The Dark S[l]ide of Barre

If there was a tuck hall of fame, Elise would be the first inductee. Back when we first opened tuck in March 2017, we had a shortage of barre teachers and Callie was teaching 7-8 classes per week while working as a first-year associate at her law firm – not sustainable. Meanwhile, Elise was one of our first members and was happily taking Callie’s class 7-8 times a week, while also doing Crossfit. Neither of those two things is normal.

I guess game recognizes game, because Callie soon offered to train Elise to teach barre, making her tuck’s first-ever homegrown barre teacher. What Callie-wan Kenobi did not recognize then was that Elise had a dark side, and once Elise found her groove, she fully embraced the dark side of the barre.

Enter these fucking things. Those black discs that Elise is making Mickey Mouse ears out of are called sliders. Which, if you think about it, is really fucked up, because real sliders are awesome.

Image result for sliders
real sliders

These sliders are really not awesome. They shouldn’t share a name with awesome sliders. You wouldn’t invent a medieval torture devices that slowly tears apart a human being and call the contraption nachos.

For well over a year, Elise taught a class called “glutes and gliders” that I avoided like the plague. To be quite honest, I was (and still am) kind of afraid of Elise. There’s something demented about a person so enthusiastic about extreme workouts. For the same reason that you don’t ever drink vodka with a Russian, or eat hot wings with a ghost pepper enthusiast, or go against a Sicilian when death is on the line, the barre bro did not go to Elise’s class.

Until today.

As much as I hate to admit it, the twice weekly yoga and twice weekly barre has been having a positive effect on my body. Below, you can already see that my bro-tits are looking significantly less bitchy than a few months ago.

Also, Callie told me, “Elise’s class really isn’t that bad, let’s just go, we’re up anyway.” Temporarily forgetting everything I knew about Callie’s honesty, I made the mistake of believing her.

This is what Elise’s “not that bad” looks like.

These “sliders” are the absolute worst. I’m not even sure how to describe what it feels like to use them. It feels like you’re ice skating against gravity somehow, and it also feels like if you mess up, you’ll tear something on the inside of your thighs. By the way, I really appreciate Stacey being in class (she’s to Elise’s left) – somehow, most women who take barre show absolutely no emotion/pain on their faces while working out, but Stacey makes effort faces like a normal human being. Thanks for keeping it real Stacey.

Barre survival tip alert: I learn something new in every barre class. For instance, here, we were supposed to be “pulsing” down just an inch or two while doing arm curls. Pulsing is a big part of barre, where you do these really tiny movements of 1″ to 2″ inches that make your quads burn like hell. But, here’s where the barre bro had an insight! If you don’t move at all while everyone else is moving in rhythm up and down, it creates the visual illusion of you also moving up and down (albeit off the rhythm of everyone else), fooling the teacher into thinking that you’re also pulsing down and up. So my advice – don’t move at all, and claim that you’re moving so slightly that it’s almost (actually) imperceptible.

 

After that, she made us put a band around our feet and stretch that rubber thing around while also on sliders, all while we were up in a plank.

I’m including this picture because, despite the hell that my body was going through, the universe conspired to somehow put me in a position where my belly is completely invisible and I actually look thin. If I was single, this picture would be going straight on tinder, all five times.

Oh hey look, back to reality. At this point, you can see everyone else in class continuing to do hellish exercises while I sit down defeated, contemplating the life choices that led me to this moment. Halfway through the class, Elise singled me out and said, “Hagana, you’re really doing a great job! No, really!” I don’t need your motivational welfare, Elise. I was always the fat kid in elementary school who couldn’t run a full mile, I know condescending pity comments when I hear them (I crushed the V-sit though).

Oh look, everyone else in full plank while I’m on my knees in tears.

After class, I waddled straight to wawa and got an Italian hoagie.

Forget breakfast foods – now that’s what I’m talking about!

By the way, that thing on my office door is a screenshot of a fantasy indictment draft of the Trump administration that my fantasy football league did. Reproduced for your viewing pleasure below. (We have a detailed scoring system where you get points for firings, resignations, indictments, and pardons).

 

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