athenafit intern, McKayla, met up with her fellow instructor and good friend Nicole Poole and asked her how she balances barre and her busy life.
Q: Let’s start with where your barre experience started.
A: Well I began with athenafit way over a year ago. However, I danced growing up (jazz, hip hop, contemporary). It was not until I was older that I grew to love ballet. I changed studios my junior year of high school and began to take pointe classes, which is late to begin such a difficult skill! I loved how graceful and beautiful and disciplined I felt rising up onto my toes and creating long lean lines with my body. athenafit has given me a way to continue to feel graceful and beautiful in college.
Q: So Nicole, you are one of our hybrid instructors correct?
A: Yes, you could say that! I teach at both Jackson locations as well as our Starkville location.
Q: You are a student at State. What is your secret for balancing your school schedule and your barre time?
A: Yes! athenafit is a great job for my college schedule because the classes are only 50 minutes, and even though they pass by quickly, they keep me in tip-top shape and give me a burst of energy to get through the day!
Q: How have you found barre to benefit your current studies and how do you hope it will impact your future endeavors?
A: Well, I plan to attend law school after the 2016-2017 school year here at MSU, and while that is a far cry from barre classes, I feel that instructing at athenafit has helped me with my verbal skills because I had to get comfortable speaking on a microphone and clearly communicating with the clients about their technique and workout experience. The communication skills I’ve gained as an instructor are valuable for life in general, but as a lawyer I will need to be able to communicate well with my clients as well as in a courtroom.
Q: Other than communication skills, have you found that athenafit barre has impacted your life positively?
A: Yes!! I have a heart condition called Postural Orthostatic Trachycardia Syndrome (POTS) which makes it difficult for me to do a lot of cardio work, and throughout my life, this condition has made my exercise capabilities limited. I have never been a great runner or been able to smile after an intense Zumba class. With the muscle-focused workout that athenafit provides, I ENJOY my workout again - something I had not found since ballet. In addition, the amount of cardio that we do at athenafit barre, while not intense bursts like some other workouts, has put me in much better shape and increased my endurance, Now I am able to do much more cardio than I was able to before; I actually can run 2-3 miles now and not pass out!
Q: Why do you think other college students should try athenafit barre?
A: I mentioned this earlier but after an athenafit class I feel relaxed and excited about the rest of my day. The stretching that we do between sets loosens me up and the cool down leaves me calm and content, which is a rare feeling as a college student. I love that it isn’t a sweaty workout and I am able to take barre and head right back to class without looking like I jumped into a pool. The workout may not look tough, but anyone who has taken a class and has had a shaky foot on the gas pedal while driving away can tell you otherwise!
Q: What is one of your favorite exercises that leaves you shaking?
A: My favorite athenafit workout is the S-sit, as anyone who has taken my classes knows! It is such a difficult exercise because it targets the outer seat, a muscle group that is rarely worked! I love it because no matter how many times I do it, I always feel the burn and am able to reach that shaky zone that signals to me, “This workout is changing my body.” It’s a great feeling.
Q: Usually I can guess people's answers to this, but I don’t have a clue about yours. What is your guilty pleasure?
A: My guilty pleasure is reading a really long, difficult book. Sounds lame, but the most satisfaction I found during the last school year was finishing Dickens’s Dombey and Son. Actually absorbing every word and immersing myself in a challenging book makes me feel accomplished.
"With the muscle-focused workout athenafit provides, I ENJOY my workout again- something I had not found since ballet."