By Joie Goh
Reaching your 500 class milestone at WeBarre is no easy feat. But for Melissa Lim, another goal was in sight – getting to 500 classes by her 50th birthday! Here’s her inspiring story, and why when it comes to barre, age is just a number.
A familiar face at the barre, Melissa doesn’t fit the mold of what you think a “barre body” is. But, her confidence and ever-positive attitude shines in everything that she does! Looking at her, you might never think that she was the complete opposite when she first stepped into WeBarre.
“I was so intimidated when I came in for my first class!” Melissa says, laughing. “Everyone was so slim, and toned, and sculpted. And here I was, bigger-sized, older, and have not exercised at all!”
The year was 2017 and Melissa was 46. Staying healthy and fit became a priority for her, so upon the recommendation of a friend, she decided to try out WeBarre. “Wow, after the first trial class, I ached for the next 2-3 days!” she reminisced. “In the end, I could only do 2 classes during the trial period.”
In fact, even going back for the 2nd trial class almost didn’t happen. “I used to have a very negative body image,” Melissa says. “I tend to see my body as bigger than it really is, and after comparing myself to everyone else at the studio, I really didn’t want to come back.”
A Hidden Hero
Her push to return to the barre came from someone dearest to her – her husband. When he saw Melissa defeated after her first class at WeBarre, he gave her the encouragement and support she needed.
“My husband reminded me that all bodies are different,” she says. “He told me not to give up so quickly and to go back and try again. After all, I really did enjoy my time in the studio – even though the instructors were all so slim and good at barre, they were so encouraging. I’m really thankful.”
Diligently showing up at the barre eventually led to self-acceptance. “My body image is my personal challenge that I knew I had to overcome,” Melissa says. “I started to accept myself and to love my body, and when I did, I began to see the physical changes in me. And it’s all WeBarre – I don’t do any other form of exercise!”
The Power of Barre-dies
Another factor that Melissa credits for keeping her going is making friends at the barre. “The more I came for classes, the more I got to know others who also come to WeBarre, and I became quite close to some of them,” Melissa says. “We actually have a chat group to keep each other accountable!”
In this chat group, Melissa and her barre-dies would tell each other when they would be attending classes. By announcing that they have signed up for a class, it makes them less inclined to cancel at the last minute, explains Melissa.
A Sense of Accomplishment
Still, the biggest factor to her 500-class success comes from within. “The moment I step into the studio after a hard day of work, everything flies away and once the class is over, I feel so good for completing that one hour,” Melissa says. “It’s wonderful!”
It’s also this feeling of pride that Melissa says is unbeatable. “If anyone tells me that they are too old, too unfit to do barre, I’ll tell them: look at me!” she says, beaming with self-esteem. “If I, at 50 years old and not the fittest person, could do this 500 times and counting, well, so can you!”