J: Safety in Ignorance

This post was inspired by the novel J by Howard Jacobson, about a world where collective memory has vanished and the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited. Join From Left to Write on November 20th as we discuss J. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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I’ll be honest, it has been a crazy month. I didn’t even attempt to read the first book club selection this month, so I figured I’d have plenty of time to read the second selection, J. Wrong, the book arrived late, life has been crazy, etc… I am about halfway through and hopefully will finish by Thanksgiving!

I love a good dystopian novel, and I think a lot of the ones I’ve read have a common theme. There is Safety in Ignorance. I can’t say that I disagree with this phrase. Now I am not saying not knowing our world history is smart, I think that it is essential to know our world history so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. However, I do think not knowing the what-if’s about certain situations makes me more rational.

When I was pregnant with B it was excitement (and nausea) ALL THE TIME. I think you are always nervous about pregnancy because you can’t control it, but for the most part I was excited. I shopped way earlier than I should have, every appointment brought excitement.

With my second pregnancy, I had no reason to not feel the same way. Obviously, that didn’t end the same way, and I felt let down by my body.

I know that when another pregnancy blesses me that I will be a nervous wreck, counting the days until I get past the 8 week mark, then again until the 12 week mark. Honestly, after having frank discussions with women who have been through the same thing, I won’t be able to breathe easy until I have a living and breathing healthy baby outside of my body.

It’s not a way I would ever choose to carry a pregnancy, but I know that I will only be able to ever think about the what-ifs and worst case scenarios. I know it is not healthy to be stressed and anxious, but until you’ve been through it, I think there is no other way to feel.

Do you ever think that there is safety in ignorance?

What I’ve Learned in 100 Classes at Pure Barre

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I finally joined the 100 club, as well as finished the Fit for Fall Challenge. Neither were easy but I felt SO accomplished after completing both. I am thankful that I go to a Pure Barre where the team is amazing, I would’ve never stuck with it this long if it wasn’t that great!

Tell your instructor what’s going on!

Taking a new medication, tweaked your knee running the day before, etc… Tell your instructor, they will give you modifications or keep an eye on you. From my personal experience, I can’t reach the barre while doing abs without locking out my elbow, so I was given a modification that allows me to do the ab work without hurting my body.

The smaller the movement the better the workout!

This took me at least a good 6 weeks of consistency to feel like I had a handle on it. 99% of the moves are very small, and the muscle should start shaking if you are doing it correctly. If you are having trouble, again talk to an instructor. From my experience the instructors will tell you where you should be feeling the movement!

The community is amazing!

I don’t know if I am just very lucky, but the community at my local Pure Barre is extremely friendly. Not just the instructors, but the other participants, I’ve been to plenty of boutique studios (other Pure Barres and other studios) and for the most part they all have a feeling of cliqueness to them. At first I thought maybe I was oblivious to it because I was a regular, but I’ve asked others that I brought for a class or two, and they’ve said the same thing.

It’s always more fun to LTB with a friend!

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I may have taken Jane to her first Pure Barre Lynnfield class, and now she is hooked, and well on her way to her own 100 club!

You don’t have to be a Lululemon fan girl or stick thin to go!

I won’t lie, I have always been intimidated by barre classes because of those two things. I do invest in workout clothes that will last a long time, but my entire wardrobe is definitely NOT Lululemon, you also don’t have to be stick thin. Every single class I have been to has had women of all ages and sizes, this is definitely a workout for everyone.

Don’t compete with the girl next to you!

That girl could be going to classes for years or days. She may used to dance professionally, or have just had a baby. You never know anyones story and you shouldn’t focus on what anyone else in class is (or isn’t) doing. I know that it is incredibly hard to not look at the person next or across from you and see how they are doing better than you, but you have to remember that this workout is for you, just like anything else.

Take a Breaking Down the Barre Class!

I can not encourage this enough, it isn’t a real class, but it takes you through every single part of class and in a slow-motion type of way they show you how to position your body and how to get the movement and form correctly. Take this when you are a newbie, and again when you’ve been there awhile. Everyone can use a refresher.

Use sticky socks!

They don’t have to be the Pure Barre ones, but sticky socks are better than regular socks, trust me. Oh, and when you get to 100, you get special socks!

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Be respectful of others!

Every studio has their own rules, but I find it extremely distracting when someone comes into class 15 minutes late and plops their stuff down on top of mine and crowds in on my space. I get it we all have those days, but call the studio and tell them you will be late. With that said, also don’t get up before the cool down is over and rush to get a cleaning wipe and put your equipment away, its distracting from those who are still doing their workout.

Do it because you love it, not because someone else does!

I’ve read a handful of blog posts lately about how strength training is the best workout for you, and I won’t say I hate strength training, it’s just not where I need to be right now. My problem is that these blogs also complain that barre workouts aren’t real workouts. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I love that we all have different interests and loves. If we all did the same thing wouldn’t that be boring? If you love it, do it. If you hate it, don’t.

I love Pure Barre, I love the challenges, the way they treat their customers. I do however wish there were a few additional things. Facebook support groups for challenge participants, and to add to that, it would be great if there was a nutrition component to the challenges!

Have you taken a Pure Barre class? What are your thoughts?