September Barre Star: Maddie W.
Maddie W. has several excuses not to work out regularly: she is a full time student studying to become a teacher, is active in her sorority, and enjoys spending time with her family. But she also prioritizes her fitness even if it means at 5:30am!
Since starting her free week trial, she has now taken over 30 classes (including our 90s Night at the Barre) and her and her #BarreMom Lisa totally rocked the Summer Buddy Challenge last month! Keep up the great work, Maddie!
1) Where are you from, and how long have you been in Gainesville?
Gainesville is actually my hometown, so my whole life! :) I am currently a junior studying Elementary Education at the University of Florida.
2) What's your favorite Barre-themed shirt?
The "Live Love Barre" tank is my favorite. It's so soft and comfy to workout in! And it matches all of my leggings!
3) Tell us something fun about yourself.
I am OBSESSED with stationary and hand-written cards. The Target dollar spot is one of my favorite places in the world!
4) Was your first Barre class what you expected? Why or why not?
I loved my first Barre class! The energy was very fun and the instructor (Kara) was so encouraging. I didn't really know what to expect, but I loved what I experienced that first night—it made me sign up for a whole yearlong membership! I grew up as a dancer, so it was fun to get to do some of the movements and positions I was used to. Barre is structured in a way that incorporates many ballet moves, but you do not have to have any background knowledge of dance to participate or get a good workout! The instructors are very good at explaining the movements and positions in terms that are easy for everyone to understand. I was delighted when I found a workout that includes movements from a sport I grew up loving (and still do)! The overall atmosphere was a lot more fun than I expected a fitness class to be!
5) Why did you decide to invest in a membership at Barre Forte?
After my free week and first month, I noticed results both physically and mentally. I neglected my body for a long time—I never worked out and ate a lot of junk. Then I got really sick this summer (for about 2 months total); although being sick for that long was not fun, it definitely taught me to not take my (typically) healthy body for granted. It was a "you don't know what you have until it's gone" realization that made me really appreciate my body and want to take care of it. When I finally got better, I made a commitment to take care of my body: physically, spiritually, and mentally. I needed a lot of encouragement when I first got started, and Barre Forte was the perfect place to receive it. The community is a friendly and loving one that pushes and encourages each of its members to achieve their personal best, whatever that looks like for them. I have never felt as strong and healthy as I do now!
6) What makes this workout different from other exercises you have experienced?
Don't get me wrong, Barre is a workout that really challenges me—but it is not as physically strenuous as other workouts I have seen. I am never worried that I am going to injure my body. Instead of pushing yourself to do more than you are capable of (at risk of injury), the instructors tell you to listen to your body and individually decide your own level of challenge. And the instructors are willing to make modifications to the moves if you do have a knee, back, wrist, etc. problem.
In past workout plans, I have been focused on intensity—how fast and how high and how much. Rather than focusing on momentum, Barre movements require arm, leg, and core strength to power small, controlled movements that create a toned body. There are never any measurements or charts about how many inches you've trimmed—Barre's goal is creating strong (rather than skinny) women.
7) What is your favorite Barre move so far? Why?
I love the gliders! I know I am in for a challenge when I walk in and see them on the floor. Doing Mountain Climbers with them is my favorite!
8) What results have you noticed so far?
I have become much stronger physically, and have noticed that my coordination skills have greatly improved!
9) Have you experienced any benefits from Barre that have affected you not just physically, but mentally, too?
I have a habit of comparing myself to everyone around me in every setting. Barre Forte stresses meeting YOUR best, not your neighbor's best. Since joining the Barre Forte family, I have been focused on my own body and health, and making myself stronger—rather than comparing myself to the person next to me at the Barre. I have also noticed an increase in my confidence and self-image since beginning my Barre journey!
10) What keeps you motivated to continue coming to Barre so consistently?
I love the rush of energy I get once I finish a workout. Especially when I come to class early in the morning, I feel great and accomplished for the rest of the day! My mom is also a dedicated member of the Barre Forte family, so she has been a great accountability partner. We came in 3rd place during the Summer Buddy Challenge--we wore matching tanks, posted pictures together, and regularly came to class together. She is a great encouragement to me!
11) Is there anything you would like to share with potential new clients about your experience at Barre Forte?
Don't be nervous! Barre Forte is truly a community that inspires, helps, and pushes each other to achieve great health—both mentally and physically. All of the instructors (barretenders) and front-desk staff (barrebacks) are so friendly and welcoming. Our studio has women of all ages, ethnicities, and ability levels, so you are sure to fit in! I hadn't worked out in years (not kidding!) before I came to my first Barre class—I promise you can do it!
12) What has been your favorite Barre event with us?
The 90's Blacklight Party was so fun! We danced to groovy tunes with glowsticks and had a photobooth at the end! I look forward to attending Bring A Boy To Barre & Barre 2 Brunch in the near future!