I am an impatient person. I want my efforts to bring results fast! After years of not working out regularly, three pregnancies, and a pattern of eating whatever I wanted alongside my triathlete husband who truly could eat whatever he wanted, I decided it was time to restore my body to something I didn’t hate. Forty was right around the corner and with every passing month I felt my body settling in for a flabby and inactive coast through middle age. I knew I would need to be realistic. Surely 4-6 months was enough time to get into shape. I kept trying to find the “magic” workout that would give me the body I wanted, fast. But time after time, when the results didn’t happen quickly enough, I didn’t have the resolve to stick with anything. Frustrated and feeling disgusted with myself, which was neither a healthy frame of mind nor a good example for my three young daughters, I found The Bar Method.
For those of you who are familiar with the Bar Method, those words say so much. I found the Bar Method. I love talking about the amazing workout, the wonderful instructors, and the inspiring women that I get to take class with every day. I love that I have seen changes in my body more quickly than I did with any other workout I tried. But for me, my love for the Bar Method goes so much deeper. I have been taking Bar Method classes for just over a year now, and the lessons that I have learned during that year have changed my outlook on my life and on my body.
I certainly started the Bar Method with the intention of getting toned and sculpted fast. But somewhere between 500 and 1,000 curls or maybe between 1,000 and 10,000 tucks, I forgot my destination. I was no longer pounding out the days until I could get the body I wanted so that I could stop working out. I was enjoying just being in my body. Waking up in the morning to muscles that had been worked hard and then well-rested, felt amazing. Unexpectedly feeling muscle in my calves, quads, hamstrings, arms or abs was exhilarating. The rush I felt after pushing myself harder in a class than I thought possible was thrilling. This body of mine was amazing! No longer looking towards a finish line, I realized I that I was simply enjoying the journey and appreciating my continually changing body.
During the past year I have also discovered new power in my intention. If you are familiar with the Bar Method, you also know the only way to make it through certain parts of class while your muscles are screaming at you to give up is through willpower. Each day as I walk out of the studio I know beautiful changes will happen in my muscles, but my mind has received the better workout. That mental workout translates to other parts of my life in little and big ways. For example, when I want to mindlessly snack, or am deciding whether or not to have a super-sugary-and-not-so-very-good-for-me dessert, saying “no” isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be. As my intention becomes stronger I notice myself getting things done more efficiently and with much fewer excuses. My mind and body seem to have more respect for each other and don’t undermine one another with negative thoughts or behaviors nearly as often.
Another powerful lesson that I have learned from the Bar Method during the past year is about working outside my comfort zone. I love being comfortable and safe. I rarely enjoy the process of change whether it be moving to a new city or learning to use a new cell phone. I take the safe and well-traveled path over the new and risky almost always. But in the Bar Method, we work outside our comfort zone every day. And stepping beyond that barrier produces amazing results. I still work on putting this lesson into effect in my daily life and will continue to work on this for years to come. But if for one hour a day I push myself beyond my comfort zone, I will become better at doing it in other ways and other areas of my life. That is scary and exciting!
The Bar Method has more to teach me, of that I am certain. I love that my journey is truly just beginning. I love that I have found a workout that energizes me and helps me give more both emotionally and physically to my family. I love that my daughters can see me looking forward to my workout time. I love having a better understanding and respect for my husband’s love of triathalon. (It’s not the Bar Method… but he seems to love it anyway.) And yes, although it’s no longer the most important payoff of my workout, I truly do love wearing size 8 jeans instead of size 14 (same brand … I promise!)