December 2012 – Hey Mom! You want to go to a Bar Method class with me?”
“A what?” was my brain’s first question, followed by a million reasons not to go, but the one reason was standing in front of me, and since my daughter Alix is the love of my life, how could I say no?
In my first 10 days, I went to 8 classes. Several things occurred simultaneously: I was epically sore – more sore than I had been since dancing 6-8 hours a day in my 20’s; the more classes I took, the better I felt; I was finding muscle groups I didn’t know existed; and I had to adjust the rear view mirror in my car because I was sitting up much taller.
I started with a partially replaced knee and expectations that I would have to get the other one done soon, a shoulder that had been surgically repaired, and a body that had been beat up in my teens and 20’s with gymnastics and dance. Alix commented recently that I was walking without limping, and it occurred to me that I wasn’t thinking about my knees at all because they didn’t hurt anymore, and the strength in my legs and upper body had taken the idea of more surgery out of my head. Wow.
My first goal in class was to make it through back dancing without quitting, and I began to learn the lesson of mind over matter. Then I told myself I’d start trying to do push-ups on my toes. In less time than I thought possible I was doing every single one on my toes – the pulses, the 2, 3 and 4 counts, the full range – now it doesn’t even occur to me to go back to my knees. My new goal is conquering reverse push-ups – my lack of strength and wrecked shoulders kept me from them until recently, but I’m committed to doing them now.
I’m inspired by everyone in class – the young guns who can do it all in multiple classes per day, the older women who are keeping their bodies moving and their posture upright and tall, the moms-to-be who are kicking butt and taking names, the brand newbies who don’t yet know that they’re on their way to becoming addicted, and the ones who’ve been doing it for years who keep coming back week after week after week.
I get something new out of every class and every teacher – I especially love the moments of silence when the class has all made it into the muscle and are collectively breathing and concentrating on keeping it all pulled down, held in, squeezed tight and pointed. I breathe in that silence and know I’m changing and sculpting me.
It’s been 7 amazing months so far. In that time I’ve lost 39 pounds, 8.5” off my waist, and 3” off each thigh. My strength to weight ratio has shifted dramatically, and I feel astonished by my own body and by what it can do. I was asked recently why I went to Bar Method 6 times a week when I hadn’t come close to that regularity in the over 30 years I’ve had a membership to the gym, and all I could say is, “It’s Bar Method. You have to come try it. Once you do, you’ll know why.” Oh, and, “Want to see me do push-ups on my toes?”
Thank you Alix, for asking me, “Hey Mom! You want to go to a Bar Method class with me?”