I just got home from a very intense barre class. It's a class that focuses on ballet- and Pilates-inspired moves, and while it sounds like a "girly" workout and though the movements are small, this class is no joke. I drip sweat and my muscles shake from exhaustion for an entire hour, feeling the ache intensify as my muscles are fatigued. At tonight's class our instructor, Julie, was telling the us to raise one of our legs in preparation for some killer pulses, and she told us to raise our legs until we felt the muscles engage, then raise them a little higher. After pulsing at this level for so many counts, she asked us to hold the pose, and then told us to lift them even higher, adding that she knew we could lift them higher. Despite our muscles being exhausted by this targeted move and despite the fact that we already were lifting our legs high (at least in our minds!), every leg in the room went up just a little bit. It reminded me of a Leadership Fundamentals course I attended at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. One of our facilitators asked us all to stretch our arms way up over our heads in the air, and all of the attendees' arms shot up obediently. He paused, then said, "Now I want you to stretch even more." We all found that we could stretch them even higher--that we were able to recognize our own flexibility and ability beyond the point at which we were already stretching. It was nice to be reminded of this life lesson today in barre, one that raises the bar in so many aspects of our lives. Are you stretched to your limit? See if you can stretch just a bit further--and see the possibilities and magic in that.
Below: speaking of stretching, check out this cute burro stretching his neck out to see if I have a tasty treat for him! Photograph by Heather Blackwood, taken June 2012 in Custer State Park, South Dakota.