Preconceptions, misinformation, inaccuracies…almost everyone who walks through the door of The Barre is plagued by these. Its the first, and many times, the biggest hurdle that a person faces on their fitness journey. There is so much information regarding fitness these days and there is no shortage of trendy diets or hyped-up fitness fads. Unfortunately these are usually based on falsehoods, untruths, or omissions of crucial facts. Even worse our own minds often times betray us by attempting to convince us of that which is most certainly not true. At The Barre we spend as much time dispelling this misinformation as we do teaching you correct form. Our next #RealResults blog contributor shares with us today her efforts of overcoming this culture of fitness fiction. She is full of life and enthusiasm and we love that she applies these qualities to her Barre journey. She always comes to class with courage, conviction, and a clever quip so today we are happy to share with you the story of The Miseducation of Sophie Brydon:
‘There’s no such thing as can’t!’
“Hey Soph, why don’t you try Barre?” “Nahhhh mate, I definitely can’t do that” An actual conversation, August 2015
Ohhh how wrong you were Sophie, how wrong you were. But the one thing that I’ve learnt on my Barre journey is the power of that one word, ‘can’t’.
A lot of my workmates started going to The Barre around 2013/14, but I always told myself that they were much thinner/fitter/stronger than I was, so of course I couldn’t do it. Thankfully I saw the light and finally got myself to a class at the end of September, 2015. Fitness had never really been a part of my life, and I definitely didn’t think that Barre was going to change that. Once again, how wrong I was… After a few classes I was hooked, and regularly coming three or four times a week.
And then she lived happily ever after… Except that’s only half of the story. As I started coming more and more and wanting to get better at things, my own worst enemy reared its ugly head – my brain. I started to look around in each class and think ‘why can’t I finish this plié set when everyone else can’, ‘why the hell can I not work this lower abs set, every single other person is doing it!’ and the worst of all (I’m embarrassed to even admit it) ‘why am I the only fat girl in the room?’. Yes it’s embarrassing to admit, but when you read it like that you can realise just how unkind we are to ourselves.
It’s taken some time but the past couple of months I’ve had some sort of epiphany. I’ve started to realise what my body is capable of and that if my mind works WITH it, instead of against it – together we’re pretty unstoppable. Sometimes this means being kind to myself, sometimes it means having a word with myself mid-class and resetting my focus – and sometimes it means telling myself ‘well look mate, if you don’t drop your plié sets in Beautcamp, you can’t exactly drop ’em in open barre now, can ya?!?’. But none of these things is telling myself I’m useless, or that I can’t do it. Because (to paraphrase a campaign that I’m kinda fond of) this girl actually CAN – and you can too. Instead of looking around at everyone else now, I focus entirely on myself – my sets, my class, my journey, my little victories and pushing just that little bit harder in every class. And if today isn’t my day (we all have them every now and then), it’s fine. You turned up and did it, and that’s half the battle. Get up off the mat, come back for the next class and try again. It’s also worth noting there’s some barre guys and girls I know with AMAZING game faces. Just because you can’t see the sweat, or the beetroot face, or the panda eyes from the make up that *was* there when they walked in the door (yep, all me – I ain’t a pretty sight inside the studio) – it doesn’t mean that they aren’t absolutely dying inside. Since I has this epiphany my performance has started getting better than ever. Each class is a little better than last week, my edge gets just a little bit edgier. And because I can see this now, and because I praise myself for the good classes, and let the bad classes go – I actually have a new found respect for my body, for the first time in my life (and it’s a pretty awesome feeling!).
One of the (many) great things about Barre is the community. Even if you’re having a bad day it’s worth turning up, there will always be someone there to make you smile and spur you on. Having those people there definitely made me realise that it’s not just me feeling this way and doubting myself at times. But where I used to hate going to the gym by myself because I’d be signing up to an hour of self hatred, I absolutely LOVE coming to The Barre (which is now my second home) to hang out with my wonderful barre buddies whilst we work our asses off to some awesome tunes.
If there’s one thing I think we could do with being reminded of from time to time it’s this; We are ALL #barrebarians – so don’t let yourself forget it.