I love barre class. Hot barre, specifically. It’s super low impact, a great workout, and utilizes ballet moves that bring me down memory lane to when I was in legitimately good shape from dancing six times a week and not binge drinking on a random Wednesday night.
Every class is fun and follows the same basic formula: a handful of female 20-somethings, all clad in Lululemon file into the room, the instructor cranks up the heat and flips on the purple mood lighting, and after 55 minutes of Nicki Minaj remixes, you leave drenched in sweat and feeling accomplished.
I thrive on this kind of predictability after the work day. Is it the epitome of basicness? Sure. But I choose to embrace it because to me, there is nothing better than ending my Monday with a tiny blonde woman yelling at everyone to point their toes. I know exactly what to expect and how to do it—a luxury that certainly isn’t extended in the workplace.
That is, until this week.
Decked out in a South Carolina sorority formal t-shirt, basketball shorts and a Washington Nationals baseball hat, a guy walked into our barre class. I assumed he was lost or maybe trying to bring a forgotten water bottle to his girlfriend. But instead, he pulled out a mat and a pair of pink weights, ready to go.
Needless to say, I was shook. My predictable little world went up in flames and for the next 55 minutes, I stared in amazement at this poor man attempting to kick his leg above his head and go deeper in his squats.
Don’t get me wrong—we’ve had guys join our class from time to time. Hell, I’ve even had a male barre instructor. But they’ve always been more of the “Yaaasss Queen” type of men. It made me wonder, what motivates a presumably straight guy to spend an hour of his time subjecting himself to J Lo and Pitbull mashups and isolated hip thrusts?
Obviously, my first guess would be some sort of weird couple’s activity with his girlfriend. But since he showed up alone, that pretty much ruled that scenario out. Perhaps it was an especially brutal punishment for the loser of his March Madness group? But there was no photographic evidence to document the occasion, so that seems unlikely as well. Or maybe he just wanted to switch up his usual workout routine.
First of all, props to this man for being very secure in his masculinity. Barre is the best, but it takes a lot to walk into that room on Day 1, even as a woman. I would be petrified to venture over to the weight-lifting area of the gym alone, and I imagine the feeling is the same.
Being intimidated at the gym is the absolute worst and a big reason why a lot of people never go in the first place. At the end of the day, we’re all working out to look and feel better. The pressure of swimsuit season is upon us and with the warm weather making it impossible to say no to day drinking, it’s a lot harder to drag yourself to the gym when everyone else is having 2-for-1 margaritas on a rooftop. Making that experience as fun as possible is important, and if that means more guys start showing up to barre class, I say the more the merrier.
So shout out to you, random guy. If you decide to come back (and I hope you do) be sure to bring a few friends and snag the spot next to me..
Image via Business Insider / YouTube