Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In It to Win It

I've started entering contests. Barre studios, fitness-related businesses, blogs more famous than mine, they have contests. I've typically not bothered because really, I never win anything, so why try? But of course, if you don't try, you're guaranteed never to win anything. So I'm trying.

Usually these contests involve sharing something on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You know, you promote them, they reward you with the lure of free stuff. Well, I'll play the game. I need to find a way to support my habit, so sure, I'll retweet something for ya.

Here's what I'm in the running for at the moment:

  • Two months of unlimited classes at my local Pure Barre. (Can you see the drool? Yes, that's drool, not sweat.)

  • Five free classes at Physique 57 and a portable ballet barre. (Oh please. How fun would this be?? I'm driving through NYC at Christmas time. If I win this, Darling Husband is going to actually have to buy me a Christmas present.)

  • A bag of treats from The Ballet Physique, a boutique studio in Colorado that put out a couple of fine barre DVDs last year. I'll review them one of these days. I'm hoping I'll win and get some cute BP grippy socks. Surely a bag of treats from a barre studio would include grippy socks?

A lot of these contests are just luck-of-the-draw, which means I can't rely on my wit and charm. Though some of the contests have required some degree of effort. For the Physique 57 contest, I had to take a picture of myself doing one of their moves during my Thanksgiving travels. I dragged the boys downtown to the Public Garden and made them kneel down on the cold, hard ground by the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture. It was quite literally freezing and they were thoroughly confused as to why we were kneeling and cheering by the ducks. "We're trying to win a contest! Yay!" Darling Son #1 loves winning, so he was in. Darling Son #2 was just along for the ride.

 They're good sports, my boys.
In the past I never would have entered contests because I just didn't air my workout for everyone to see. I was a workout-behind-closed-doors-with-the-shades-drawn type of person. I was afraid I'd look stupid or people would make fun of me. I was afraid, and it just wasn't my schtick to be really out there about my workouts. Or other things, for that matter. You have to remember I'm not from the generation that tells the world what I'm having for breakfast, what I just bought on Amazon or see how long my toenails have gotten? Here's a picture on Instagram!

And that brings me to the hardest part of this contest entry--Instagram. I had to figure out how to set it up and post pictures and what on earth does the hashtag do?? I still don't know, but I did it and now I'm on Instagram. #howcoolamI? (You can follow me @momsatthebarre. Or on twitter @stephaniehsiang.)

So now my blog is two months old. If the blog were a person, it would lift it's head off the blanket for a few seconds and plunk it back down again, but I've learned a lot in the past two months. Honestly, it can be hard to put yourself out there. I push 'publish' and have a little panicky moment... what if people think it's stupid? What if it's not funny? What if it's funny when it really shouldn't be? What if people see that picture of me and wonder why, with all the exercise I do, are my thighs not thinner? And so on. And so forth, etc.

But really, I'd say the blog has been worth the trouble so far. Even if no one reads it, or finds it helpful, or funny. Because I've realized there are sort of two kinds of people. There are those who go out and do things, and there are those who sit on the sidelines and whine about never winning anything. I've often been among the latter, but with my blog, I'm entering the world of the former. It's just my little blog, but I'm doing something, my own little thing that's fun and entertaining for me. And I'm entering contests, not to mention the 21st century of social media.

Ever since the frozen ducks photo shoot, Darling Son #1 periodically asks, "Did you win?" You know what? I just received some happy news! I didn't win the Physique 57 grand prize. (The winner got her whole family in the mix, including her husband who I'll admit had a very funny look on his face. I should have made DH get down with the ducks.) But they liked my picture so much they're giving me a prize, too! I'm getting a portable ballet barre! I actually already have a ballet barre, but that's ok. The point is I entered! And I even won something! From my happiest place on earth! Yay! 

What about you? Are you a sideliner? Or are you playing the game? Winning has turned me into such a deep thinker...


  1. Yay! You won a portable ballet barre!
    I used to put myself out there and had a blog called "mama's fitness studio" that died of chronic neglect. I'm working on a new one, but it's still under wraps.

  2. Send me the link when it's up and running and I'll read it with relish!