I've been doing Pure Barre like a maniac for more than a year and I can safely say at this point that it's completely changed my life. My body has changed in ways I never thought it could in 40 years and I can't imagine more than a day or two going by without doing Pure Barre.
So as I was working through lifting, toning and burning this morning in class, I thought about all the things I've learned about life in general, and blogging as a career from my Pure Barre experience:
Just Jump In
When I first started Pure Barre the teacher referred to the beginning of the class as “warm-up.” It is not; we are working hard from the get-go and don't stop until the very last stretch. But there's something to be said for jumping right in to something without any hesitation. I spoke about this idea a bit in my “How to be a Fashion Blogger without a DSLR and other things” article, but it's important to mention again – don't let anything stop you, not lack of “the right” equipment, “the perfect” blog theme, whatever. Just start. And don't stop until you're done.
The teacher usually says this when our thighs are on FIRE and we can't keep the position any longer – she asks us to sink deeper into the burn, because that's where the “magic” happens. And you know what? She's right.
It's when we push ourselves to do things we think we just CAN'T, that the wonderful stuff happens: we move forward, we conquer a problem, we come up with a new idea, and we get shit DONE.
Stay In It! Mind Over Matter
When I was first getting used to Pure Barre I would come out of positions A LOT; I just couldn't hold them. Inevitably, once I came out, it was a million times harder to get back into position than it would have been if I'd just stuck with it, so now I remind myself of that and make myself stay in it. I think this is good advice for doing the hard but important stuff in life in general: just keep pushing through keeping your own goals and priorities in mind.
Last Ten, then We Stretch
I love this one – we have to earn our stretch at the end of each set of exercises, the relief doesn't come without a lot of hard work up front. This is SOOO true for blogging, especially if you're monetizing, or hope to monetize; it takes time, and it's a lot of hard work, but the reward will come eventually. And it'll feel really good.
You Can Do Anything for 20 Seconds
Just when you think you can't pulse down one more time, the teacher cues the 20 second mark and says “you can do anything for 20 seconds!” Which makes you want to punch her in the face. Kidding. But truthfully, this is something that's important to remember. There are always things we don't want to do or don't feel like doing, but you CAN do anything for 20 seconds, and then you can usually keep going longer once you've started. Use this for tedious things like blog maintenance or comment moderation – tell yourself you can do anything for 20 seconds (or more realistically 10 minutes) and just start.
Give Yourself a Hand
At the end of each class the teacher tells us to give ourselves a hand because we've worked so hard. Indeed we have, but how often do we think to pat ourselves on the back for all our hard work? Sometimes we don't even acknowledge how hard we're working, we wait for others to do it for us, or we pretend it's “nothing.”
How often to you reflect on your accomplishments and tell yourself “good job!”? If you're like me, you don't do it enough. Would it be so bad to “give yourself a hand” everyday?
It Can Change Your Life if You Let It
As I mentioned before, going to Pure Barre has changed my life in the most amazing ways. But I had to be open to it, stick with it, and let it challenge me to grow & change. The same has been true for blogging: I never dreamed I would be a professional blogger when I started nearly 10 years ago, but I seized and ran with the opportunity to create my own career and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. Whether you blog as a hobby or as a profession, it can be a life altering experience if you open yourself up to it. Blogging can help you create new relationships, new job opportunities, build community, and whatever else you let it.
Routine is Important, but…
I go to Pure Barre 5 times a week; I can't seem to take more than one day off in a row. I also blog 5 days a week. I'm pretty set in my routine, and while I do think routine is very important for physical health as well as blogging, it's also important to not be afraid to break routine every once in a while. I'll admit, I hate going on vacation sometimes because I'll miss Pure Barre, as lame as that sounds, but then I remember that I always come back re-invigorated and excited to get started again; I haven't forgotten what to do. I hardly ever take a blogging vacation, but when I do, I appreciate the renewed creativity with which I see things and how fresh it all seems. Taking a break from routine every once in a while can at first be scary, or make you feel anxious (raises hand!), but it also allows you to see your blog with new eyes, which in the end benefits both you and your readers.
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