Have you ever wondered what a Physie Champion gets up to in the off season? What does a physie girl do when she doesn’t have her weekly class to attend?! Here is a glimpse of what Ashleigh Barry, the NSW Open Senior 28 year and over State champion, has been doing in her time off.

   What is your physie story?
I started physie as a 6 year old and somehow managed to find myself on the Opera House stage in the national final. Well from there I was hooked! And every year since then I have worked hard to try and re-live that wonderful feeling you get when the lights brighten and you march out on that floor. For me like a lot of physie girls and ladies, physie has always been my ‘constant’ and to be honest I would hate to think of life without it! It is a stress relief and a healthy and happy sport I enjoy with friends who have become family.

What’s your earliest physie memory?
My earliest physie memory is the Opera House final in the 6s. I remember it so clearly and it was the last year that the Junior finals were held at the Opera House so I have always felt so appreciative of having had that opportunity. It was a long wait to get back there in the 15s but well worth it!

What’s the most important thing that you’ve got out of physie?
For me it’s been the lesson I have learnt that if things are given to you, it is difficult to appreciate their value. Some people are born with natural talent and others work very hard to get there. For most people, you get out what you put in. Always work hard and set your sights on improvement, not perfection.

As a performer, do you have a favourite routine that has stuck with you over the years? Why is it your favourite?
It’s hard not to love your grand solo routine. I will forever be a 2019 Warm-Up fangirl ?

What did your physie preparation/routine for 2020 look like when NSW went in to lockdown?
Like everyone, lockdown was hard hitting, particularly when trying to perfect the syllabus in time for the DVD. I spent countless hours in my garage practising and videoing myself to send to my teacher Nadina and she would do the same. It was particularly difficult to clarify the finer details of the work through Zoom but I loved the challenge. I am so appreciative that I had Nadina there with me every step of the way (even if her videos to me were regularly interrupted by her daughter Maya throwing a ball at the screen or trying to wrap Nadina in a blanket while she demonstrated something!)

Who and what kept you motivated throughout this difficult physie year?
All of the physie seniors waiting and relying on me to help them with the DVD!

Give us 5 words that explain how you feel when you do physie.
Happy and out of breath – lol!

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