Megan Hulling is the owner of CrossBarre Inc. in Ponte Vedra, which assists women of all stages in life and degrees of athleticism to achieve quick and powerful fitness results.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I am a native of Ponte Vedra Beach. Sports and education have always been important to me, having graduated from Nease in 2002 and continued to Auburn University in 2006 and then completing my Master of Education through Liberty University. I was a competitive athlete from a young age and unfortunately suffered a life-changing disc injury at 19 due to overuse, bad training patterns and chronic, high intensity training without proper mobility and core strength. I used this difficult season in my life to educate myself, become certified and begin a career after college in personal training and corrective exercise. 10 years, two children, a passion and calling in life led me to create CrossBarre Inc. back in my hometown.
What inspired you to open CrossBarre Inc.?
After I had my children, Ruby (4.5) and Wyatt (6), I began training one-on-one clients again out of my home studio. This quickly caught fire and grew into small group training with women in my neighborhood. I saw the positive results these women were getting physically, emotionally and behaviorally through working out in community with one another. Offering them the ability to build relationships while participating in a very effective form of exercise without hurting themselves became my passion. High intensity + low impact training in community = CrossBarre. I believe in crosstraining. Cardio, barre isometrics, dance, pilates, yoga, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), etc. I built my brand on the concept of well-roundedness and longevity for women of all levels.
What are the benefits of Barre workouts?
I like to think of CrossBarre as a fitness studio, not necessarily a Barre studio. To me, the ballet barre (hence the term “barre fitness”) is a tool, much like a kettlebell, dumbbell or resistance band is a tool. We use the barre to teach balance, alignment, hip mobility and core strength through the use of isometric and dynamic movements. The benefits of our style include improvements in physical stamina, core strength, flexibility, muscle growth, anti-aging cognitive effects, joint pain reduction and body sculpting.
What makes your training community unique?
We are unique in that each class we treat as its own by catering to who shows up that day. We know our clients personally and work diligently to accommodate their physical limitations, injuries and goals in a way that many would find difficult to do in a group setting. We create space for all body types, fitness levels and degrees of athleticism by offering levels or modifications throughout each class. We also are proud to be a mom-advocate studio. We offer a babysitting service during class, allow babies on board in certain class times and extend “Grace upon Grace” to our clients. In fact, this is our motto we share in the studio. The vibe is infectious. We are often silly, hilarious and vivacious. Most of all, these women are creating a tribe to do life with, and it is my job to nurture that!
What are some of the challenges facing the fitness industry today?
I believe there are two major challenges the fitness industry is facing today. The first challenge I see is the high impact fitness trend. I do not believe this style of training has longevity, and therefore, is not setting up their clients for long-term success. It is a fad, and when the clients start getting injured they quit, or worse, end up at the orthopaedic and physical therapy for simply attempting to do things they have no business doing.
Secondly, the fitness industry can be incredibly competitive and self-serving. Our goal at CrossBarre is to invite, invest, encourage and facilitate the absolute best client experience we can. Sometimes we fall short, and ask forgiveness. I’d like to see the fitness industry become more of a center of influence in our city for positivity and community, less competition, greed and jealousy.
What do you enjoy most about working and living in Ponte Vedra?
Where do I begin…
My family, the beach, my amazing clients, our church ... the list goes on. I have family four generations deep in the Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra area. I love that Jacksonville and PV are huge supporters of small businesses, especially their own. I love the people I see around town that I have known for 20+ years. I love seeing my high school friends and their mothers training and dancing in my studio. I’m a small-town girl and passionate about community (in case you didn’t catch that). More than anything, I am humbled and incredibly blessed to have this opportunity with CrossBarre to make a difference in the Ponte Vedra/Nocatee area. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly! Come see us. Your first class is always on us.
To watch a video portion of the interview, visit Pontevedrarecorder.com and click One of Us. For more information on CrossBarre Inc., visit http://www.crossbarre.com/.