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Breathe. How Pure Barre gave me strength during the chaos.

It was Friday the 13th in March of 2020. The jokes of a zombie apocalypse are all the rage right now. Memes of toilet paper wrapped mummies slide through our feed. Yet we all know that there is an undercurrent of fear. A tide that is rushing at our feet ready to take us away with the fear of the current pandemic.

When I started this blog, I was inspired to share women’s stories because of the amazing trauma nurses I saw at work. They are fearless creatures. They pull heroin overdose victims out of cars, they perform CPR on men twice their size, they run patients up to the OR while being nine months pregnant, and they do it all without a complaint. They’re heroes, warriors, and goddesses among us. I can’t help but think of them now. The ER nurses, the EMTs, the cops, the medics, and the firemen. They all know it’s a mathematical certainty they will acquire the new COVID-19 virus. Their fear lies in the thoughts of who will they transmit it to? Will they get too sick to work? How do you even try avoiding it?

All the questions and fear looming around today, and I couldn’t help but notice a woman fight the fear in her small business on Friday. Amanda is the owner of the new Pure Barre studio in Grand Blanc. She is friendly and fierce. Fitness centers are closing everywhere, but Friday she taught a class in place of an instructor who might have been exposed.

I went to class and looked around the room. There was so much fear in the back of everyone’s eyes. There was a silence that hadn’t been felt before. The room was full of men and women working out at the barre, but it was more than a workout. It was a space that facilitated healthy human interaction and communication. For one hour Amanda taught class reminding everyone to focus on themselves. “Push harder! The left side is the best side! Give it all you have, only 10 more left to go.”

It felt really great to see her be so brave. She didn’t ignore the elephant in the room, but she reminded us that we are going to be okay. There are so many women and men on the frontlines of this pandemic. While others sit behind social media accounts and give their two cents.

In times of tragedy and fear I have watched countless women push harder and fight braver than ever before. I saw it again in Amanda on Friday. The possibilities of the virus hurting so many lives is a reality, but we can not hide from fear itself.

Take a deep breath. Feel your feet planted on the ground. Exhale. You’re alive, you are here. What will you do to remind others that we can overcome anything together?

Be safe. Take care of yourself. Be strong. Take time to encourage each other in this time of uncertainty. We all need that strength. Let’s spread it around.

Written by: Jenifer Veloso

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