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Pure Challenge or Pure Insanity?

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I like a challenge—repainting the inside of our 100-plus-year-old home, landscaping our yard, and my personal favorite—finishing every novel on my bedside table.

My latest quest involved completing a thirty-day challenge at Pure Barre. It’s a ballet and pilates-based fitness program with the catchy (and semi-frightening) tagline: Lift. Tone. Burn.

The goal? Complete twenty classes in thirty days. Each session is fifty-five minutes of muscle-curling, backside-firming, stomach-ripping pain (ahem!) exercise. The reward…drum roll, please…is a month of unlimited classes for 99 dollars.

So, why attempt it? Why not walk, or bike, or use the treadmill like a normal human being? Why not forget fitness altogether and embrace caramel lattes and biscotti instead?

At 39 and holding, I decided that I needed some Lift. Tone. Burn. But after the first class, I’ll be honest. The next morning, every muscle in my body ached. I couldn’t laugh because my abs hurt. Even when I walked up the stairs in the library, my thigh muscles quivered with fatigue.

The second day wasn’t much better. One of the instructors actually told me that some women say Pure Barre is addicting—and I’m pretty sure that I laughed out loud. (of course, I’m more inclined toward a chocolate addiction) But I was also intrigued with her promise that I’d see results in ten classes.

Two weeks later, that skepticism dissolved. My body had changed— it had become tighter and stronger—and I felt better. My energy level has increased. I finished each class and smiled…and then treated myself to a lovely cup of flavored coffee.

At the end of the month, I finished the challenge and grabbed a Sharpie Marker to cross off the twentieth place on the Pure Barre board. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I’ve made some new friends, can do the entire Pure Barre routine in my sleep, and feel much better about getting into a swimsuit.

Now, I’m looking forward to the next month of Pure Barre. We all need to push ourselves sometimes and though it's not always pleasant, we always feel better for it! What do you think? I'd love to hear about the challenges you set for yourself, whether it involves working out, staying in, or reaching for the stars!

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