When I started going to Barre3 almost two years ago now, and this is hard to type....I was 170 pounds, breaking up with my then boyfriend of nearly 5 years, probably more depressed than I thought, and a whole long list of other things that I won't bore you with. My emotional strain was so high that the meditation and breath work at the end of the class would make me cry - I just had to have a release from my heartbreak. While my life was breaking down in so many ways, it was getting ready to build itself up for so much more. Closing necessary doors so new ones - better ones - could open. Barre3 gave me the strength to keep going - to keep "layering on the chaos". For those of you who aren't familiar with what a Barre3 class is, the best way I can describe it is a combination of aerobics, Pilates, ballet, and yoga. (It's amazing).
The Pearl Barre3 studio quickly became my safe haven. Now, I will say, that when I began attending classes here, it was hard. I did not realize how out of shape I had become. Watching all of these amazing women getting through the entire workout without ever needing to catch their breath, while I was in the corner - DYING - was not the easiest sensation to get over. Especially since I've been an athlete my entire life. I've been a dancer my entire life. Funny thing about that is, for some reason I still considered myself an athlete and a dancer even though it had been ten years since I was either - and a hot yoga class twice a week was not going to cut it at this point. I had some major work to do and some major transforming that needed to occur. Although I was disappointed in myself and where I was at that moment, Barre3's philosophy is what kept me coming back for more. Barre3 values how you FEEL more than anything. It isn't about how you look. It isn't about what size you are. When you come to Barre3 it is absolutely meant to be a refuge from the stress and fast-paced lives we are expected to live. They want you to take care of yourself. What do you NEED out of your practice today? Do you want to feel stronger? Do you want to feel less stressed? Do you need a boost of energy? All of the above, right? Me too! Barre3 absolutely gave that to me. As I continued to go back for more, I began to see a difference in my mind and definitely in my body.
When covid hit, and the studios had to shut down, I was grateful for my online classes, but it just wasn't the same. Ok, I was actually devastated. I think I might have cried - I know that's not a big surprise to many of you. There's something special about getting together with a group of people who are all trying to better themselves and are there to support their neighbors who are there with them. Barre3 gave me a community. And thanks to Covid, I really had to get out of my comfort zone. While the Pearl location came back with Covid restrictions, they soon decided to shut back down and divert traffic to their North Williams location. Well, as you can expect, I was bummed my little studio 3 blocks away was no longer going to be my sanctuary, but how happy I am that I was pushed out of my bubble! Because the North Williams location is now one of my favorite spots! There's something about the big open garage door, the wood planks and plants on the feature wall, standing near the back door and feeling the sun shine on my face at my favorite lunch time class with either Brianna Neely, Ashlynn Koivisto, or Lindsay deHackbeil. Thanks to the North Williams location, I got my meditation mojo back. Every time I step into this class (a little early to get my zen on) I instantly fall into a deep meditation that has definitely taken my life to the next level lately. Are you ready to Level up? Because I certainly am and I'm doing just that!
My mantra that you can adopt or shape into your own, is this:
I am a powerful, strong, intelligent, beautiful young-woman. I am full of life and full of energy. I open myself up fully to give and receive love.
I have two wonderful discoveries I have made since attending the North Williams location. One of those discoveries is POA Cafe! After class, you can often find me heading over to POA (right next door to Barre3) to grab my favorite nutritional after work-out smoothie, the Grasshopper. Filled with Coconut water, spinach, spirulina, pineapple, cucumber, mint, ginger, lime, and agave, I feel like I can take on the world after drinking this smoothie. After taking a closer look at the menu, I will definitely be trying everything on the menu one item at a time! You should check it out and let me know what you think!
The second discovery I made was Katie Kimbrell! I mean wow! I felt like I was dancing the entire class which made me push through those moments when I wanted to quit and helped me get to the next level. It was everything I wanted out of a Barre3 class. So naturally, I looked Katie up on my MindBody App and discovered that she was teaching at another studio - The Cedar Falls location. Pushing out of my comfort zone even more, I decided to take a little drive and check it out.
Of course, I was blown away by how gorgeous the studio was - even on a grey Portland day. Katie recognized me as soon as I walked in. She looked at me and with a smile you could see even behind her mask she said, "Ahhh, you found me!" And I said, "I sure did!" We both laughed and I was excited to be testing out another studio! I love the long wall with floor to ceiling windows and the big garage door that mirrors the design at the North Williams studio.
I was at the Cedar Mills location when it dawned on me what an impact Barre3 had had on my life. The constant motto of "layering on the chaos" had began to apply itself to my every day life as I just took on what is essentially my second full-time position as a real estate broker on top of my Sales Rep position in the Interior Design/Architecture world. My energy levels were up, I decided to take a break from drinking alcohol and may honestly never go back to it, began to watch my nutrition even more, and signed up for Beach Body which was my second work-out of the day after my Barre3 classes. Who. Even. AM. I? I do not know but I am loving getting to know this bad ass Boss babe I have become and am becoming even more of.
I realized I needed to write about how Barre3 had changed my life and wanted to make sure I visited all of the main studios. So the next stop was the Kruse Village studio in Lake Oswego.
Well, Kruse Village did not disappoint. All I have to say is this:
Windows, windows, and more windows! Oh, my! (Insert heart-eyed emoji here). My camera doesn't even really capture how green and luscious the landscaping is outside the windows. It almost felt like I was in the middle of a forrest. It was the perfect afternoon escape. The drive from downtown Portland to Lake Oswego is one I really enjoy. For my Nashville friends that might be reading this, I would compare this to driving from Nashville to Fanklin - except this drive is prettier. The whole drive I had my windows down, seat warmer on, and Celine Dion blasting with me singing along.
Since starting Barre3, back when my life was seemingly falling apart, I have lost 30 + pounds, began a new career while continuing my other career, found a level of self-love I never thought was possible, rediscovered my strength in meditation, realized that when life seems like it's falling apart it's actually falling together, and so much more I don't even think I could put into words. Barre3 gave me community and a sanctuary. I always know I'm in a safe place when I'm there - at any of their studios. I've learned not to waste my time or energy on people that don't deserve it. I have been awakened to the fact that no one is going to love me the way that I can. Honestly, I have too much to achieve to be thrown off again. So bring it on world. I'm ready for you.
The hardest part about making a change is STARTING! I encourage you to be decisive and make that decision to change your life TODAY! No one else is going to do it for you. No one else is going to care if you succeed or fail - and for the most part, people want to keep you down on their level. Don't let them! Join me! It's time to level up! Let's go!
Don't let society hold you back from being the power house you were meant to be!