The first time Cynthia Lewandowski walked into The Barre Code Birmingham in Metro Detroit in December of 2013, she was nearly 50 years old and hadn’t stepped foot into a gym in over 20 years. Today, almost ten years to the day of that pivotal first class, she’s a proud member of Club Code 2500, having reached an aspirational milestone many are still dreaming about across #BarreCodeNation.
Says Cynthia about her decision to give The Barre Code a try, “I was almost 50 and I knew it was time to start making changes with [my] health. My family has a history of health issues, but I don’t think it hit me until I realized I was close to the age of when my mother had her first stroke.”
Determined to make a change, Cynthia “adjusted [her] eating habits and started working out, realizing how fun it could be.” Over the course of a year, she lost almost 100 pounds and, more importantly, “gained more confidence in myself.”
The path to 2500 classes and to personal transformation, however, was not always easy.
“The first class was really hard! I struggled to get my leg up on the barre, but I was determined to keep going.”
What has kept her going all these years? No matter how challenging a class is, Cynthia always “leave[s] the studio feeling better than when I came in. I can look back afterwards and recognize how much I enjoyed the class, or how it made me feel better not just physically but as a person.”
As one of the longest-standing members of The Barre Code, Cynthia experienced what it was like to adapt and persevere throughout the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person classes were not an option. The experience only strengthened her commitment to herself and to The Barre Code, and also connected her to others across the country she may never have met otherwise.
“In 2020, when all of the gyms were forced to close, The Barre Code began offering livestream classes. I made friends across Barre Code nation and got into the habit of joining early so I could ‘chat’ with the instructors before class. I really appreciate how dedicated The Barre Code was in maintaining the sense of community [during that time].”
Over the past 10 years, not only has Cynthia seen positive personal changes inside the studio, but outside the studio as well.
“My skills as a problem solver have improved because of what I’ve gained over the years with The Barre Code, and it’s made me a better asset to the company I work for.”
“I’m also more comfortable with myself. I’ve suffered from disordered eating for most of my adult life, and being part of this community has helped me realize I can overcome challenges and be more confident in what I want.”
Co-owner of The Barre Code Birmingham Lindsay Irrer is just as inspired by and proud of Cynthia as the rest of her community, saying, “Our community wouldn’t be the same without Cynthia. She brings such warmth into the studios. and we look forward to seeing her every time she is signed up for class. Cynthia embodies many of the attributes we stand for in our mantra – most noticeably relentlessness in her dedication and commitment to herself. She is an inspiration to us all in Metro Detroit, we are beyond lucky to get to call her one of ours.”
Cynthia’s advice for others around #BarreCodeNation who are working towards a specific Club Code milestone? “Try not to focus on the number. You should be proud of yourself each time you walk into the studio, whether it’s your first class or your one-hundredth or one-thousandth!”
If you are currently working towards a personal milestone in the studio, whether it’s a Club Code milestone or a personal goal like being able to hold a plank longer or choose a new challenge, Cynthia wants you to know she is in your corner.
“The Barre Code is so much more than just fitness; it’s being part of a community that shares common goals.”
“The support and kindness generated by everyone in the studio makes me feel I’m part of something special. We are all on our own journey in life, and I’m glad that I can be a part of it by showing up and cheering you on!”
Get To Know Cynthia
Favorite class format: Bootcamp
Favorite move: Squat Thruster
Favorite prop: Weighted Body Bar; “I’ve graduated to the 15 lbs. bar, and I’m working to get to the 18 lbs. soon!”
Favorite song to sweat to: “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
Favorite saying that gets you pumped in class: “Breathe in your love and your light and let go of anything that doesn’t serve you.”