We’re in the middle of our “Thrive” sermon series as we study the Book of Ephesians and what it means to thrive in Christ. God calls us to “become forests of God’s grace and work in our world” as Pastor John Cha writes in his opening article “Thrive!“. Join Threshold for the next few months as we discover how some of our very own church members are using their gifts and passions to thrive in community and flourish in God’s purpose for their lives.
BY JENNIFER MI-HYUN KIM
After my first class at Pure Barre Fairfax, I decided that it was not for me. I had fun with the music, but my muscles were shaking and the class full of unfamiliar faces was uncomfortable and intimidating. I did not want to go back. Fortunately, my husband Mike forced me to go back, as I had already purchased a package. By the third or fourth class, I began to understand the technique a little better and feel as if I was actually working out. Even though the process was gradual, I fell in love with Pure Barre and all it had to offer. I began to appreciate how Pure Barre uses small, safe, low-impact movements and isometric holds to isolate each muscle group to build strength, flexibility, and muscle definition. Each class was fun and fast because it was musically driven and always different. Not only was it a full-body workout that continues to challenge my body, focus, and endurance, it has also brought amazing people into my life.
Pure Barre Reston, sister studio of Pure Barre Fairfax, is where I now work, exercise, and find community. After a year of taking classes, I began teaching, and currently manage the Reston location. Taking Pure Barre and being a teacher has helped me to be okay with being uncomfortable, trying something new, and meeting new people. Because it is really unlike any other form of exercise, the movements and quick pace are always a struggle in the beginning. However, with practice and patience, the mind–muscle–body connection begins to coalesce.
But the most rewarding part about Pure Barre isn’t just about transforming your body and realizing you can do things that you were previously incapable of doing—it’s the community and relationships that are built around the workout.
The intensity of each class offers clients a shared experience and struggle. Everyone knows that class is difficult and that encouragement helps you get through every 10-count at the end of each thigh sprint.
And that’s the key. Encouragement—both receiving and giving—has the power to uplift, connect people, and change the course of your day. Giving encouragement to clients and other teachers has helped me to invest in their lives and to sincerely care about their successes and struggles, in or out of the studio. There were faces that I saw weekly at church, but never got to know, and Pure Barre has also been able to help us to connect and form relationships.
The relationships that I have built with clients and teachers have given me a unique opportunity to share more of my life and faith.
Although I didn’t become a teacher or manager with the intention of sharing the Gospel, I do believe God has used my circumstances graciously. Some teachers, clients, and I are able to share openly about our relationships with God and about our struggles to live our daily lives faithfully. However, I believe that my position mainly calls me to be a living example. God is calling me to unconditionally love those who are looking for a place to belong, looking for acceptance, and wanting to feel valued. Even though I am at most times incapable and unwilling, God in His grace reminds me that through faith all things are possible. He reminds me that tiny movements and tiny encouragements can lead to big changes.
Jennifer Mi-hyun Kim is a Pure Barre manager and instructor at Pure Barre Reston.