No Pain, No Gain – Really!


A number of weeks ago I attended my very first barre class (for those that aren’t familiar with the technique it’s defined as an exercise class with a ballet barre and isometric movements that are performed alongside to music, for more information click on ).  Not knowing precisely what to expect, I happily trotted along to the first class with the idea that having trained as a dancer many years back and with the regular yoga, running and gym workouts that I have continued to do over the years it should be more of a breeze.  Oh, how wrong was I?!  This by far is the most intense body workout that I have ever done.  It’s not to be compared to other jolly musical fitness classes where the intention is to cover as much ground as possible whilst bouncing about in the same spot, with Pure Barre, it’s slight but intensive movements.  Shaking of the body is encouraged as it shows the muscles are being exhausted and therefore forced to tone.  I suffer with tremors as a side effect from my meds but experiencing this was quite something else.  It was as if all the individual muscles from my waist down had joined together and were conspiring against me!  The next morning I woke up to find an eighty year olds body had overtaken the thirty three year old which had been present the day before.

Then came the challenge…

As I was enthusiastically relaying how wonderful this class was to my boyfriend, how I was definitely going to purchase the unlimited pass available and attend everyday he began to chuckle to himself and I asked why.  He responded by saying that he didn’t think I would manage to attend every day for a month.  Granted, my hunched and sluggish movements probably weren’t helping my case along with the fact that I grimaced in pain after sneezing on occasions, but at that stage I was just grateful I wasn’t coming down with a cold otherwise it could have been a lot worse!  Despite this mild rebuff, I retorted with a defiant, ‘Yes I can!’ to which the challenge was born.

It was then discussed that if I completed the month attending five days a week then he would fund the month, (my boyfriend being a sports nut for both watching and playing advised the five days because when undertaking any sport one needs to give one’s body a rest in order to recoup and prevent injury) if not, I buy him anything of his choice for the same amount.  Sounded like a good deal I thought, I knew I was going to last the month and with a beautiful six pack to finish – okay, perhaps a little too optimistic!

I’m currently in day six of twenty three and in all honesty I’m extremely grateful for the unexpected way in which the valuable source of support presented itself.  In reality, had it not been for the ongoing bet I may well have fallen short.  With this in mind, it would have meant that I wouldn’t be seeing the changes in my body that I am; namely better posture and a sensation of feeling lighter particularly when I walk because I am holding my entire body in a different way.

quote pain

Living with epilepsy, I have always been very conscious of the anti-epileptic drugs (AED’s) which I take every day to control my seizures.  I wouldn’t be without them as they provide me with a quality of life however, I am of the opinion that I must ensure that I support my body in its ability to function at its healthiest level.  Those that are in a similar position to me will also find their vital organs are under extra stress as the need to process the additional daily chemical intake is also present.  A wholesome and nutritious diet and exercising regularly are two of the elements that have been a highlight in my epilepsy management.  This is to ensure my body is in tip top shape which subsequently has a positive effect on my seizures and epilepsy.  Some may say that I have been a bit obsessive at times, but at the back of my mind remains the philosophy, if I don’t take care of my body, my body won’t take care of me.


2 thoughts on “No Pain, No Gain – Really!

  1. Stephanie just turned me on to your blog, Freya. I enjoyed this post. Steph may have mentioned that I’m recovering from abdominal surgery, and barre classes are on my list of activities to help me get back in shape. Thanks for the eye opener! I can’t wait to try one for myself!

    As a member of the “chronic illness club,” I especially appreciate your final sentence here. Now that I’m a little healthier, it’s a sentiment I’ll try to live by.


    1. Thanks for your supportive and positive comments Jilllian. I still have a ways to go with perfecting the blog but I love to write and it’s all about trial and error.
      Yes, she had mentioned your surgery a little while back and I hope you’re healing well alongside looking after your little treasures!
      I would be inclined to be cautious before trying barre until you’re in a very good place post healing, as it is extremely intensive on the abs. One of the wonderful things about this class is not only will you work at your own pace but the multitude of teacher’s that I’ve had so far have all paid very detailed attention to correcting each member’s body position to ensure prevention of injury and maximized benefits. Do let me know when you start going as I’d love to know what you think of it.


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