It’s been five days since the end of my last full work week and I’m finally starting to relax. I feel more myself. I feel more willing and able to laugh, joke and let down my hair. I’m finally feeling ready to blog again, and for a good reason. This is something I’ve been wanting to share for a while – my journey through the training process at barre3.
Now before I begin, I want to add some context. I was texting with one of my new colleagues at barre3, and she described the company and her job there as the embodiment of “job love.” It was the first time she’d felt that and she keeps the job, not because it pays all the bills, but because she can’t see herself NOT being there and experiencing bliss in a job each week. This really struck me. And it cuts to the core of what I’m after too – job love.
I’ve been spending the last few years trying different things and researching a ton, looking for the right way to get into the fitness industry. I know it’s something I enjoy immensely, and I know that it’s a way I can do something that spreads health and happiness to others. When I stumbled upon barre3 and their recruiting session, I wasn’t sure whether I would measure up, or what the path would entail, but I knew I was going to try my hardest to be a part of it.
After the recruiting session I was asked to come back in for another small audition, learning two pieces of choreography so that I could demonstrate some level of musicality and the work ethic to memorize it all. In retrospect, the two minutes of choreography that I had to memorize was nothing compared to the hour that I now have, but at the time it was new and scary and seemed like such a bit deal. It was pretty intimidating – they film it so that it can be sent back to head office in Portland and they decide if you go on to further training.
Two days later I found out from our lead instructor that I’d made it through and I’d be officially starting training! Woohoo! I was so excited. And so, for a month we met on Saturday afternoons to learn the choreography from the class we would be teaching. I had the extreme good fortune to train with two amazing women who I can now call my friends. We slowly progressed to be able to teach the class to one another at these weekend sessions. After this we had the scary task of teaching to our friends and family three times before our intensive training. It was terrifying to put on the mike, get up in front of people and teach. Like ripping off a bandaid – we had to do it, and it wasn’t the prettiest, but it wasn’t tooooooo bad either.
We then headed to Washington, DC in order to take part in the three-day intensive at a barre3 studio with a master trainer. You see, the studio in Toronto is the only one in Canada, so we had to go to the States to do the formal training necessary. It was a pretty great experience, to be able to meet all these other instructors-in-training. And our master trainer was lovely, but holy hell, she was intense! She definitely got the best out of us, and pushed us for three days. We not only learned about the exercise science, and the company ethos, but we also learned voice training, how to speak with confidence and clarity, and how to move around and interact with people. It was all-encompassing, and so much information. I was humbled every day, because no matter how good you think you’ve got things, there is always something to improve, to take to the next level.
The best part of this three-day intensive though was making two new friends, and solidifying our bond as we went through this weekend together. If it weren’t for those two women, who made me laugh, supported me, and welcomed me, it wouldn’t have been the same. They calmed me down when I started to freak out about some of the corrections I received during the class. They got me to smile, relax and finally let go before I taught my section during the training, and I had a blast with it. They made me feel at home in a faraway city. And I’m so incredibly grateful to have these two (my barre buddies) in my life.
We are now back home, and teaching free classes for the community in order to get our certification, once our lead instructor thinks we are ready. Same process – our classes have to be signed off by our studio and the corporate office, so we teach until we are there, and hopefully then we’ll get our certification and become real instructors! We are getting so close.
Through all the nerves and fear and learning and travel and taking stage and failing and getting better there has been one constant. Unwavering support. From my barre buddies. From our lead instructor. From the studio owner. From the current instructors. From the wonderful women at the front desk. From the clients at the studio. Never before have I met a group of women so dedicated to lifting one another up, so dedicated to promoting positivity and confidence.
I have never felt as though I belonged.
Not at school. Not growing up. Not in my day job.
But here, at barre3, and not yet even an official instructor, I belong.
And that is pure job love.