength, and now, with a kid, it's also time that I have just for myself and to focus on my body."
"For me, outdoor exercise is simply an escape hatch. My running shoes are a trap door I can sink my feet into whenever life gets too chaotic, which it consistently does.
"I would really say the most important why - I want to set an example for my son. He loves watching me workout in the living room. He is learning now more then ever what his mom does. I want to make sure what he is seeing is going to help him set healthy lifestyle habits in the future."