my grand experiment of sewing my broken heart back together started in february 2008. i wasn’t looking for a relationship, no, but i was looking to date. new men, big men, artsy men, tattooed men. the world was my man-oyster and i was going swimming. of course, i can look back at it this way now. in 2008 it all seemed like work. i was so comfortable being a pair, yet here i was teaching myself how to be singular again.

it felt like hard, overwhelming work until i locked eyes with a mid-20s, light haired man in a powder blue, untucked, slightly wrinkled dress shirt, jeans and brown loafers.

“i’m Laura,” i smiled, tossing my long blonde hair over my shoulder and extending my hand to shake his. i was at TSN to interview one of their assignment editors, and he was the just-above-the-bottom-of-the-totem-pole worker sent to fetch me.

“Ken is just finishing up a meeting, would you like a tour?” he asked.

i decided this was not the time to tell him how my dad had worked at the Scarborough campus for my entire childhood, and that between Christmas parties, take your kid to work days, and random weekends where he needed to go into the office, i had a great understanding of the twists and turns and expansive studios of the compound.

“sounds great.”

my 10-minute tour featured the endless grey hallways of cubicles and offices, and the bullpen of desks sitting below the SportsCentre studio. he proudly pointed to his desk in the middle of the chaos and exclaimed, “that’s mine.”

the tour ended at Ken’s office. “in case you needed anything else,” he said, pulling a business card from his pocket.

with one more hair toss, i accepted the card and turned my attention to Ken.

the interview with Ken was one of my best to-date. and while i am ridiculously proud of these moments, i know that’s not why you’re here. fast forward about an hour and a half, you’ll find me back in the parking lot, sitting in my subaru. i’ve exchanged my nude Nine West pointy pumps for flats and ditched my blazer in favour of bare arms.

still riding high on both the great interview and realization i remembered how to flirt, i pulled out my LG Chocolate slide phone and entered the number from the business card.

“hi, it’s Laura. i just wanted to thank you for your time today and the tour while Ken was occupied. it was a lot more fun than sitting in the lobby.”

professional.

i was taught at a young age that thank you notes were important, and often what set you out above the rest. i feel like dad would be proud of me, even if i had ulterior motives.

i threw my phone in the cup holder and started the long drive home in 401 rush hour traffic.

*beep beep* “what are you doing tomorrow night?”

i reached over and cranked the radio. she’s back, baby!


i’ve toyed with writing a memoir for years. this is a snippet. hope you enjoyed. 

read more of my story:
test pages, prologue.

 

growing up in dance, the studio was the spot where i continually went to to feel free and empowered. to this day, if i have the opportunity to be in an empty studio, i’ll put on music and break into free movement dance until i’m sweaty and smiling ear to ear…and most likely crying, because that’s what we do around here. there were many times when i was alone working at the yoga studio that i would do this. it really makes me feel like me.

putting my hand on a ballet barre is going home.

for these reasons, i have been on board from the beginning of the barre fitness movement. the first that i knew of in calgary was Barre Body Studio in ramsy. so when they invited us to take a class, i was the first in line; i hadn’t pliéd in a long while.

the two-studio space is bright and airy, with beautiful wood floors, exposed brick walls and the funkiest light fixtures. we moved into the smaller studio for our class, and when i saw all of the accessories Lanette had laid out for us, i knew we’d be in for quite a challenging workout.

a traditional class begins with a warm-up in the middle of the room, followed by a few weight tracks to burn out every little muscle possible in your upper extremities. from there, you move to the bar to do a series of pliés to have your legs feeling the same way as your arms. there are a few cardio bursts built in to get your heart racing. you’ll then move to the floor to burn out your abs, but thankfully you’re already on the ground and finish the class sprawled out. or, instead of starfish-ing, join in as everyone else stretches.

the muscle shakes and burn will play mind games with you, and all you’ll want to do is drop your arms, or come out of your plié. when you finally get to, you’ll feel like you just saved your own life.

for a better understanding of what goes on in your mind during a barre class check out the 57 things i think in barre class.

the class Lanette planned for us followed most of this general plan, but focused more on strength than it did on pliés. with bands around our thighs and balls between our knees, we bent into chair pose, and attitudes. “where were the pilés?” i kept thinking to myself.

i was bummed not to have more of a traditional dance-based class since that’s my favourite reason to take this type of fitness class. i think this ballerina needs to get herself into an actual dance class, or more of a traditional barre class.

the fine print:

if you’re new to the studio, their one month unlimited intro special is $65. a drop in is $25, and they also offer punch passes and memberships. you’ll also need a pair of grip socks which average about $15 depending on the style you buy. you can forget your locker, because their lockers have keys. creams and deodorant are also offered if you forget yours. they have a second location in calgary on bow trail that i haven’t been to, but it looks just as lovely. there are also two spots in edmonton.

let’s keep it simple:

is it a good workout? yes.

is it for me? yes.

for $10 off either a 10-card pass or 1-month new client intro at barre body studio, use the code: SASS10


are you a barre star? 

living alone is great. it really is one of my favourite things. i’ve commented to a few friends lately that one of my biggest fears about a serious relationship is learning how to cohabitate again – saying that, i would like someone to split the rent with. one thing i have also realized that i’m missing from living alone and being single is touch. if you know me, you know i’m a touchy person. i want to hold everyone’s hand. but in the society we live in, touching is not a common practice; it’s reserved to only your significant other. i went for lunch with two girlfriends on tuesday and the friend on my side of the booth began to rub my back. i was in immediate shock and holding back tears. it was a really nice feeling, and one that i haven’t experienced in quite a while.

speaking of tears – because that’s what we do around these parts – i decided to look at the AARCS website on the weekend, and cried over all the puppies that are looking to be adopted.

did you know that march 20 is the international day of happiness? that’s monday! to celebrate MindWell-U is giving away 10 free spots in the science-based 30-day mindfulness challenge if you tweet them and tell them what you’re thankful for. their evidence-based approach is said to lead to less stress, more joy and peak performance. sounds pretty great to me. i’m always a firm believer of the universe giving me signs and lately, i’ve been looking into meditation and mindfulness as a way of working with anxiety, and then i find out about this. thanks, U! you’ve always got my back. there is a meditation studio that just opened a few blocks from my condo that i want to try out as a complement to the stuff i do on my own.

my hand is almost healed. it’s not a constant nuisance anymore and i can do progressively more things with it. we’re at three weeks. i think i can get back to fitness things that involve my hand, but should probably try a few pushups or planks at home before i go full bore.

i’m not too big on st. patrick’s day. instead, my plans today will be avoiding those partaking in heavy alcohol consumption. so, like, groceries and maybe ikea. the museum is free on sunday for some reason, so i think i’ll be taking myself out on an afternoon date.

oh and studying and assignment writing. i’m really happy that i have less than a month left of school.


what’s up this weekend?