How did you find HSM?My Dear friend Brooke hall let me know there was a FREE mock class in fall of 2013.
When was your first class?
It was with Madison Kennedy. Liz , Aubrey, Scarlett (prior instructor) and ME in the mock class – I was 4 mths out after having my 3rd baby – TALK ABOUT INTIMIDATING. I was so out of shape from being pregnant and also naturally scrawny with baby flab. Madison literally had to modify every move for me to keep up.
What sets HSM apart from other workouts and boutique studios?
I have tried many other barre type classes and even some boot camps but get bored very easily and never could stick with one studio or type of exercise nor ever felt results. Besides taking a break for health related issues, I have not felt bored or “over” it in 6 years. I walk in each class never knowing what to expect. Every class is unique following a similar pattern but working every muscle differently than the class before and my heart is racing the whole time. Plus it is fun to see your girlfriends in the middle of the day.
What does it mean to be a part of the HSM fam?
This is a long response… In Jan 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and started chemo 1 mth later. For many reasons I kept this very private and at the advice of my doctors, felt the workout could be too strenuous (along with my wig probably falling off which would not help my privacy wishes) while I was undergoing chemotherapy. I took a break from in-studio classes but kept up as I could with my purchased classes online and a full break around my surgeries. Prior to cancer, I was averaging 3 classes per week and felt I was in the best condition of my life (at 36). This definitely contributed to how my body reacted to all the treatments and surgeries. Being confident in my body along with being fit helped to keep me emotionally and physically positive for the year+ away from the studio.
I had seen many of the instructors during my cancer break and did not even know if they realized I had been gone for so long nor did they ask why (or comment on my changing hairstyle) regardless everyone was always super friendly even though they probably thought I had moved on to a new workout. Fast forward to Jan 2018 when I “publicly announced” to the world about my cancer journey. A few days after I saw Clary and Liz at dinner. They came over to me and told me how strong I was for what I had just gone thru and how I handled it all when they were totally unaware of my recent journey. Having two strong, powerful, and confident women say that to me meant more than they probably realized at the time. Hearing similarly from other instructors or “HSM friends” also meant so much to me at this extremely vulnerable time in my life.
Once I received the go ahead to start working out again, I started back at HSM. The chemo, surgeries and other aspects of cancer were trying on my body, especially the long term health of my heart, so part of my overall health plan is to elevate my heart rate multiple times per week. It is almost like I have a “prescription” to workout for the rest of my life to protect my heart from any long term damage from my treatments. Hilliard again became the primary workout that I have stuck with, keeping my heart rate up while becoming stronger AND not getting bored from repetitiveness – I also truly needed a confidence booster as I was facing the world as a young cancer survivor with a fuzzy head and a body that has gone through too many changes. HSM has helped build this back. I am not the intimidated scrawny girl that walked into the studio 6 years ago, knowing that I am a rock star for just showing up regardless if I can make it through the whole plank series that day or have to modify any exercise.
Now at almost two years since my last surgery, I finally feel like I am BACK – I feel strong and confident in my body and back to me again. I know I am putting the physical work in, but being around other strong(er) women pushes you to do better and do more. I feel part of a bad a** group of women who show up each day to better themselves and those around them – It is almost like a girls night in the middle of the day – it is good for the body and the soul.
If you had to describe HSM in one sentence what would that be?Strength and Confidence BuilderI am so honored to be selected to be the client of the month for October / Breast Cancer Awareness Month obviously as a cancer survivor but for so much more. A little over a year ago, a few HSM women including myself lost a friend battling breast cancer. To say this hit me emotionally hard is an understatement. I fell apart at the post funeral reception in the presence of these ladies and within seconds of them seeing me, they all surrounded me, with open arms me which let me gain my composure in some semblance of privacy and to get back to celebrating the life of our friend.