A Marathoner Takes on Barre

This past July my dear friend Cathy invited me to join her at a barre class. She explained that a new studio was opening in Detroit and the owner wanted to do a trial class before their official opening date. I almost couldn’t go because of other plans that day, but those plans were rescheduled so off I went. I had no idea what to expect and was not at all familiar with barre. Something about “ballet, yoga and pilates.”

At 45, my main form of exercise has always been running. As I grunted and groaned my way through that first class all I could think was, “They have got to be kidding!” It was so hard! I admit I may have shot Cathy a few what-have-you-gotten-me-into dirty looks and I may have even thrown one of those red balls we use in class at her head. Ok, so I did actually throw the ball at her. The next day I was incred-inline-blockly sore. My triceps, hamstrings, thighs, abs and glutes were in agony. But it was a good agony and I was intrigued. So I went back the following weekend. And so it went. I was hooked! The only weekend I’ve missed a class was when I had a race. Barre is the best form of cross training for running. I have improved my half marathon time by 8 minutes!

Not to scare anyone, but I find it easier to run a half marathon than to do a one hour barre class. I can run without stopping. I cannot do a barre class without coming out of a pose every now and again. And again and again. As an added bonus I love supporting an independently female owned and operated business in the city of Detroit. The renovated carriage house studio is full of the charm of old Detroit buildings that I love and is a wonderful place to spend an hour exercising.

– Anne

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