If you know me personally and have seen me since I got back, then you will have heard me give out a weak groan whenever someone asks if I’ve returned to the (pole) studio yet.
I loved pole before I left. I was a fanatic. I was practising 4 – 6hrs a day, sometimes on top of a 6 mile morning run. I was obsessed, and that obsession turned into an 8 month long journey to document other people’s obsession with this sport. But after living, breathing and literally just short of eating pole for breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner, I’m done…at least for now. Save for teaching, I’m on a hiatus. So please allow me to get on my soap box and vent a little:
Firstly, you don’t need upper body strength or ‘know how to be sexy’ to start pole. You’ll get it. It takes time. All you need to have is patience with yourself.
‘You’re not going to go from zero to Natasha Wang in the matter of a few weeks.’
It’ll take months, not weeks, MONTHS to get to a point where you’ll feel completely comfortable. Some shorter, some longer, but no worries either way. Granted, having goals when it comes to fitness is great, but I’ve met too many women who try to do complicated moves that they’ve learned from some youtube video without proper alignment, procedure and practise and hurt themselves.
Yes, it’s your body, your business, but why would you do that to yourself?
Maybe I’m being too American and reserved about what I will spot or teach my students, but I do what I do because I care. Being able to master a move on the first try because you have the proper strength and practice is incredible! Yet trying a move over and over again without the stable practise can be hugely detrimental not only to your spirit, but to your body.
Lastly, as an orthopaedic nurse working with some of the best orthopaedic surgeons in the world (I don’t say that lightly, nor mean to brag), I’ve seen and learnt what our bodies are capable of and of our limits. There’s a fine line between working too hard and pushing yourself to the point of constant injuries that will lead to arthritis and other issues later on in life like joint replacements and then other related issues that you make yourself vulnerable to, like RSD or the number of problems associated with narcotic pain relief–and I’m not talking about addiction. Do you like to be constipated all the time?
My biggest recommendation to all pole dancers out there is to take your time. Be patient. Trust in yourself that you’ll get there, accomplish whatever move or combo you’ve been practising. The time will pass regardless. You’ll make it. What you do now is beautiful because YOU are. You may or may not ever get that move, but in the end, does it really matter?