In December of 2013, a friend invited me to my first Flywheel class. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I purchased a five-pack right off the bat. One afternoon after class, Jenna Bertram, a Flywheel and FlyBarre instructor, encouraged me to sign up for the upcoming six-week FlyBarre Challenge. I didn’t know anything about FlyBarre and hadn’t even peeked through the studio window to witness a class in progress. Needless to say, I thought to myself, “Sure, why not?” and signed up completely oblivious to what was ahead of me.
The Challenge began with a motivating and fun kickoff event. There was a welcome session followed by a weigh-in, which included full body measurements so we could track our progress. There was also a before and after photo option, which I immediately opted out of (my cellulite was not exactly photograph-worthy!). Our instructor gave us an overview of what to expect over the next six weeks.
Then, the introductions began. We were asked, “Why did you enroll in this Challenge, and what do you hope to achieve?” That’s when I looked around and realized the room was filled with beautiful, young, fit women. The general responses were “I’m here because I want to have beautiful arms in my wedding dress,” “I’m dating a great new guy,” and so on. It dawned on me that I had no idea as to why I had signed up. I was at least thirty years older than most women in the room and I couldn’t exactly define what my goals were at the time. I couldn’t say aloud that I was simply trying to survive hot flashes. At this moment, I thought that perhaps I had made a mistake.
I vividly remember my first FlyBarre class. I was on Mat #10, in front of the room, in a class filled with lean, strong, sculpted women. I couldn’t complete a full set of any of the exercises! The dynamic arms sequence was torture and my arms dropped throughout the entire routine. I could barely lift my leg to the barre during the stretching portion. I was out of shape and inflexible.
I remember discussing the experience with my husband when I got home that night. I told him I had made a huge mistake but there was no way out — I had prepaid for this Challenge! I had to do this. As always, he encouraged me to stick with it and predicted I would soon be lifting the same weights as my younger counterparts. I had flashbacks to earlier years when I was a strong athlete and wondered what had happened over the years. Well, life happened. I had kids and my family became my top priority. My former exercise routine took a lower priority to being a wife and a mom and tackling work duties. Without realizing it, the years simply slipped by.
Fast-forward six weeks, and I successfully completed the Challenge…ten pounds lighter, 5 and 1/4 inches slimmer and much stronger. Carrie, my FlyBarre mentor, told me that it takes about six weeks for an exercise routine to become a habit. She was right. I was completely hooked. I’ve continued the perfect combination of both Flywheel and FlyBarre ever since and feel far better than I did ten years ago. I have improved core strength in simple daily activities like getting up from a chair at work and my posture is also better. What was once impossible and unimaginable is now routine and natural for me. Each month, I consecutively reach 3,500 Power Points and have regained strength and flexibility. I can complete dynamic arms! Most importantly, I’m healthier and happier.
On October 5TH, I turned 55. To commemorate this birthday, I made it a goal to achieve 55,000 Power Points (5,000 each month!) and attend 55 FlyBarre classes (5 per month) during my 55th year. I’m going to embrace the year and entitle it “Fifty Five’n Fly!”
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