Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hitting the Bar(re)

I've been loving my ballet barre-type workouts lately.  I have a bunch of them: Bar Method, Cardio Barre, Dailey Method, Squeeze, and a couple others.  (I also have Yoga Booty Ballet, but haven't done it in a while. Might be time to bust it out again.)  I love how such tiny, focused movements can be so challenging! I don't have a portable ballet barre (I know, all the COOL kids have one!) so I just use a chair.  Or the kitchen table (don't worry, I don't put my feet on the table, lol!).  I also love how it gets my heart rate up and even sometimes makes me feel less klutzy and almost, ALMOST, graceful.
There are Bar Method and Dailey Method studios nearby, but seeing as it costs $20 per class and WG is home on summer vacay right now, I'm going to stick with the DVDs.  I did try a Bar Method workout at the studio once.  The class was great; really fun and challenging, but I felt disturbingly like a Stepford wife; all the women were white suburban moms, ALL wearing head-to-toe Lululemon.  Except for me.  I was wearing LUCY pants with a Lululemon top, lol!  Plus, they were all so SERIOUS!  It was like competitive barre work or something!  It was really freaky and made me not want to go back.  I know some people like to be serious and focused during their workouts, and I completely respect that.  But I like a bit of fun and humor injected into mine.  One of the best Bikram classes I ever took was with a really flamboyant teacher who was constantly cracking jokes and making us all laugh. Sure, it made the poses that much more challenging, but it was also more fun!
Anyway, doing these workouts at home also gives me the freedom to fantasize that I'm warming up for my duet with Baryshnikov at Lincoln Center.  I took ballet as a little girl, and again for a bit in grad school (it was part of the curriculum), but it was pretty clear early on that prima ballerina was not going to be on my resume.  No regrets, really, but it's fun to pretend.  Plus, I don't have to go through all the nasty stuff, like bulimia and anorexia, bloody feet, intense competition and severe lack of self-esteem.
OK, wait; I DID go through all of that (except for the bloody feet).  But it wasn't always enforced and encouraged by instructors and directors.  (I've mentioned the rumor about the pipes at Julliard having to be replaced every few months, haven't I?)  Because as much as I went through as an actor, I have a feeling it was nothing compared to what ballerinas go through.
Luckily, I don't have to suffer ANY of it anymore, because I'm just working out to a DVD.

Which brings me to yet another awkward transition:  Makeovers.
If you are a female, chances are you have been reading about/watching makeovers since you were old enough to sneak a peek at "Seventeen."  Lord knows there have been a glut of makeover shows in the past decade, for better (Carson Kressley's "Look Good Naked") or worse ("The Biggest Loser," Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition").   And then there are the sabotage makeovers: unsuspecting women are accosted on the street, dragged into a TV studio, photographed, then plucked, snipped, dyed, twirled, highlighted, painted, and have brand-new clothes thrown on them before being paraded in front of a studio audience and compared to their "before" photos to the wild applause of the audience.  As if to say "Wow!  You actually walked around in PUBLIC looking like THAT?!  Thank goodness we found you and saved you!!!!"

What about a voluntary makeover?  Going to the cosmetics counter for advice and maybe a free makeup session.  (Well, the session is free, but you often end up walking away with a heavy bag of new supplies and a much lighter wallet.)  Or simply getting a new haircut, or a wardrobe consultation.
See, I used to see some of these makeovers as a passive-aggressive way of saying "You weren't good enough as you were.  NOW you are worthy."    But I find myself stuck in a rut.  the last time I updated my makeup style I was in my early 30's, my hair just sort of, well, HANGS there, and my wardrobe consists of my black, gray, and dark blue workout clothes.  I feel tired, but does that mean I have to LOOK tired?  DO I have to keep looking like the exhausted, chubby, frumpy hausfrau I've become?
No, I don't believe I do.  Except I don't even know where to begin.  I don't have a lot of money to spend, so the cosmetics counter is out (I'm weak). I'm thinking of throwing myself on the mercy of the cosmetology students at the local community college.
We shall see how it all goes.

In the meantime, it's time to go get lunch ready for the kids.  When daddy comes home we'll go swimming. And later, my favorite activity: sleep!

Have a good one!

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