An Awkward Flamingo Walks Into a Barre....

Light and warmth was felt when Jillian Young walked through our doors for her first class.  She's the kind of girl you want to hug the moment you meet her and find yourself belly laughing with her 15 seconds later.  When she showed up to Buti Flow on a Thursday morning at 5:30am, you could sense her uncertainty about what was to come.  But she did not allow the fear to hold her back...not this time.  Jillian stepped into our studio with a goal.  With a vision for herself two years from now.  She walked in ready for a new start.  Past failures would not determine her future anymore.  She knew she was capable of great things if she would set her mind to it.  And that's what she did!  In the past 42 days since taking her very first class, she has come to 33 classes!  Jillian is an inspiration, and we are SO proud to be part of her health and wellness journey!  We wanted to share a bit of her story with you as one of our Featured Flamingos!  Enjoy......

How long have you lived in Naples and where did you live before?
My family moved to Naples from Dallas the summer before my kindergarten year. I've lived in Los Angeles a few times; but Southwest Florida is home! 

How did you hear about The Sand Barre?
A few years ago this new super fit and joyful lady named Audrey joined a bible study at my church and she was opening a new barre studio. I just admired Audrey's heart and wanted to join right then, but it took a few years for my schedule and motivation to line up. 

What sets us apart from other fitness studios or gyms you've tried?
You know my name! I feel known and heard and seen. Look, I am TERRIBLE at form and SO very out of shape. That's why I LOVE the correction, the detailed instruction, and the variety of classes and times offered. The members are invested and so they take the classes seriously; they also care for the equipment and studio well because we all want a beautiful and clean environment. I've tried at home videos, large gyms, small gyms, clubhouse gyms, and none of those stuck for me. There is something very motivating about the heart and exclusivity of being part of The Sand Barre. 

We know what you do for fun (Sand Barre, ha!) what do you do for work?
Everyone has a side hustle, right? Mine is hosting two nationally syndicated television shows: Real Life 101 (on NBC2 locally and Prime) and Travel Thru History (MeTV). We're like, really big in Vietnam and in flight entertainment in Russia, but you've never actually heard of the shows, so there's that. Also, I'm very blessed to be the Director of Marketing and Communications for Premiere Plus Realty. It's the largest independent brokerage in SWFL. (Side note: if you're a real estate agent call me! Lol.)

But seriously...what ELSE do you do for fun when you're not at The Sand Barre?
Honestly, just being with my husband and two daughters is the best thing ever. We're all so busy during the week, so we treasure any pockets of time together.

What's your favorite class at The Sand Barre?
This is like choosing your favorite pizza -- it's all amazing in different ways! Buti Yoga makes me feel sexy and powerful (even when I'm struggling). Barre Bootcamp makes me feel like a bad ass (again, I can't hold a plank -- but that's not the point). Tap 'n Pow{h}er brings me to tears because I feel so joyful and proud and encouraged. 

Which exercise at The Sand Barre makes you want to throw your playground ball at the instructor?
Planks. Planks are the devil's fodder. Mountain climber planks, toe tap planks, forearm planks, bongo planks, alllll the planks. 

What keeps you motivated to stay focused on your health and fitness goals?
There has been some health and emotional crud that I've allowed to drag me down the last few years. Earlier this year I tipped the scale at a weight that was heavier than my pregnancies (and I wasn't pregnant). I looked and felt like the worst version of myself; bloated and like I wasn't wearing my own skin. Then I read Girl, Wash Your Face and it was life changing. I realized that I'm 33 and I am too dang old to not be taking responsibility for my health and happiness. I am capable of doing great things if I choose to. I said no to the unhealthy things in my life and set clear boundaries with my work, relationships, and food. I prayed a lot. And then I came across The Sand Barre again online and signed up so quickly because I knew if I hesitated even for a second that I wouldn't do it. I was super nervous about failing again so each night I set out my water, workout clothes and keys. I eat a light dinner and go to bed early so that I can have energy for a 5:30 am class. I'm so over feeling icky and the immense pride I feel in myself for trying my personal best each class is my motivation for going the next day. I have the long game in mind. I won't be a barre expert in a month, but I have a vision of myself two years from now; I have clarity on how I want to feel and look and I envision that person every time an instructor wants me to freaking do one more relevé set. And wouldn't you know it, in the last six weeks with that focus I've lost 10 pounds and love how I feel! 

What do you say to the person who stalks our social media but is afraid to come take their first class?
Friend, what YOU allow continues. If you allow yourself to avoid hard things, to let the fear of failing keep you from your goals, then you'll never get out of the pit you're in. Every single woman in every single class is PRACTICING and we all do our personal best. Everyone taps out at some point during a set, but we get back up and try again. Everyone looks at the instructor to figure out what the heck a pigeon is. No one that I've met at The Sand Barre is rude or snobby. What you WILL find are women who are strong, kind, and determined. You just need to click "sign up" and don't look back. Book your classes weeks in advance and make that precious appointment with yourself every day. Schedule the rest of your life around it. Seriously. You deserve that. Don't break the promises you make for yourself because of fear. These women are wonderful and you will be welcomed and challenged so much that you won't be able to feel anything other than pride that you showed up and finished a class. 

We like food.  Tell us your favorite restaurant in Naples:  
I'm a breakfast person so Skillets is my jam. Masa at Mercato was my favorite dinner spot before they closed -- sad.  

What song makes you want to turn the volume up, roll the windows down and sing your heart out?
Right now it's Taylor Swift's "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things"

If you compare yourself to a real flamingo - in what way are you the same or very different?     I'm not into shrimp, but I do love standing around with my crew looking fabulous.

If you'd like to follow in Jillian's footsteps and come take your first class with us, use the promo code "JILLIAN" when you purchase the New Client One Month Unlimited to get $20 off! (Offer expires Aug. 31st)