*Always get your doctor’s permission to begin or continue an exercise regimen while injured or ill.*

What is that old saying about good days and bad days, and ups and downs in life? “Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug, and some days you trip over the stupid sidewalk and break your foot.” That sounds right, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes.

A quick exam and an x-ray were all it took to confirm the worst case scenario just a day after returning from a recent vacation, the last two days of which I spent hopping around with what I thought was a bad sprain: fractured fifth metatarsal (a.k.a. long skinny foot bone), six weeks on crutches and in an air cast, no weight bearing allowed. One could say that for this barre beauty, the last couple weeks have been filled with more of the “bug” days than the “windshield” days.

A series of increasingly panicked and desperate thoughts flooded my brain as I absorbed what my doctor was saying on the other end of the phone.

“How am I going to pick up my baby and carry her around the house on crutches? I can’t even get her out of the crib by myself!”

“I can’t drive myself anywhere for six weeks. Six. Weeks.”

“How am I going to get the cleaning and the laundry and the grocery shopping done?”

And (with a pit in my stomach as the realization set in)…

“How am I going to do barre???”

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I’ll just leave these right here.

This last one–figuring out how to exercise on one foot–was the first problem I set out to solve. Maybe it simply seemed like the easiest one to tackle, but it was also the one that would bring me some sense of control and empowerment in what felt like a pretty helpless situation. Exactly a week later, I was hobbling into the studio for my first 30-minute private training session.

Tammy did not disappoint. I walked in (well…not really “walked,” but I digress) thinking there wouldn’t be much we could actually do, and it would be a struggle to fill 30 minutes with moves and exercises that could be performed without using my right foot at all. I should have known better! Those barre tenders never stop coming up with new ways to make us say “Ouch!”, so for Tammy, this was probably a fun exercise in evil genius creativity. Surprise, surprise–I even broke a sweat!

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When working around an injury, take the opportunity to zero in on other areas. Helloooo, arms and shoulders! A simple modification for pushups is doing them at the barre instead of on the floor (this could also be done against a wall at home). Lifting the right leg off the floor also gives the glute on the “bad side” a chance to do some work–and hey, built-in 3-lb. weight thanks to the boot!

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Leg and Hip Lifts; Seated Rows with Leg Extensions

Using a prop not normally seen in group classes–a chair–opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that are still fully non-weight bearing (NWB). Seated rows with a long band and weights continue the upper body love-fest, and adding a simple leg extension brings the quads and hamstrings into the mix. The all-fours position also offers a wealth of possibilities for engaging the core, glutes, and hamstrings.

I didn’t think it was possible, but in just 30 minutes, we managed to work every major muscle group that a good old Barre Beautiful class would hit–all without putting any weight on one foot.

In some seasons of your life, you will need a workout that is truly customized for YOU, today, in whatever circumstances you may currently find yourself. This situation is a perfect real-life example of the value of private training, even if it’s just for a season. Could I attend a Barre Bootcamp class right now and try to modify moves as needed on my own? Sure, but it would probably be frustrating to not be able to participate as fully as I’d like. In a private training session, though, our amazing B Present personal trainers arrive armed with a fully customized workout that has been thoughtfully created to make you–and only you–feel like your best, strongest, most capable self.

Dealing with this physical setback has been a mental challenge as well, and in Part II of this post, I’ll share some of the lessons I’ve learned so far with the help of B Present–they have a little something to do with attitude and gratitude!

In the meantime, check out the private training options available at B Present Studio, and email bfit@bpresentstudio.com to be put in touch with one of our personal trainers. They would love to discuss your personal goals and special needs so that they can create the perfect workout just for YOU!

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