By Smarty Guest Blogger, Doug Bowman
I’m sure y’all know that these Smarty Pants gals are
bar barre crazy. Well, recently, Smarty Jen and Smarty Susan hosted made the husbands participate in a barre class at Carolina Barre & Core for a date night at the barre. So, Randy Plym and I thought, we are game. How hard can it be?
Going into this, I had lots of very insightful ponderings such as:
– What is this mysterious cult-like place my wife disappears to for a few hours several times per week?
– Will there be incense?
– I haven’t heard Enya in awhile, so at least I’ll get that out of it.
– Do they make yoga pants for men? If not, is there a market for this? What am I saying?
– Should I check the by-laws that came with my man card to be sure I won’t be in default if I do this?
– And the classic: How hard can it be?
Upon arrival, I immediately noticed a calm solidarity between the women and the instructor. This was in stark contrast to the nervous energy jumping off the waiver-signing males in the room. I thought for sure one of the guys would have dressed up as Richard Simmons or Ron Burgundy, but I think we all knew in the back of our minds we were about to get schooled so probably best to approach this with some humility.
Again, how hard can this be? One squishy blue mat and two small dumbbells? We got this.
Barb was our instructor. She was all business, clearly had a plan, and she jumped right into it. For the next 60 minutes, she systematically led us through a personal tour of every muscle we didn’t know we had. Despite the burning sensation in all parts of my legs, core, glutes, and shoulders, I found myself hoping Barb would give me a shout out like she did for my buddy, Randy, and the other guys.
I had experienced some of the exercises before, but this was my first dance with the bar (barre?). Do not underestimate the bar. This is not just for Tiny Dancers. Is it a coincidence that Barb started us off in man pose, then after 20 minutes reduced to child pose, and then, somewhere around the 7th inning, made us feel extremely grateful for a few minutes of happy baby pose? No doubt about it – this is Barb’s house!
There were several times when I just had to stop whatever exercise we were doing because my muscles were en fuego. Meanwhile, my wife and her crew just kept on keepin’ on. No breaks for them!
Near the end of the 60 minutes, I looked around the studio through my squinty-barely-hangin-on-eyes to see what was going on around me. It was clear that Barb had full control of the situation. Not only did she remember every person’s name, but she quickly figured out how much each of us could handle. She kept us all focused on proper form, but let everyone determine their own physical limits. The guys in the group LIVED for a shout out from Barb….we are a competitive set. This should not be confused with “everybody gets a trophy”. These bits of encouragement from Barb were earned and made us barre harder!
Ultimately, I walked away from the experience completely impressed. Great people, super vibe, difficult strength building and core workout, perfect facility, great location (with a “traditional” bar next door that gives a discount if you show your Carolina Barre & Core key tag).
Afterwards, I felt 100% worked out…yet I did not step on a treadmill or lift a weight heavier than 5lbs. Magic! Will I do it again? Absolutely. This ain’t no joke and I have newfound respect for these ladies who do it multiple times per week and in perfect form. Unreal!