Monday, November 3, 2014

Sarah on fitBallet

clockwise from top left:
Sarah at gymnastics, age 7; Sarah playing soccer in Spain, age 12; Sarah kayaking in New England, age 24; Sarah with her college lacrosse teammates, age 21

My sister Sarah wrote today's guest post on her experience with fitBallet:

Having played sports my entire life, I never really “worked out” – rather, I got my exercise during practice or in training for whatever sport I was playing that season. This meant that every run, squat, hang-clean, or suicide sprint I completed went towards an objective, the goal of making me a better athlete and a more productive teammate. On top of that, I always had a coach or trainer telling me what to do any supporting me each step of the way (although “support” comes in many forms!).

When I graduated college, all of that went out the window. I no longer had a team counting on me to run just a little bit faster or further than I really felt like going. I didn’t have a coach handing me a workout packet, expecting that when I came back after winter break, I would be pointed to as an example, and therefore, I should probably make sure I actually stick to the assigned drills. In short, I felt like I didn’t have a reason to work out past a level I would otherwise do on my own. I realized that it was because no one expected anything of me, which meant I would need to place these expectations on myself. My job in Boston afforded me a fairly regular hours and a salary that allowed me to join a great gym nearby. It was easy to work out because my gym was close and it had wonderful smelling products in the showers. Appealing to my goal-oriented nature, I began to sign up for road races. Without this dangling carrot, I knew I would never run more than the 2 miles I needed to clear my head and keep my pants fitting.

However, this fall I moved out of state to begin law school. The two biggest consequences of which (so far) have been that I have no money and no time. I think I ran once during my first three weeks. As Betsy was starting her training for an upcoming road race, I whined that I never having time to work out, and I was jealous of the run from which she and Charlie had just come back. “Well,” she said. “I think you should try FitBallet. It’s good cardio, but also uses ballet-type moves for the toning aspect.”

I looked at the phone quickly to make sure she realized it was me on the other end. I suffer from what I like to call “Baby Giraffe Syndrome,” a devastating disorder in which I constantly lose track of my limbs. This makes for lots of knocking things over, smacking into doorframes, and time on my butt in skating rinks. “Just talk to Julie,” Betsy explained. “I think it sounds like something you’d really like.”

Well. Julie and “met” via Skype after exchanging a few general emails about the program. I remained skeptical, due to the whole coordination thing, but she immediately put me at ease. Julie was encouraging, cheerful, and so eager to share FitBallet. I was attracted to FitBallet right off the bat for two reasons: first, it was a scripted routine, much like the packets I had so often received from my coaches; secondly, Julie was holding me accountable. We agreed then and there that I wanted bi-weekly check-ins (that’s just the person I am – I am way receptive to being called out than nudging encouragement), and off we went.

The first couple of workouts were challenging – they required me to perform movements (wonderfully demonstrated by Julie herself on her YouTube page!) that used the annoying little muscles that I don’t use in the ordinary course of business (ie – walking from class to class). Then, I admitted to Julie that due to time constraints, I wasn’t stretching after the workouts. This did not go over so well. I was informed kindly that stretching was an absolute must – not only was it good for me, but I wouldn’t receive the full benefits of the program if I continued to neglect it.

Since then, the workouts have been seamless. I am often still challenged (mostly because I still hate burpees, and I still feel like I might fall over sometimes), but I have become much more comfortable with the different elements of each workout. Going through them twice has made me laugh on occasion because of how easily many come to me now, compared to the feeble attempts I made during the first week. I can both see and feel more definition, particularly in my arms and legs, and I love knowing that I am still getting my heart rate up without having to lace up sneakers for a lengthy run.

Having Julie as a resource during the past month has been invaluable. The biggest help is that she is realistic and has helped me make the program work for me (it probably helps that she also went to law school!). I truly feel like someone is holding me accountable for working out, and that has made all the difference for me.

Health, like money, is often something you don’t think about until you don’t have it. But don’t ever wait to prioritize it. Be healthy for yourself because you will feel better, both mentally and physically. Be healthy for your family so that you can be around longer for them. Be healthy for your kids so that you can be a role model for them. Be healthy alone, with your friends, and with your loved ones. It really can’t wait. For that reason, find something that works for you. FitBallet worked for me because it let me exercise on my own schedule. It provided me a framework so that I had no excuse to say “but I don’t know how.” I gave me a coach to support and guide me, and it gave me the feeling that someone was expecting something of me again. That’s what I needed. Maybe it’s what you need too!

Sarah got to try out fitBallet for free for this review - she has high standards when it comes to this sort of thing, so I absolutely trust her impartiality!  Julie's a good friend of mine and I have so much faith that this business will make a real difference in women's lives.  Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, the fitBallet blog, or TheEightyTwenty for more.  

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  1. This sounds really interesting to me. I like being in shape, but I really dislike running and going to the gym. It just bores me. And I don't really get the "high" from doing so that motivates a lot of people. But I love dancing. I danced and did yoga all through college and grad school for many hours a week, because I enjoy it, not because of the "work-out" factor. Except that since graduating and not getting student discounts I've stopped. So over the past 2 years I've had little actual workouts. i go for "light" jogs frequents (but they are best just considered walks). I now want to investigate this more; exercise time lengths etc, etc. xx

  2. Hi Amanda! I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the program. My email address is Let me know how I can help!

    Betsy and Sarah, thank you for the wonderful post and for helping me spread the word! I loved working with Sarah and can't wait to talk to more Betsy Transatlantically readers :)


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