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The Bar Method should come with the following disclaimer:

Warning- may cause the following: an inflated sense of butt confidence, increased comfort with breathing heavily on others, endless requests to your friends to touch your muscles and watch you flex, increased comfort with lifting your shirt to show anyone your new abs, increased comfort with putting your feet on any countertop to show others your stretch, daily facebook affirmations, a growing attachment to the owners, instructors and classmates which you may imprint on in roles such as your mother, sister, friend, coach or mentor. Side effects will increase in severity as you progress as a student of Bar Method.

rachel-r-before

I celebrated my 1 year Bar Method anniversary last August with my first attempt at the split stretch. This does not sound like that big of a deal but feels phenomenal to me considering where I started….the low bar. Throughout my life I have developed an increasingly competitive nature particularly with skills that I have little to no experience with. At some point I just decided that through my sheer ornery will, there was nothing I could not shine at, experienced or not.

This has resulted in many a shocking moment when I have been confronted with the truth; that one must practice to do something well and improve. My first class at Bar Method proved to be no different as I waltzed into the studio nervous but strangely confident for no reason other than I sometimes feel like I am a bad-ass. As I first tried to lift my leg onto the bar, and after almost falling over, being escorted to one of the several “lower options around the room” I was immediately humbled…a state in which I have remained.

My exercise history is not unlike other testimonials. I had been wandering the earth looking for the miracle activity; one which you both love enough to do regularly and give you results. I tried many things (including co-ed sports which did not gain me any friends due to my nature described above) and had finally settled into running. Not because I loved it that much but rather that it gave me the biggest bang for my buck time-wise. Sometimes I enjoyed the part where I was outside enjoying our beautiful city but most the time I was irritated and bored and oftentimes nursing some sort of injury. The biggest problem however is that it had stopped being effective at combating the generalized body swelling that resulted from my true love…food and drink.

I enjoy food so much that I segment my life around it. If you look at my calendar it is littered with “appointments” like: “dinner with E & G at Delancey!!!”, “brunch at Book Bindery YUM!”, “lunch date with self. Bakery Nouveau or The Swinery????.” Obviously I also suffer from gratuitous usage of punctuation but I am not ready to tackle that just yet. With all of this indulging and, during the summer months, rose’ consumption I had started a tradition of gaining what I lovingly called “my summertime chub”. In truth I did not really love being the only person I know who packed on 7 lbs each summer like I was about to dig a den and hibernate.

rachel-r-after

Summer 2012 was for me the ultimate Bar Method test. Would it keep my summer time chub at bay? I can happily report that not only did it keep it at bay but that I also have been happily suffering from all of the side effects listed above including an inflated sense of confidence while in my bathing suit, underpinnings, birthday suit, pretty much everything. Now when I hear people talking about having to get bathing suit ready I say to myself… “Check. Now what I am going to eat for lunch tomorrow?”

I really cannot thank everyone at Bar Method enough. To Maika, Bev, Luke, all of the instructors, the amazing staff, and my friends in class….I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!