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Gumby, I am not.

I’m not flexible. That’s really no secret. I have a hard time with most tricks that require flexibility, and even with some tricks that require ordinary flexibility (i.e. shoulder flexi-ness). I stretch occasionally, but not nearly as often as I ought to. Recently, inspired by some of the polers I follow on Facebook (like www.facebook.com/sparrowhawkaerial), I bought ankle weights to work my middle splits.

Uh. That shit HURTS.

I had my boyfriend take a couple of photos of my stretches tonight, in hopes it can help me track my progress. I also am working on my regular splits, which are varying degrees of meh. My right is bad, but my left has some hope – it’s better than the right, anyway! The warm up that we do in my Monday class with Veronika has opened up my left split a bit more, and it’s definitely made me believe in the possibility of getting that split.

Here’s to deepening splits! Who has great tips for deepened flexibility, splits or otherwise? Would love to hear suggestions!! 🙂

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Mom: A pole dancer to be?

On Saturday, I took my mom to a pole teaser at my studio, and it was so fun! She did really well! She’s always been more into fitness than I ever was – she taught aerobics when I was a kid, and she has remained interested in yoga and pilates over the years. She handled the warm up well, and she was really game to do the pole spins! She did them well, too, especially for her first time! It was awesome! She got to watch me demo at the end, with a few of the other current students (and our instructor, who was Drea) – she’s never seen me do any pole, so it was cool for her to see what I can do. My friend Charlene was also in attendance, which made me so happy! I love it when my friends commit to coming to class. She happened to see a collage I put up of some of my pole pics and asked about how I got into it – I replied with a link and BOOM, she was in the teaser! LOVE THAT! And, of course, I got to see my Pole Sponsee (not really sure what else to call her!), Bonnie, at the workshop – she’s embarked on her journey with pole because I kept sending her not-so-subtle suggestions that she try it. 🙂 It gives me such joy to see her falling in love with the experience, and I’m really looking forward to seeing her as she progresses! Pole can be such a gorgeous and generous means of supporting other women, in addition to the bonding and camaraderie that can occur – it’s wonderful to be a part of that sort of thing!

Every time I see someone from pole, they ask me if I’m ready, how I’m feeling, etc, etc. It’s so sweet that so many people are being supportive. I still have that nagging voice of, “Seriously, what were you thinking? Everybody thinks you’re a fool for doing this competition with where you are at in pole…” No fun. I work on telling it to shut up a lot. 🙂 I went into a class today at the studio that is not my normal class – it’s actually taught by one of my classmates – and it ended up being a semi-private session, because the head count was unusually low. We had so much fun! I got to work out some things in my routine with the help of Mary Grace- we worked on a transition I was stuck on, and I spent some solid time on the spinning pole, working on which tricks are strong for me and which are not. I also worked on the meathook again – that fucker is BRUTAL. We’ve been trying to learn it using one arm on the pole (gripping with the hand) until we’re conditioned to take it to no hand, but my grip doesn’t seem to be strong enough to hold my weight, so I tried it with an armpit grip – I definitely got more of the turn and stomach contact necessary, but holy shit, that is a bastard of a trick. Hurts like nothing I’ve seen in a long while. BUT, I am committed to working on it. There’s a transition I wanted to see if I could do with it, but I don’t think I have time to master it before the competition – however, I still think it’s good to know how to do! I also got in some twisted hand grip practice and worked on various other things, including a new climb style. I love class with MG because she pays a lot of attention to each student and has some great tips – and her opening warm up includes some awesome stretching, especially when she comes around and does some assisted stretching with us – I loooooooooove that (and NEED it!!). I always feel so lucky to have found my studio!

I did a demo of the first 1/3 of my routine (roughly) at the end of class today, and that felt good to work on – I got great feedback, which is lovely! I know there’s a lot of work to go, but I am hoping to nail it out in the next two sessions – class tomorrow night and a private lesson on Tuesday. I got word that 90% of my costume will be in later this week, so that’s excellent – and I am all paid up on hair, make-up, and video/photo bookings for the event itself. I’m really spending on this thing – more than I need to, I’d think – but it’s my first one, and I want to have things go smoothly. I know that I would freak out if I had to do my own hair and makeup beforehand, at that early hour. I can barely do it as it is!

The more I rehearse ideas that were supplied by other people, the more I realize that some things work, but some stuff doesn’t feel organic to me. I’m going more and more toward things that feel organic, which is GOOD. I think it’s a sign of learning to trust my body to lead my brain, if that makes sense.

I’ve prepped my list of things I need to bring with me to the event, and times to remember for the event – I’m a list maker – as well as the stuff I still need to acquire. I’m getting advice from more advanced polers on how to spend this next week, in regards to training, taking care of my body, what to do and what to bring to the event, etc. I appreciate it all so much. 🙂

Later this week, I’ll post some teasers to my routine, if I can get stuff put together! 🙂 In the meantime, here is the collage photo that got Charlene to come to the teaser!

OH! And one more thing: after the workshop, my mom spent a good two hours looking up pole classes near her city, to see if she can take up pole when she gets back!!! CAN I TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!

So, back to the collage that inspired a possible future poler:

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