Carrie has been a B Present barre tender since January 2015, and recently took on an additional role as a wellness coach in the new B Well arm of B Present Studio. She is also a 6th grade teacher in the Edwardsburg school system.
How long have you been teaching at B Present?
I was in the January 2015 training class and started student teaching after that, but had to take a short hiatus–I had a calcium deposit in my shoulder and had to take some time off to recover from that–so I actually started teaching my own classes in May.
Yikes! What was that like trying to recover from an injury while you were training to be an instructor?
I definitely had to learn to modify things when I was just starting to come back to classes and building myself back up. It was tough; I was doing push-ups at the barre and felt like I needed to be doing them on the floor instead. But as most people who have to modify moves for whatever reason soon realize, it’s still just as hard!
How did you first hear about B Present and what were your first impressions?
Jill Jaronik (a fellow barre tender) was the one who introduced me. Our girls went to preschool together, and we were chatting at swim lessons one day. I mentioned that I was looking for a new yoga studio, and she told me about B Present (which had just moved from Tammy’s basement into a new studio). I came to a class with Jill on a Friday, and bought my monthly unlimited package the following Monday!
What is one thing you would like someone who has never been to B Present to know about it?
I think people are scared sometimes because they hear that it is so hard, but they should know that you can modify everything, and you’ll still get a great workout! People sometimes think “If have to modify this, I’m not getting as much out of it,” or they are afraid of what other people will think if they have to modify or take breaks. And truly, everyone else is so focused on their own workout and pushing themselves through it. No one is going to even notice, let alone care! This is a “no comparison zone”–we want everyone to focus on where they were a week, a month, or a year ago rather than on the person next to them.
What was your first reaction when Tammy approached you about being a barre tender? Excited, nervous, little bit of both…?
“…did she email the right person?” [laughs] Truly my first thought was, “Does she really think I can do this? Because I don’t know if I think I can do this!” After I got over that, it was like “Why wouldn’t I?” I was already part of this amazing community as a client, and then to be able to have a part in leading that, why would I not? But it was a bit of a shock.
Tell me about your new role in the wellness arm of B Present Studio, and what new offerings you’re most excited to share with our clients.
It really adds another dimension to the overall environment that the studio creates. We have the incredible workouts here, and for a lot of people, the workout might be the only missing piece of the puzzle. But for others, maybe it’s the nutrition piece that they’re struggling with. Maybe they know they want to make changes but don’t know what to change, or they don’t know how to do it, or they’ve tried before and something got in the way. As wellness coaches, we can provide that support and accountability. It’s not necessarily telling people what to do, but guiding them to make those healthy choices. We’ve started working one-on-one with private clients, and will be offering some group programming in the new year. We’ve got Gina running the 21 Day Transformation, and we’ll continue offering the 5 Day Clean Eating challenges. Taking it beyond the workout is what a lot of people need and I’m excited that we’re able to offer that.
How did you first become interested in nutrition and wellness?
My daughter was born a reflux-y, colic-y, unhappy little girl. In trying to figure out what was going on with her, we started investigating a lot of things in her diet and ended up eliminating dairy. We didn’t know it at the time, but now we can actually see those symptoms–eczema patches, sinus issues, intestinal issues–flare up whenever dairy creeps back into her diet over a period of time. But this was what first piqued my interest in learning as much as I could about nutrition. Through our research, we learned so much about what is in our food supply, and how certain foods that are harmless to some people can cause problems for others. That’s what lead me to enroll in the Wellcoaches Core Coaching program to become a Certified Wellcoach, and then eventually to completing the Integrative Nutrition program as well.
What is the best client testimonial, feedback, or compliment that you’ve ever gotten?
One of my girlfriends came to my class a few weeks ago, and then she saw my daughter a couple days later and told her, “Thanks to your mom, I can barely walk down these stairs!”
So now we know that you’re a teacher, a barre tender, AND a wellness coach. What was your very first job?
[Lots of laughter] …My first job was waiting tables in high school at a restaurant called Country House. I had to wear a big, polyester, mid-calf length maroon skirt with a puffy-sleeved top.
What was your favorite school subject?
Math was always my favorite subject. I teach middle school math now; it’s always been fun for me.
What posters did you have hanging on your bedroom walls as a teenager?
Jack Wagner from General Hospital, John Stamos, and New Kids on the Block.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’m naturally a “fixer”–I want to fix everything for everyone–so I’d want to have the power to fix all the sadness and disease in the world. I actually got my master’s in school counseling because of this need to fix things–and you can’t always fix them.
If we came over to your house for dinner tonight, what would you cook for us?
Tonight on the menu is honey mustard chicken, green beans, and sweet potatoes…that I don’t know if my husband has started for me. I will find out when I get home! 😉
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m really boring! I did play the piano for many years–I don’t know what I’d sound like if I tried to play today, but I wasn’t all that bad when I was younger!
What is your favorite healthy food and what’s your favorite splurge treat?
Favorite healthy food: roasted Brussels sprouts with olive oil and garlic.
Favorite splurge: a really good Chicago pizza.
What is one thing in your closet that you can’t bear to get rid of even though you’ll never wear it again?
I just finally parted with my high school cheerleading jacket at my husband’s urging. But I do still have my veil from our wedding hanging in my closet. I don’t see that going anywhere. It was just within the last five years that I finally got rid of all the old prom dresses!
Tell me one goal that you’re hoping to achieve in the next month, the next year, and in your lifetime.
In the next month… I want to work on developing the wellness branch and getting some good programming in place for the start of the new year. I want to make sure we’re there to help our clients with any needs they might have; everyone hits those New Years resolutions hard, and with support, they can be much more successful.
In the next year… I would like to finally get around to reading the three or four books sitting on my nightstand that I’ve been meaning to read.
In my lifetime… I just want to be good mom! When I think about all the other things I do, a lot of it comes back to that–I first started doing barre because that “me” time makes me a better mom and wife. I know I’m not going to be a perfect mom, and it’s hard to not compare yourself to others, but at the end of the day I just want to be a good mom.