Yeah, you heard right, I’m officially a pole dancer. And not the type that strips for a living. For the last two months, I’ve been consistently going to pole fitness training and I’m hooked! I am now at a level where I can comfortably start sharing my journey and growth (because I can actually get off the ground now!). My first stage gig is on April 14th, so that’s also going to be a nerve-wreaking experience in my very near future.
Pole is so good for the body. I cannot say the last time I felt this good. It’s been a hard beginning because pole is not for the lighthearted, but man, it’s so worth it. It hurts. It burns. It bruises. I love it. It’s the only physically abusive relationship that I will condone. Every day, I feel more muscle growth, but that’s because I’m starting on literally no muscle strength. I couldn’t even hold myself up in a plank or do a single sit-up, far less lift my legs up to tuck or even dream of doing an invert or a climb. Now, I’m climbing, inverting (kinda) and able to smash level three moves!
It’s a multidisciplinary sport mix of strength, weights, core, gymnastics, flexibility, endurance, aerobic, and dance. And make sure to point your fucking toes!! You’ve gotta build your core to lift you up the pole, build your arms and shoulders for pole pull-ups, build your grip strength to keep you from slipping, and build your lung capacity to endure fast-paced floor work and dance transitions into pole spins. Yeah, it’s complicated stuff.
This means that I have to eat properly if I want to continue progressing and not getting winded before the end of classes. My recovery rate is quick; normally after one sleep, I’m 100% back to normal, but this is because I generally eat pretty healthily. After a solid six weeks of training, doing about 10-12 hours a week across four days, I’ve not been feeling as great after a class, and I’ve been getting slightly more knackered. My shoulder joints have been pinching too. Granted, I’ve been doing more difficult stuff, but still, I’m bowing out of classes I normally power through. So, diet needs a change here. Eggs and hash browns in the morning, my usual salad for lunch, egg on toast post training session, three bananas daily and an increase in hydration to four litres a day should do the trick. This is what I’ll be doing for the next three months, so let’s look at the coming results! (The results after the last few days with this diet and almost complete rest have been positive so far.)
Since starting pole, my fibromyalgia has been nonexistent; like somehow, pole has magically made it disappear. The increase in blood flow from exercise and strength training, along with my increase in protein and hydration seems to be a positive impact on something that has held me back for the last eight years. In terms of pain, the only thing I’ve really been plagued with is achy finger joints from aerial silks, and my shoulder joints being uncooperative in the last two weeks; both of which seem to be getting better with time.
My sleep has been getting better too, with more restful sleep with less disturbances at night. Getting out of bed is slightly easier than before too. I know that is mostly mental, but it’s easier for me to get up in the morning, exercise, shower and get breakfast sorted all before I leave at 7am. Now, it’s just a matter of getting a solid workout session in before 6am, which is something I’m working on this spring. Gotta get that summer body!
If you have any form of anxiety or have self confidence or self esteem issues, try pole. It might be intimidating at first, but after a while, you’ll become a whole new person. I had crippling anxiety before pole and now I’m skipping to classes and the most eager to try new moves. It’s created a whole new mental shift for me, and my confidence in life in general has improved. I’m still battling with my feelings of worthiness, often feeling like I’m not good enough after being rejected (which I think might just be normal). But I’m more comfortable with trying new things, new classes and pushing myself now. And I could have never achieved this in a gym. (I personally hate gyms, so dance is a great way for me to stay fit, build strength and get the needed exercise without having to touch disgusting equipment or have your ass stared at by some gross pervert “doing” bicep curls while you’re trying to get them booty gains.)
One last positive note of pole, I’m 100000% more focused than I was before. I was a mess pre-pole; I couldn’t focus, I was depressed, I was uninspired and generally deflated, making me more unproductive and more depressed. Downward freaking spiral. But, I’ve been growing and progressing with pole, which has given me some structure to my life. Outside of my full-time job, currently I have pole and writing. I have written more since I’ve been poling in the last two months, than I have in the entire of 2017, and that’s including the book on chakras that I published last summer. Today alone, I’ve written more than 3500 words, which is more than I’ve written for the entire winter. I’d call that serious progress!
I’ll be updating this blog column with all things pole related, so nutrition, stretches and general progress! And as always, thank you so much for sharing my work and donating where you can. Every contribution helps to keep this site running, and allows me to provide better content for you 🙂