Labarre is a very special place for me. It has shaped me physically, in ways I never thought possible. I went from a student in the underground days, to an instructor shortly thereafter, and now serve as the Wellness Development Coordinator and Master Trainer. I used to teach doubles and triples when I could. It was thrilling to be in class or in front of the class; both brought me joy.
I get that joy in everything I do at the studio, no task too big or small, but in the past year, I have struggled more with my Lupus and Fibromyalgia, even though I’ve lived with both for many years. They seem to be taking a bigger toll on my body when one of them decides to flare up, reminding me of all they are capable of doing to my muscles and joints, to the strange brain fog that can descend strangely and lingers, only to leave just as quickly. These diseases take a toll on my body, often in ways no one can see, and that I don’t like to talk about, except with my closest loved ones. But here is why I share this with you: because even when my body is rebelling against me, when I am teaching or taking a barre or HIIT class, I can still move my body, giving me a sense of control when everything is misfiring inside. Even on particularly bad days, I can still make it to, and through, class. I’m thinking of this in particular today, when my body seems determined to take over and remind me of my limitations— I didn’t grab the heaviest weights, and I had to dial back my energy, but I did it. And I can’t wait to go back again tomorrow morning and the morning after that to move, however much I can, so that my body knows I’m still in charge.
That’s the physical shape (and save) Labarre has given me. But just as important (if not more so) is the emotional way Labarre has shaped me. It has given me a “happy space” for the past 5 years. If you’ve been in the studio, you know what I’m talking about. There is an energy, a brightness that welcomes you the minute you walk through the doors. You know you are there for your wellbeing, you know are welcomed, and you know that you are among friends.
Labarre helps me be creative and silly and joyful by being with “my people”. Everyone who walks into the studio is one of “my people”. If you are reading this, you are “my people”, and I’m so grateful for you. Labarre shaped me, but it’s also saved me. It keeps those little voices in my head quiet. You know the ones: Your thighs look a little dimply. Your belly seems a little big. Those voices that get even louder when you don’t feel well, and your body doesn’t want to work for you the way it used to or the way it “should”. Those dumb voices that you know aren’t real but sometimes just pop up when you least expect them and decided to rent some space for a while.
I struggled for years to love my body. I was a dieter, a compulsive exerciser, emotional eater, and my weight reflected my emotional states throughout my early adult years. I didn’t even begin to start making peace with my body until I was nearly 36 years old. Even now, nearly ten years later, those dumb voices still rise up. They’ve been loud recently, even though they aren’t saying anything truthful. When my physical body rebels, those voices jump in too. But in the midst of hearing those voices, I walk into Labarre and I see “my people” and my people see me. We share our 45 minutes or 60 minutes with each other, offering loving kindness, grace, and encouragement to one another. The voices get quiet after that, for a while, and I am centered. I can see and feel my muscles doing what I want them to do, and I am peaceful. I can feel my strength, and I feel confident. I know that the voices will be evicted soon, and my body will find its way back to balance, even if it takes a while. And through it all, I will have Labarre.
Photo work and imagery provided by Adam Hays Photography
12/3/2022 2 Comments
To our valued Members and Guests:
I wanted to wait until Thanksgiving had past and we were steaming towards December so I could express my gratitude outside of the convenience of a holiday. Let’s face it… everyday should be a day to give thanks and I wanted to make time to focus on being grateful to those who have rallied to keep the labarre community thriving in even the most difficult of times and circumstances.
Life is a blessing, and we can be reminded of this on a daily basis, somedays… multiple times! Making time to be truly thankful is real. We all live busy lives and the hustle and bustle of this world seemingly intensifies this time of the year.
“Thankfulness is the
quickest path to joy.”
Fun fact for the day; expressing gratitude can lower your blood pressure, keep one from getting sick all while helping relationships to grow.
Making time to be thankful can change your outlook on life and here at labarre studios we are on a mission to cultivate an attitude of gratitude!
Here’s our gratitude for YOU!
Thank you for showing up for classes in-person and virtually.
Thank you for choosing a workout in our video library.
Thank you for purchasing merchandise and booking appointments with our wellness providers.
Thank you for referring your friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances to our studio.
Because of this, we are gifting EVERY member and passholder one FREE guest pass to share the gift of fitness and wellness. A gift to share our love for fitness and wellness with our loyal community. So go ahead and pay it forward to anyone you feel needs a little wellness in their day.
Share the Love, and from me, my equipe here at labarre and the Alberino family, Thank you for being you.
~ Lisa Alberino, Owner & Founder
It’s hard to believe that it has been over a year since I became a certified barre instructor at labarre studios in San Jose, CA. I was invited by Lisa Alberino (Founder and Owner of the Studio) shortly after my instructor certification to write a blog post about my journey from a labarre guest to becoming a certified Instructor.
Today I am sharing my story about how labarre saved me during one of the most difficult times in my life.
Like so many others, COVID-19 made me pivot in 2020. I was getting ready to open a new apartment complex of nearly 600 units. I was focusing on my overall wellness, and just trying to survive and stay healthy during those truly uncertain times.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2021, when someone very close to me started struggling with their mental health and addiction. Simply put, this was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to face. On the outside, I was keeping myself together, however, as I reflect on this, I now realize I had a great deal of fear, anxiety, and sadness. I remember coming to the studio in order to prepare to teach class or even times when I was a participant in class and just feeling like I wouldn’t be able to pull through the work. When the session wrapped up, I felt this sense of ease and peace and I took this as a reminder that I was stronger than I thought and I was going to be okay regardless of what the end result was. We have a popular saying in the studio,’You are stronger than you know’ and this was a truth that took me many years to accept.
Let me share how my life has changed since 2021. When I decided to become a barre instructor, I knew that I wanted to be of service and inspire others along their wellness journey. In the last year, with the unwavering support of my labarre team, countless hours of therapy, and a heck of a lot of reading, I am slowly finding “Trinidad’ again. I never stopped loving myself and who I was, but I was so consumed with my loved ones’ addiction and making sure they were ok that, while trying to control their life, I forgot to put the love and effort into my own.
In the last year of teaching, I have developed more confidence and challenged myself to be more creative. The last few months have also taught me to be gentler and kinder, specifically to myself, and remember that I am doing my best and that's all I can ask of me. If I am lucky enough to have had you in one of my classes, you might have heard me say “set your intention.” I believe that when we live with intention and purpose in our life (or even for 45-minutes!), it allows us to be present and focused on what we are doing now versus 4 hours from now, 24 hours, or even a year later. I still get anxiety, fear, and stress but not at the levels that I used to experience in the past. When those moments bubble up, I ask myself “How do you want feel? What do you want to give? And what do you want to receive?”
My loved one is doing better and getting the help they need in their recovery. Personally, I am happy to report that I am doing great as 2022 comes to a close. I recently received a promotion at work, and I have a career that I truly enjoy. I have a beautiful nephew/godson who is turning one and that adds extra joy in my days. I am in the best health and shape of my life, honoring my body’s imperfections, and most importantly I am learning to love myself one day at a time.
Thank you labarre studios for creating a space that invites community and support!
See you at The Barre!
I realized I am coming up on my 5 year anniversary mark for my membership at Labarre and have been so inspired by the blog posts of fellow members in the community, that I thought I would share my own story. I don’t even like writing, so that tells you a little bit of what Labarre means to me.
When I was pregnant with my son, Eugene, I noticed this cool looking studio in our new neighborhood that I knew I wanted to check out, the moment I got cleared to work out post partum. I had tried barre a few times in the past and wasn’t completely sold but something about this studio was welcoming and warm plus they offered child care. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
Literally the day Eugene turned 8 weeks old and I was cleared to exercise, we were at Labarre Studios! I needed this for my mind, body and soul. First time parenting was hard for me. I was struggling with nursing and pumping full time, feeling all of the emotions as my body attempted to regroup and stabilize and while I enjoyed and acknowledged I was privileged to be at home, on paid leave, I really missed conversations with adults. I was talking to our dog, Bishop, a lot, and he does not make a great conversationalist.
My first class, with Sara Rosa (labarre's studio manager & founding instructor) kicked my ass in every way and I loved it. I remember wondering how the hell am I supposed to balance my behind on this unstable ball and not break a body part? There was a lot of jiggling. There still is. I was impressed with the child care attendant. She had six kids back there with her and Eugene was the youngest by far and it was all good. Throughout the years, sometimes Eugene wasn’t so “good” and I say it with quotation marks because let’s face it, he is a kid and kids act out but the child care staff always were caring and accommodating. I always stayed and got my workout and self care time in.
Labarre is so much more than just a place to sweat. It is a second home. I loved walking there (now I have to drive as we moved), and knowing I was doing something for myself, amongst other people who were showing up for themselves and each other as well.
In 2018, I got a scary new diagnosis related to my heart. I always knew I had irregular heart rhythms since college, and being a nurse, I was pretty well versed in what it meant and what my limitations were. This was different because this was structural and it gave me some anxiety as I read my cardiologist’s message. He was actually overseas when he messaged me so I was even more concerned (also appreciative). I have this vivid memory because I was on my way to Labarre for an esthetician appointment with Lorena and I happened to check my phone right before. As Lorena and I started to make small talk, I started to cry, because I was scared and not sure what this diagnosis meant, not only for me but also my son. She was so sweet and endearing. I am sure it wasn’t the Brazilian wax she had in mind.
It turns out, I needed to have a pacemaker/ defibrillator inserted for preventative measures. While I was ok with this plan, I wasn’t crazy about having a procedure as my last one(at a different hospital) wasn’t ideal. I remember asking Lisa Alberino (labarre's owner/founder) about pausing my membership since I couldn’t work out for some time after the procedure and again, the tears started coming, right at the front desk. Lisa came around and held my hand and reassured me that everything will be alright and they will be there for me when I can return. It made me feel so much better. Fun fact, I randomly learned another member also has a pacemaker as we were randomly discussing moves we had to modify. Again, the community welcomes you.
When COVID hit, I remember being at Labarre and Lisa having a calm presence at class, letting us know we were all in it together. Labarre really did everything they could to continue offering services to the community and I appreciated it because we needed to connect. I remember the barre happy hour zoom classes and the soccer field classes when part of the fun was making sure you didn’t get hit by a ball. Labarre was and is super committed to its members.
I also felt supported by Labarre during the violent crimes in the US against black people. Labarre didn’t stay quiet. I really respected it. They put out a message and commitment, which they hold true to. I noticed other local businesses chose to remain silent and they lost my business.
Above all, the time I felt I needed labarre the most was when my brother in law passed away last summer. DJ was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 26 and needless to say, it shook our family to the core. I leaned into my Labarre community for help. Lorena, the esthetician, actually became our part time nanny during COVID and she graciously stepped in, to help with our son Eugene, so we could make plans. Lisa reached out to me right away to offer her condolences and services as well. I felt truly supported by this group of women.
A day or two after his death, I took Claudia’s class virtually, just to try to clear my mind. It was mostly me laying on the floor and crying. It still felt cathartic and needed to happen.
Instructors always say random things throughout class and sometimes it invokes such an emotion in me because it is exactly what I needed to hear- it’s like therapy.
DJ, as well as several of my family members and friends, have been to Labarre with me and I am grateful I have this memory of us, enjoying something together as I can share a piece of my community with them.
If you are curious about classes or services at Labarre, do it! You will enjoy it and become a new member of a wonderful community; maybe I will see you there.
Born and raised in San Jose, Mercedes knows the Bay Area well. This hometown native will now be opening shop at 1445 The Alameda inside of labarre studios and is thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of the community she calls home.
Please give a warm welcome to Mercedes Dandrea as she is now the in-house esthetician in the studio and will be located on the first floor in the ROZ vault.
Always a fan of beautification of others, Mercedes’ calling came early. “Even as a little kid I loved make people feeling good about themselves. When my older brother would babysit me, he was always a trooper and I would play beauty salon with him (although it didn’t necessarily make him feel good, he was helping to spark Mercedes’ passion in her craft.). He was really cool and allowed me to be creative in that way.” She laughs.
After understanding that her career could be tailored to fit her love, she went to school in 2007 to pave her way to become a licensed esthetician. Her adoration grew for the beauty industry and Mercedes insightfully honed her business skills by managing several premium beauty salons in the Bay and surrounding areas over the course of the past decade.
Having a daughter (10 year old Siena) changed the course of Mercedes’ path and her thought process as well. The freedom of being her own boss allowed her to chase the dream as well as reinforce her strengths as an esthetician.
With her business now opening in labarre, the expectations remain the same and they are simple and direct. “I feel like I am personable, and I like to make people feel comfortable. People can get uncomfortable as some of these procedures are intimate and it takes some time. I like to create a warming, welcoming environment first and foremost. I want people to feel safe and comfortable.”
Mercedes’s continues, “I like to tailor my services specifically to my clients. I want people to get the most out of their appointment. I know that people have often walked out thinking ‘this is great! It was like a therapy session as well!’ and that’s what I am going for.
For a decade and a half, Mercedes has been tackling her mission of making people feel their best. When she came across labarre studios thanks to our friends at On The Alameda she saw that the studios and founder and owner, Lisa Alberino, was looking to vastly improve on the esthetician offerings. That was when everything clicked and it weas meant to be. So much so that it reunited Mercedes with her old roommate in a sense. The gorgeous and iconic mural that adorns the wall in the historic building (which was restored brilliantly in 2017) was painted by none other than world-famous artist, David Choe… who also happened to be a former roomy of Mercedes!
“I just LOVE the building and when I heard that Lisa restored the mural I was amazed”, Mercedes says with a smile. “Back in the day we (David and Mercedes) were connected by our love for creativity. I created and designed jewelry and the artists connection and some friends in the photography world were our common bond.”
That connection is a sign that Mercedes is where she belongs, making her dream come true and furthering an already successful career in the beauty business. Her take on why a client would want to try her offerings is exactly why Lisa united with Mercedes’ to be the studios on-site esthetician. “I feel like estheticians are hidden gems. The good ones all have a unique style and energy. If you are looking for someone easy going, professional but also extremely thorough, I am the girl! I pride myself in my work and make sure that my client is leaving satisfied in what they are paying for. I am a picky client as well and if I were to walk into my room I would expect it to be immaculately clean and have pride in this spot. Other clients should see how much I love my space and career.”
We are thrilled to have Mercedes in the building, and she will begin the week of October 16th. Be sure to give her a follow on Instagram @mercedesmakeupandbrows and keep an eye on all labarre channels for more information on Mercedes offerings!
How LaBarre Saved My Life….okay, that sounds a bit dramatic, but when LaBarre’s owner, Lisa Alberino posted her story, it reminded me how LaBarre came into my life at the perfect time and helped me heal.
My name is Heidi Parrish. I moved into the Rose Garden area in the Fall of 2016. I was moving from the Santa Cruz mountains where I had lived for the previous 3 years. Two of those years was with my husband of almost 30 years and one of those years was just me and my dog. I was excited about relocating down the hill to the Rose Garden for the walk-ability factor and closer to civilization. I was in search of a community, as well as, being more accessible to my friends.
The year 2015 was not good to me. In February of that year I lost my father, age 88, whom I was extremely close to. He was my champion and hero. Although his passing was expected, I missed him deeply, but did not let myself truly grieve because I needed to be there for my mom. My sister and I promised our dad we would take over her care, which meant flying to Boise as often as I could. We thought she would for sure die of a broken heart since my parents had been together since they were 17.
Fast forward 8 months later when my husband has a sudden fatal heart attack. And just like that I was a widow, and alone, at the young age of 56. We have 3 sons who were in their 20’s at the time – so all my strength went into comforting them and letting them know I would be ok. The rest of 2015 and most of 2016 my time was spent taking care of business, mine own and my parents which included not only selling my mountain home, but handling the sale of my parent’s beloved lake property.
When I moved in October of 2016, my mother was still physically with us (she hadn’t been herself for years due to dementia/Alzheimer’s). She and I could still connect through music and just looking at each other. Two years to the month after losing my father, my mom decided she was ready to be with him. So, by the time LaBarre opened in July of 2017, I had lost both my parents and my husband over a 2 ½ year period. The 3 people that truly knew me. I carried that grief deep inside me as I did my best to move forward with my life.
In the years leading up to my move, my level of exercise was yoga 1 day a week and a lot of walking. I had heard from a neighbor that a barre studio was going into the Italian Bank location and I was looking forward to trying it out especially since it was walking distance from my home. I had tried barre before, and although I liked that type of exercise, the previous studios left me unexcited to return. About a month after LaBarre opened, I tried the one-week trial and at the end of that week, I became a Founder Member.
I remember my first class, Amber was the instructor and I was in the back next to Jackie, another LaBarre instructor. We were on the floor, probably something ab related, and I notice I had a death grip on the mat. It was tough but I survived. During the early days of LaBarre, all classes were 60 minutes which left time for cool down stretching and savasana. During savasana, one of the early instructors would play this song about angels that always brought tears to my eyes. Tears that needed to be shed. Slowly with every class I took, as my body became stronger, I started to feel more positive and happiness again.
I began to heal the hole left in my heart and soul. Now 5 years later, with the encouragement of Lisa, Sara and the LaBarre community, I am still at it. I have never done any type of single exercise consistently for 5 years before. Through LaBarre I have met some wonderful people. Many I now consider my friends, in fact one of my closest friends I met at LaBarre. I have had the privilege of watching some of my fellow workout mates become amazing instructors. At LaBarre it was not only the class instructors, but also the service technicians who have helped me feel whole again.
Although I am still single, I no longer feel alone or lonely. For this I have several people to thank most importantly my dog, my sons and my growing family. I also thank Lisa, Sara and the LaBarre community.
When I joined Labarre, I was still recovering from ACL surgery from a skiing accident. I was about 1.5 years into recovery but the types of core fitness workouts I was doing still hurt my knee. I wanted to regain my strength as I have always been athletic, but was feeling low about myself as I was in my early fifties and wondering what could I do to stay in shape besides walking or biking?
There were also personal things weighing on me. My Dad passed away in 2013 and in 2014, my mother had a serious life-changing stroke. My mom was lost without my Dad. Her stroke left her 100% handicapped, and lost both her ability to speak and walk. I felt like I had lost my Mom in many ways along with my father.
We would speak everyday prior to her stroke and although it was a difficult decision, I took the initiative and had my mother live with me so I could care for her properly. At this time, I was only 2 years into my new marriage. I thought I had married my soulmate. In 2016, my husband left me and made excuses that he couldn’t handle the household. I was working full time and had caregivers in my home taking care of mom. My mom was needy as was my husband. So here I was at the end of 2016, alone again.
I was feeling low about my age and overall life situation.
In 2017 I did everything to create the “new” me.
I was a strong woman and knew I could survive anything. I needed to regain my body to feel better about myself. Labarre had just opened a half a block from my home in September of 2017. After 30 days of seeing their grand opening offers and signs, I walked in and spoke to owner/founder, Lisa Alberino. Lisa encouraged me to try the free week offer. I went the following Sunday and took a class everyday that week. My body was sore all over but I knew in time I would adjust and I felt I was getting stronger every month. I joined right away and I have long surpassed 1000 classes. I am 59 and feel great again. I am confident of my age and often told I look 10-15 years younger!
Last summer I was in Pismo Beach and a man my age told me I had great legs and what did I do to look like I do. I told him about Barre fitness.
I give credit to labarre for changing my life. Thanks Lisa & the team at Labarre Studios!!
We have been receiving many stories after my initial posting of this blog about a month ago. The stories have not only been beyond inspirational for me but also, frankly, mind blowing to grasp the depth and importance that the studio has brought to so many who are proud to call themselves part of its community. Below is one from one of the most brilliant and kind people ever to grace our floor. Please take a few moments to enjoy.
I’m not one for hyperboles, so believe me when I say this: Labarre Studios saved my life.
I discovered Labarre in the summer of 2018. I was scouring Craig’s List, looking for a summer job, when I came across a listing for a part time childcare attendant. I had experience with kids and I saw that the job benefits included a free membership. As a dancer looking to stay active that summer, that perk sealed the deal. I applied, interviewed with Lisa, and was hired. What I thought was going to be just a way to take free classes and meet cute kids, turned into a family and community that has changed my life over the past four years.
In the Spring of 2019, I was at college in New York when my mental health began to slip. I fell into a depression so deep, I completed the last six weeks of the semester from home in California. While most of my friends spent that summer with internships, I knew that I had to focus on healing. That involved lots of conversations with my therapist, but it also meant heading back to Labarre, where Lisa and Sara welcomed me with open arms. The summer of 2019 at Labarre most certainly saved my life. There were so many times that I felt suicidal and was literally pulled out of a hole by walking into that studio and taking a deep breath. That summer, Lisa encouraged me to become a certified instructor. The training and Lisa’s guidance gave me a newfound purpose that continued to tamp down my depression and bring out my old, happy self.
The summer of 2019 alone would justify me calling Labarre a life-saver, but anyone who knows the studio knows that Labarre is never there for you just once.
Come spring of 2020, I was home for the shutdown. Lisa asked me if I would teach virtual classes and I readily agreed. For the first six weeks of quarantine, I taught a barre class every single day. Only two or three were through LaBarre, but on my days off, I would teach classes for my family and friends over zoom. That hour was a way for me to connect with my friends in other states and get my body moving after spending the day sitting in front of a computer.
I am a big fan of talking about mental health and am a true believer in the importance of therapy and medication. I don’t believe that having good friends or taking walks is enough to cure my depression. But I am confident that LaBarre played a major role in my recovery. The combination of physical activity, positive thinking, and a supportive community, filled the dark gaps the medication couldn’t reach. Whether I was taking an 8:00pm HIIT or teaching a 7:15am barre, my soul was being healed in that studio.
In May of 2020, I moved across the country for work and have not returned to San Jose for longer than 3 months. I have had amazing career opportunities in campaigns and now in Congress. But still, LaBarre remains the best job I have ever had. Not just my time as an instructor, but my time behind the front desk. Lisa and Sara have built a team that truly feels like a family. Furthermore, they prioritized my growth as a person and an employee by consistently granting me additional responsibilities and allowing me to use my previous skills in new ways to help the studio.
I am currently living in Washington DC, but I know that in a few years I will be making my way back to San Jose. I have no doubt in my mind that when I do, I will be able to walk right back into LaBarre and pick up where I left off — after updating my training certification, of course!
About a week ago, I wrote a story about how labarre had saved my life… not only once, but twice. That blog can be found right HERE. As the owner and founder of the nearly five-year-old studio I knew all too well that starting a small business in California was as risky a challenge as I could ever face. I hunkered down with the help of some incredible people and put my heart and soul into it succeeding and never lost sight of the goal. That goal was to build an oasis for the mind, body and spirit of all who stepped through the front door. Little did I know that labarre would have residual benefits that were exponentially greater than what I intended it to achieve…
This incredible story is in response to the post I created. Overly grateful for Carleigh Burdine and hope you will read her story as well.
Labarre Studios saved my postpartum body, and got me through state-to-state commuting with a nine month old, and a move. I wish I could’ve taken the studios with me to Washington State.
I am a barre Instructor now, because of Lisa Alberino, her vision, and the incredible souls who’ve followed her. My second son was a large baby with a large head, and I went from running 5Ks, half-marathons, doing high-impact Hip Hop, and 12-hour night shifts high risk OB to limping on a long walk. There is not an option to not take your toddler to the park, or not baby-wear your 9 lb. newborn. You simply must solider-on.
So, I was limping down the Alameda with my double-stroller, after a particularly grueling barre class at another popular chain, when I met Lisa. She was warm, exuberant, intense, and authentic. And she saw my hurt.
And all they would tell me was that I had 2 babies in 2 years. And I needed time to recover.
I did not have time to wait. I needed to be a mom, a nurse, a wife, and a human today. Even though, I had already been doing barre for 4 years by then, Lisa brought a humanity to her practice, that helped me heal.
I cried at the end of my first class knowing my babies were in loving hands. And someone gave a sh*t about me from the inside out. They encouraged me to heal that way. “Focus on yourself, your breath, and taking this time. The rest will come.” And they were right.
I tear up just thinking about it. The move to Washington State did not save our family or my marriage. But teaching barre has. And now, I get to tell my clients to take that moment of gratitude for their bodies, their breath, and their life.
What a gift, Lisa, words will never suffice.
6/12/2022 3 Comments
How labarre studios saved my life!
I feel its time to share my story.
I know what you’re thinking … did I really read this correctly? The answer is, “yes you did!
I have been thinking about sharing my story for quite some time and with our 5-year anniversary coming up on July 14th, 2022, I feel now is the time to be real.
When I opened labarre studios in July 2017 my energy and enthusiasm was at an all high. During this time my dad was managing a terminal illness which ended up taking his life months before we opened. I lost my dad, and he didn’t get to see my dream come to fruition. This event absolutely broke my heart both figuratively and literally.
The excess stress settled in my heart and it started to beat out of rhythm in a very dangerous combination of Atrial Fib and Atrial Flutter. This condition is well known as “broken heart syndrome”. The only thing that regulated my heart was exercise, so when I was doing barre, this rhythm corrected.
Once I was diagnosed, the surgeons moved quickly to perform corrective surgery on my heart. As I was being prepared for surgery, I was quietly wearing heart rate monitors daily, while teaching classes to record my heart rhythm. No one noticed, and I didn’t make any mention of it.
Fast forward to the financial and emotional devastation of Covid-19 when my husband, Rob Alberino, lost his job as the Vice President of the San Francisco 49ers along with 33 million other Americans. Like many others, our world had crashed. Labarre Studios was in a forced shut-down and we were in limbo of what was next to come.
The urgency of this situation had me so hyper focused on our family and labarre that I ignored signs of an infection and was simply treating the symptoms while ignoring the signs. I was also being a good citizen by staying away from overly crowded hospitals that were dealing with the covid global pandemic with record numbers of deaths daily.
Here’s where I give a big “shout out” to our Acupuncturist, Angelica Acton, who pointed out to me not once but twice that she was seeing signs of kidney infection through her exams and treatments. I made an appointment right away but couldn’t get into a doctor for a few weeks. Unfortunately, this spread to sepsis and septic shock. I landed in ICU in the infectious disease wing with all the Covid patients and wasn’t allowed any visitors. Ironically, or not, the nurse that checked me in was a labarre studios member and she promised me that she would stay with me and assured me that I was in good hands. My, how the tables had turned ….
I don’t know what I would have done without labarre studios during these difficult times. Taking classes and seeing our community brought me so much joy I will be forever grateful. Interestingly enough I am not the only person who can say “labarre has saved my life” as I have seen and heard this over and over again from our community over the past 5-years. I have heard the following phrase multiple times, “if I didn’t have labarre studios in my life, I may not be here today.”
We have had staff and members who have lost siblings, husbands, children, nephews, friends, aunts, grandparents, parents and more. We have had members who have experienced mental health challenges, lost their careers, experienced illnesses, death and divorce who and have clung to labarre studios during the toughest of times. We have boarded up our building during the instability of this world due to events like George Floyd’s murder and the epidemic of gun violence we experience all too often.
Today we can shout that we are still standing as a business, and we are even stronger and better from the inside out. Again, both figuratively and literally!
I even had a mental health therapist cancel her membership due to a conflict of interest because she recommends labarre studios to her patients to help them in their own personal healing.
So when someone says to me, “why do you put so much effort and time into your studio? Wouldn’t you be better off to sell it or move on from it now that you live in Kansas City?” My answer is simple, “because labarre studios saves lives.” We cannot be everything to everyone, but to someone we can be everything.
We would love to hear how labarre studios is helping you or has made a difference in your life ... maybe even saved your life! Lets not keep secrets any longer and see if together we can help others!
Xo ~ Lisa
OUTDOOR CLASS LOCATIONS:
1649 Naglee Ave
San Jose 95126
1445 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126