"Before I was introduced to MOD, working out was just something you did because it was good for you, like brushing your teeth or eating your vegetables. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I lifted weights at the gym after 30 minutes or so on the elliptical while Tuesdays and Thursdays were reserved for walking or jogging around Town Lake. I never felt challenged and I hardly ever broke a sweat. My routine essentially had been the same for 10+ years. This isn’t to say I never tried anything new: I took ballet or hip-hop classes here and there, I tried reformer Pilates and dabbled in Gyrotonics lessons, I frequented a handful of yoga studios… but nothing stuck. Oftentimes the results weren’t worth the price (especially while living on a grad student budget) and I found myself in a rut. When I walked into MOD for the first time, I knew I had found a gem. Not only is the studio bright and beautiful, it’s filled with knowledgeable, encouraging instructors and fitness-minded individuals who enjoy their workout. It’s just so inspiring to be surrounded by strong women (and a few brave men). Though the barre is familiar from my dancing days, the things we do with it are totally different and work muscles I didn’t even realize I had! I remember struggling to climb the stairs at my office the day after my first class. I hadn’t experienced that kind of soreness – the good kind where your body feels wrecked but you still feel accomplished – since my teen years when was at the dance studio 20 hours a week. The instructors at MOD do an awesome job of shaking up their routines and music, so as students we are continually challenged and never bored. The moves seem easy at first, but by the end of a muscle group series, I can feel the burn and embrace the involuntary shake of fatigue. We work hard the entire class; just when I think my body can’t handle any more, we move on to the next muscle group. It’s empowering to end the class with a collective breath and reflect back on all that we’ve accomplished in just an hour. In April I will celebrate my 2nd MOD-iversary. Since that first class, my thighs have become leaner, my arms are more toned, and my core is stronger. Perhaps more importantly, I’ve become a part of something that is really special: a fitness studio where teachers and students alike challenge, encourage, and motivate each other."