Thursday, January 16, 2014

She said my name

There I am, somewhere in this photo, just getting my plank on at the  Pure Barre studio. 
As y'all know, I have been taking Pure Barre these past few moths, and it has quickly become a real passion of mine. Pure Barre is a mix of ballet, Pilates, and yoga. It is completely different from any type of workout I have ever done. Every single class pushes me out of my comfort zone, and it is really hard to "phone in" one of the workouts. It hurts so good.

This past weekend, I was at the studio for the 8:15 class and it was taught by an instructor that I have never had before. She has a reputation for being the most hard core instructor there. I was nervous when I signed up for that class, but realized quickly that I needed to get over my nerves and get ready to hurt. And hurt me she did. By the end of class, I was drenched in sweat and my legs were shaking, but I made it through.

Even though the classes are really tough, the instructors are amazing. They are all very encouraging, and just like in yoga, they are constantly moving around the room making adjustments to everyone while we are in a series. They are also really great about complimenting you by name.

I have never been complimented by name.

For the record, I am really bad at Pure Barre.

For someone who has excelled at every athletic pursuit attempted, the fact that I am not the best in class is hard for me. But, I also think it is one of the reasons I keep coming back. But, on Saturday, during the 3rd and file series of seat work, the hardest instructor at the studio said "Great job Allison."

I almost pee'ed on myself out of excitement.

I am whats called a "striver." I am motivated by praise and acknowledgement. Growing up, my dad was very demonstrative in his praise, and now as an adult, I am constantly seeking affirmation.  When they are withheld, I tend to strive even harder to gain someones appreciation and admiration. Often, this will lead to a place where I try to please others.....I become a people pleaser.

In our marriage, I am often guilt of doing things just to gain P's praise. If I cook a new meal for dinner, no matter how it tastes, P has learned that before he can critique, he needs to praise my "valiant effort." I cannot tell you how many times he made a comment about adjusting some spice, or reducing the cooking time that it ends up in a declaration that goes a little something like this "Well, if you don't like my cooking why don't you make dinner." Or, and perhaps my best line is "Fine, if you don't like it I won't ever cook again." And then I reach for the skillet and start throwing everything out. (And yes, I am up for a Tony award for my performances) Poor P.

Suddenly, I realize that I am my mother. She said the same thing to us after one chicken cordon blu dish that went off track when I was 12. My dad and I hated it, and she declared that she too was never cooking again.

For some reason, there is something deep in me that needs affirmation, that needs praise, that needs to be acknowledged.

The negative side, is that it is very difficult for me to give someone bad news. I tend to approach bad news in what P calls the hamburger method. The top bun--start with a compliment and smile--the meat--the complaint or bad news--the bottom bun---another compliment and smile.
For someone like P, who is such a straight shooter, this type of BS drives him nuts. Often, he will tell me to "just say it." Again, that leads to other types of fights and arguments. I know, I am a true pleasure to live with.

Moral of the story---I like praise, but need to be more direct.

Even bigger moral of the story....I got complimented at the Barre!

What about you? Striver? Direct? People pleaser?

Let me know.


Amanda S said...

Great for getting praised! I've heard those classes are difficult and you are giving it your best!

I'm definitely like you and need compliments, but I also need reassurance that I'm going the right route. I've been trying to care less about what people say, but it's sometimes difficult, especially on a tough day at work. I've been trying to reassure myself each day that I'm doing the best I can with what I've been given.

Brooke said...

i did a free barre class and wasn't impressed, although everyone i know who's done it says its killer. i'm not that hard core, so maybe the instructor just sucked or something??

jay very much needs praise, and i'm very stingy with it. definitely something i need to work on.

Ashten said...

I think of myself as a striver..I like giving and receiving praise & good news. But I don't like to give bad news, I mean who does? I tend to beat around the bush. I like that "hamburger method"! I would rather let someone down easy but when some one does that to me I say - spit it out (I am impatient).

Sounds like you are getting pretty good at Barre! Very cool!

Denise said...

i get embarrassed or uncomfortable yet deep down I like it a little bit - I think it matters too if it is sincere.

and yeah, being direct is hard for is confrontation.