Meet our January Barre Star, Kem! She has been taking Barre, Pilates, and BodyFlow classes consistently since July, and we love that she has brought family members to the studio and community events, too! She's got over 100 classes under her belt, and is crushing the 50-in-60 challenge, so we couldn't be more excited to announce that Kem has been voted as our January Barre Star! Way to go! Read Kem's Q&A below to learn more about her and her fitness journey.
Q: Where are you from, and how long have you been in Gainesville?
A: I was born and raised in Starke – good ol’ Bradford County! I moved to the ‘big city’ of Gainesville in 1998. We lived on the Archer side of town until 2006 and then moved to the Millhopper Area. We love it here!
Q: What's your favorite Barre-themed shirt?
A: “I don’t squat, I plie” 😊
Q: Tell us something fun about yourself/what you do when you're not at AUXO?
A: When I am not at AUXO I am all over the place; from ultimate uber mom to education-station, to grandparent care giving! AUXO is the only place I like to be told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and how long to do it. I don’t have to think about only tucking! I also love audio books and then watching the movie and bemoan/proclaim the obvious, “The book was better!” I’ve always liked long walks and coffee with friends, but now AUXO is my new hobby!
Q: Was your first Barre class what you expected? Why or why not?
A: No, my first Barre class far exceeded my knowledge and expectations of what class would be like. It was challenging but fun! I struggled in my first class because it had been so long since I had done any kind of exercise. There were many exercises and stretches that I simply couldn’t do YET, but it was such a fantastically positive and encouraging atmosphere that I immediately knew that I could really give AUXO a try.
Q: Why did you decide to continue with AUXO Fitness after your free week by investing in an unlimited membership?
A: My first week, I probably overdid it. I wanted to try every class offered. I was so excited that I had found something that I might be able to do consistently. I was encouraged to work at my level and improve from there. It was life changing to get help with modifications and stretches that allowed me to really start listening to my own body; honoring what I could do, celebrating my body, and slowing down! I signed on for the 12-month unlimited class package because I am an all-or-nothing kind of gaI! I knew that I would never maintain the exercise regimen if I didn’t build in consistency. I needed to change my habits if I was going to see results! It has become a practical part of my day / week. The variety of classes from Barre to Pilates to Body Flow allows me to work on different areas and meets my needs.
Q: What makes this workout different from other exercises you have experienced?
A: My past attempts of other exercise programs have started strong, but I have never enjoyed exercise; and many times, I have hurt myself. I would push too hard or not have the expertise to reach and sustain my goals. Several times I have ended up worse than I started; been discouraged and in pain. I have heard about a runner’s high”- which I assumed meant getting to a point where you enjoy the actual action and not just the health benefits. This kind of workout is different, because AUXO is more than just a workout, it is a community, a place to be seen for who you are and be celebrated at the level you are at. Even the smallest of accomplishments – like just showing up when you would rather be in bed - is acknowledged and the day can only get better from there! At AUXO I have sought expertise and help with gauging what I can do and realizing just because I can do it, it doesn’t mean I should. The AUXO team has helped me to learn to “just stop” if I hear that screaming voice in my head. The motto, “no pain, no gain” has been debunked! I continue to learn something new from every single instructor and my Barre companions are becoming my friends!
Q: What is your favorite Barre move? Why?
A: I just have to say that my favorite “move” probably doesn’t count because it doesn’t require movement - child’s pose. I have greatly appreciated the wholesome full circle approach to each class. We warm up, we work, we cool down, AND we rest. It is built-in and adds merit to the entire routine. I love child’s pose because I can just melt or rest and enjoy the moment. My other favorite moves are the balance poses - I am working on my ninja skills. I can’t do bird or flower yet, but I can dive and plank!
Q: What results have you noticed after doing Barre/BodyFlow/Pilates consistently?
A: I have gained muscle tone and strength. I have firmed in places that I didn’t even know I had! My clothes fit better. I feel better. I have a routine that I can stick to and enjoy! My balance has improved. My range of motion in weak areas have increased drastically. My core strength was nonexistent and now I am seeing a huge improvement in how I move even in just day-to-day activities. I can do more of the routines. Now, a plank is not just a board in my barn - I can actually do one! My posture has improved, and my neck and back pain have reduced. I have cool new workout clothes!
Q: Have you experienced any benefits from Barre that have affected you not just physically, but mentally, too?
A: Mentally, I would say that it has changed my understanding of exercise. Before, exercise was a chore, something I had to make myself do, it took up too much of my time. Now, I really like the routine, the structure, the attitude, and the philosophy. I MOVE now because I want to and it feels GOOD! It is fun and motivating to meet the challenges and to see the results! The results have helped me persevere - it is ok if it takes time because it is the time and community that is an investment to my mind and body.
Q: What keeps you motivated to continue coming to Barre?
A: I love walking into AUXO! I am ALWAYS greeted. The team knows me by name and they are available to answer questions, give feedback, and offer alternatives to help me meet my goals. They are interested, concerned, and care about my well-being and AUXO is inviting! I love the challenges offered to help provide that extra motivation - the punch cards keep me coming back for more!
Q: Is there anything you would like to share with potential new clients about your experience at AUXO Fitness? Any helpful tips for those who are considering trying Barre, but are nervous?
A: Yes, I would encourage new clients to just show up and give it a try! Ask if you need help or clarification. Do what you can and don’t be afraid that you are going to be compared with everyone else. If you need to stop and rest, change a move, or slow it down - do it. Listen to what your body needs and work with it, not against it. Give yourself the gift of time and grace if you can’t quite accomplish what you want right away!