In general, I don’t advise people do 30 day challenges. Your body needs time to recover between workouts. You should mix up your workout so you don’t burn out. You need to do a 30 YEAR challenge and vow to take care of yourself as an ongoing commitment. However if you are like me and a 30 day challenge is the only thing that will get you off your butt off the sofa for 30 days this year, so be it.
I accepted a Pure Barre 30 Day Challenge for the month of September, 2015. I had done barre before, but not at Pure Barre. Below I am chronicling the challenge. If it ends before day 30, then you know that I didn’t make it.
Some of the thoughts below are ones I had after class, some are my in class inner dialogue.
Day 1 – That was an insanely tough workout. It was loud and fast and I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ll figure it out. I’m confident I can do this…right?
Day 2 – I’m so sore. I can’t make it. Everything is shaking. I might pass out. I did fill out a form with my emergency contact info, right? Actually, maybe I will pass out so I don’t have to finish class.
Day 3 – I owe my thighs a hand written apology. This is so not fair to them. They did not ask for this. They don’t deserve this. They did nothing wrong.
Day 4 – I thought today would be better than yesterday. Holy crap, that was horrendous. I have to take a day off tomorrow. What will they think up next for fitness, a water-boarding studio?
Day 5 – I hate everyone who works here. Don’t adjust my form. Can’t you tell I’m barely hanging on by a thread? Yes, I’ve found my shake, now can we figure out how to turn it off? Have I mentioned to anyone yet how much I hate the music? Man, I’m grumpy.
Day 6 – I may have gotten used to the pain. My legs are numb, permanently. I’m not as sore today. I can do this. I can make it. I was able to touch my foot in the leg stretch today. It was my heel and not my toe, but still that’s progress.
Day 7 – What is that smells? It is terrible. OMG! It is me. Gross. I’m sweating like a pig. I can literally smell the fat burning off. It smells like sweat, buttered popcorn and a burrito I ate last year. I might throw up. Don’t come adjust my form, save yourself from the smell, no, no, no, don’t come this way! Ugh. “Okay, thanks for that adjustment.” Hopefully they have Fabreeze here. They will have to throw this mat away when I leave.
Day 8 – I am sooooo sore. And when you are sore and working out, it really burns. They should change their tagline from “Lift. Tone. Burn.” to “Burn. Torch. Cry.” Teacher said that I was flexible today, so that’s a bonus.
Day 9 – I was able to touch my toe in the leg stretch, that’s substantial progress. I’m pretty sure when I am doing the ab workout against the wall that I am doing it wrong. It doesn’t hurt. I will tell no one this. That is my only little micro-break in class. I’m sure if I was doing it right there is no way I would be able to finish class.
Day 10 – I’m on vacation so I tried out a new barre studio. I like the change of pace. This place has smaller classes, and the pace of the class was slower. I actually had time to do all the stretches. Usually, by the time I get in stretch form, they say to switch to the other side, but today I had time to do all the stretches.
Day 11 – I accidentally picked up the 3 lbs weights instead of the 2 pound weights. Pride prevented me from walking back to switch them out, so toughed it out. Maybe it’s time for me to move up anyway. Barre is getting manageable.
Day 12 – Pain not as bad as I expected from trying out the 3 lb weights. Maybe I’ll keep using those.
Day 13 – My first break. I was traveling home today and unable to do barre, but I did some barre moves myself for about 45 minutes, so I feel like it wasn’t a total waste of a day. And I did a yoga class.
Day 14 – I don’t know if it is the lack of sleep last night or barre burnout, but the music is terrible, and loud, and I hate the scratchy speakers here. My butt is so sore, maybe I shouldn’t have done barre unsupervised yesterday. What kind of twisted sicko came up with the idea of 30 day challenges? I’m sadistic for doing this.
Day 15 – I’m halfway finished!!! Yeah!!! Wait a minute? Half-way? Is that all? Ugh. I’m so sore/tired. Instructor told me today that I was strong. That’s good news…but am I strong enough to finish 15 more days of this?
Day 16 – Music was fantastic today. This was the first class that I really enjoyed the music. I think it matters that the instructor and exerciser have similar taste in music. And important that instructor know that music that sounds like someone scratching a metal can with a fork isn’t motivating.
Day 17 – I’m so tired. It’s raining. I don’t have my head in the game today. I’m just trudging through the class. I should start drinking coffee before class. I guess the silver lining today is that I’m not as sore as I have been.
Day 18 – Class was bearable today. I was able to get through it. I’m not so sore I have trouble doing the moves.
Day 19 – Class was good today. I had time to do all the stretches. I actually felt strong after the class. The ab workout was different, with my back the barre and pulling down on the red rings. My abs were engaged the whole time. I will probably be miserable tomorrow.
Day 20 – Today was awesome. I felt a unique combination of strong and flexible. I was still sweating profusely. Yesterday I started drinking apple cider vinegar, today my sweat smells like it. Disgusting but better than the butter smell.
Day 21 – Holy mother of God. My abs are so sore. There must be some sort of timed release pain from this exercise. My abs hurt so bad that the pain from everything else was unmemorable.
Day 22 – I was so distracted in class today by personal things going on. I was just going through the motions. Luckily the woman next to me was pulling me back into reality by moaning “oh shit” under her breath constantly. I looked around and the little skinny girls were groaning, and I was still doing it! Wow. I can now do barre without even thinking about it!!! That’s pretty exciting.
Day 23 – I think when I do barre later in the day, I’m better off. I’m not a morning person, so working out in the morning might make for the perfect bitch-fest. So this barre thing. I’m getting he hang of it. I shake and spew sweat like a volcano about to erupt, but I’m able to do all the exercises, and finish class with a minimal amount of complaining.
Day 24 – It’s all good. I’m able to do barre. It’s official. My complaint now, other than the sweating and shaking that happens, is there is not enough stretch time. And no, this is not just me being lazy. I mean there isn’t enough time to fully experience the stretches. And sometimes the stretches are so routine, that we aren’t even stretching the muscle group we just worked out. Sometimes I have to go rouge and do my own stretches, so I know that I’ll be able to walk out of the room when I’m done. My spouse mentioned tonight that my back looks more muscular than he’s ever seen it. Whhhaat? My back? Seriously, I don’t care about a good looking back! I want buns you can bounce a quarter off of, not that I would ever need quarters bounced off my butt. But my back? You never hear someone say, “Hey, look at that girl with the hot back! Her delts are delicious. Hmmm, look at those lats.” Sigh, but I’ll take the compliment as the hard work is paying off, and hope next time I get a compliment on my gluteus maximus being more gluteus and less maximus.
Day 25 – Another day, another barre class down. Yeah! I can do this!
Day 26 – Sh*#! Mother F*#@er. Ahhhh. I signed up for the “Breaking down the Barre” class today. OMG, that was intense. I had no idea it would be an hour and a half long. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. There was one move that was so absolutely intense that I could only do it one time. And the instructor was like, “yeah! you did it!” And I said, “I am not doing that again!” And she said, “Most people can only do it a couple of times, if at all.” Apparently if you do all the moves exactly correctly they are horrifically strenuous.
Day 27 – I actually had a good workout. No complaints here.
Day 28 – There is definitely a 2 day pain delay on workouts. My thighs and arms were crying. It was not sweat coming from my skin, it was tears. There is not enough Biofreeze in the world to fix what I have done.
Day 29 – There is a very real chance that I will complete this challenge. It might happen.
Day 30 – I did it! I finished the challenge! Yea!!!! I am so much more toned, and lost 3 lbs this month.
Day 31 – Just to show off, I did Barre an extra day! Because I could! And because I actually WANTED to. I can’t believe it. I wanted to do it again!
Day 32-35 – Went on vacation. Went on bender. Gained back all 3 lbs lost. Sigh. But, the muscle and tone is still there. Thankfully those don’t fluctuate as much as the numbers on the scale. People commented on how muscular I looked.