going to the bar...

since the end of july i've been taking classes at the bar method.  the bar method is a chain of fitness studios across the US that offer classes that, according to their website "[integrate] the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy".  bar/barre classes and their variants are, i have gathered (from googling around in the past while), a fitness rage across the country right now.

bar method

i am not really sure how i first heard about bar method or barre classes, but i have this hazy memory of one of my instructors at parsons mentioning that she took it, in passing, half a decade ago, when i was a student there.

i've never been much of a fitness person, EVER.  i abhorred gym class in high school (flatly refusing to run in the florida heat and humidity and never ever participating in any sports) and any other attempts at fitness in my past have been short lived.    i've been an avid walker for most of the past decade, which has been good for me and has kept my weight reasonable for my height, but did nothing for my core.  and so...

...this summer, after a year of hardcore quilting (sitting for hours, bending funny ways, wrecking my back on the floor when basting), i was starting to feel really achy and weak and out of shape.  i knew it had to stop.  i had to find a way to get in shape before things really slipped.  so i started looking into classes...something, anything, to make me feel stronger, and by extension, healthier...

i've been going to bar now for two + months...and MAN, it's not easy.  it's unrelenting strength training for one intense hour, with little to no rest.  three days a week.  i barely have time to take a sip of water during class!  i want to say it's fun, but it's really not, per se.  but it is addictive!  that whole endorphin thing you get from getting through a set, or a class is just phenomenal...and when you see how your body changes and reacts to the work you're doing, you just keep wanting to go back, to keep pushing.  i'm not perfect at the movements and struggle sometimes to maintain form, but nonetheless i keep at it.

i've never felt this soild or strong in my whole entire life.  IT'S AWESOME.

whoa, muscles??!!

it's even inspiring me to add more fitness classes or efforts into my life, if i can fit more in.  seriously thinking of trying to get a run in a couple days a week...i'm laughing at myself, since i've never earnestly tried running to date, but it's never too late to start, right?

what do you do to stay in shape?

any advice for beginning runners?