Hitting the Barre With My Buddies for the Propel Fitness Challenge

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I’ll admit I’m reasonably strong, and can move fairly quickly (for short bursts, that is). But what I am not is flexible, and the class I chose to attend with my friends for the Propel Fitness Challenge made that really clear right off the bat.

As I mentioned in my initial Propel post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to give a Pilates barre class a go with my friends Patrick and Lori. And, yeah, I danced as a kid, but it’s been a lot of years since I tried to set my foot up on a ballet barre with any semblance of grace.

Pilates Buddy Propel Challenge

Happily, the class we attended was prepared for a newbie like me. The studio (Evolve Pilates & Fitness in Gainesville, Fla.) isn’t specifically a barre studio, so rather than a permanent barre on the wall, we each had our own individual barre. This was awesome because it allowed me to not just adjust it to the height that worked best for me and my level of (in)flexibility, but I could even change it up for different exercises (higher when my feet were on the floor and just had hands on the barre, a little lower when it came time to prop a foot up there).

I went full-FBG when I got there and, right after setting up my personal hydration station (with Kiwi-Strawberry Propel, of course — they were the reason I was there, after all!), I made sure to let the instructor, Alana, know that I was new and might have a hard time with the, uhh, bendier stuff. “We can work with that,” she assured me with a smile, and she totally did.

Patrick, Lori and I might have gotten a few laughs out of my attempt at the more challenging bits (“She wants me to put my leg where?” I muttered to them at one point, although Lori basically had her ankle by her ear at that point so I’m not sure she heard me), but overall, it was a really fun experience. From relevés and pliés to gliding discs and balls (yes, I made jokes), we hit every muscle with movements large and small over the course of a very hot and sweaty hour.

group after barre
Everyone was VERY excited to pose for a sweaty group shot after class! From left to right: Patrick, FBG Kristen, Alana (our instructor) and Lori.

I loved seeing which moves came somewhat naturally and what was really, really freaking hard — it’s just a sign of what I could still stand to work on, you know? And while I don’t have space in my schedule to make this a weekly addition right now, I’ll definitely be back (alongside my talented friends, I hope!).

Got any friends you could tag along with to try a new workout or class? What’s stopping you? —Kristen

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