JUNE – STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Alison Byrd – Beating Anxiety Through Barre…

Attending CarmelBarre for a year and a half and with over 100 classes under her belt, Alison  is a force to be reckoned with! She has tried a variety of classes at CarmelBarre and gives it her all each and every time. We are so proud of her hard work, seeing her grow stronger and mostly that she has worked hard and risen above some fears. We will miss her and her husband, Nick  (they sadly move out of the area soon). Read below for an inspiring story on how barre helps out more than just with toning those buns.
Alison’s Story:
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder my senior year of college. One of the first things my therapist recommended was exercise. I followed her advice and went to the gym. The only problem was I had no idea what to do once I got there so my anxiety kicked in pretty quickly. I eventually found other ways to cope with my anxiety but never completely gave up the idea of wanting to be comfortable working out. It wasn’t until I was living in San Diego a couple years ago that I found my way to barre classes. I loved being able to hide in the corner but still feel like I was participating. I also loved having someone guide me through each set of exercises. I was hooked.
I found Carmel Barre as soon as my then fiancé told me we would be moving to Monterey. My first class I was so scared he had to drop me off at the front door. I remember being welcomed so warmly and almost immediately feeling comfortable in class. Over the next year and a half, I went from being terrified and anxious about attending classes to feeling so incredibly brave and strong. I have branched out, trying the other platforms Carmel Barre offered including HIIT, yoga, Barre Boxing, and most recently Stretch and Meditation. My physical body has gone through changes; I see new definition almost daily. But what I am most proud of is the way barre has become a new kind of therapy for me. The physical challenges that barre presents has in turn given me immense mental strength. In moments of anxiety or depression, our minds are capable of creating so many lies that we can sometimes struggle to discern from our realities. I have seen the progress and growth of my physical strength through barre; so much so that I am able to hold on to that truth in other areas of my life. I have learned that some days are really good days and the movements come so easily. Sometimes the greatest bravery and strength of my day could simply be showing up. Regardless of where I fall on that self guided spectrum, I have always felt encouraged and supported at Carmel Barre by every single instructor. For that I am truly grateful.
When I am not at Carmel Barre I am usually hiking somewhere with my black lab Baloo. I also love reading history books and exploring the bay area. It has been quite an adventure living up here and I’m so sad to be leaving!

GREAT job Alison! We will always consider a big part of the CarmelBarre family and look forward to hearing all about your new adventures!