I would like to dedicate this dinky little blog to all my fellow pole tortoises out there. Now, before you all start wondering what the fuck I’ve been smoking, hear me out. A pole tortoise is a pole dancer who, with great determination, plods along to every pole class and practice session ready to learn and bust out new tricks and combos like a boss. The problem is however that for us tortoises, it takes us a bit longer to master the tricks that our buddies appear to have instantly got the hang of. And this my friends gets on our hard, tortoise tits. I mean, my next level procrastination skills probably don’t aide me in my pole tortoising, but we’ll just let that slide for now.
Do not be fooled, being a pole tortoise doesn’t make you any less of a badass than a pole hare. Fuck it, our sheer will and grit to keep on grinding and eventually smashing tricks and combos gives us tortoise folk a huge sense of pride and achievement when we do eventually get there. It can just be bloody frustrating and often downright disheartening when it’s taking your tortoisey self a good seven attempts to master a move that your pals nailed after three. Also the tortoise status isn’t just limited to pole manoeuvres. Oh hell no. Said tortoising also manages to creep its way into your flexibility training too. Whatever flexibility goals you have, be they the splits of any kind, a well formed bridge etc, it’s going to take you what feels like an entire fucking lifetime to get there. Oh its hoot being a pole tortoise I can tell you!
It’s always nicer having a pole buddy in tortoise land with you. My pole sister Dani and I are both proud tortoises together, wearing our hardened shells with pride (which we fucking need for the amount of times we accidentally tumble out of tricks). Whilst we gawp in amazement at our class mates busting out perfect climb overs and leg switches at the top of the pole as part of their warm ups, we are throwing our own personal celebration at our pole if one of use manages a strong air invert. It’s an easily pleased life being a pole tortoise.
But most importantly, us pole tortoises must remember that it’s 10/10 legit fine to be a pole tortoise because pole dance isn’t a race! I know I’m stating the obvious here but we really do have all the time in the world when it comes to achieving our pole goals. So what if it takes you 20 years to achieve a perfect Allegra? Your legs aren’t going to drop off nor are you going to combust if you don’t achieve your specific pole aspirations by a set date. Fuck it, I haven’t achieved all my pole goals for 2018, but I’m not (I fucking hope at least) going to be shunned from the pole community like some sort of shame ridden failure. None of us are! Basically what I’m trying to say is if you’re a pole tortoise, rock your shell with pride and keep at it, slow and steady wins the race!
Thanky you!!! I always thought I was the only pole turtoise on earth and now I know, I’m not alone. There are other pole turtoises out there! Sometimes it can be frustrating to see all the others doing amazing jawdropping things, when they’ve only been poling for half as long as you have.
Beautiful post!!! Thanks for writing this.
I used to get very frustrated and discouraged. Like Becci says, when someone has been poling for half as long as you – or when someone starts your level and within weeks is already moving on to the next level class – it is amazing but also envious. It’s something I’m still working on but I’m a LOT better at being okay with my pole tortoise status. Posts like this help too. :o)
My pole idol and instructor reminded me that many of the people who are progressing quickly have a background in fitness, dance, gymnastics and/or are training more often than I am. That helped put things in perspective but of course some people are also just fast learners too!
You make an excellent point about pole not going anywhere. I hear people say “it’s not a race” but in the sense of “I want to _catch up_ to my friend and be in her class” or “I want to compete but I can’t until I get XYZ trick” it can easily feel like a race. However, I’ve never heard someone remind us that “you have all the time in the world – your legs will still exist – who cares if it takes you 20 years?!?” And that you won’t be shunned – if anything, people should be celebrating alongside you even more because they know how hard you struggled! Good reminders all.
I wish I had a pole tortoise friend. I love my studio but I still don’t always feel like I’ve found my pole fam, you know? Glad you have. 🙂
Thank you for this! I am definitely a pole tortoise, and sometimes feel like I’m surrounded by pole hares 🙂 It is so nice to know I’m not the only one. The only thing I would say is that for me, being in my forties, time sometimes does feel limited in that I don’t know if I still have the health and stamina to do this in 20 years’ time. I certainly hope so, and will do my best to go as long as I possibly can, but it does make one feel that there is only so much time left to reach my pole goals, and it can make it doubly frustrating when reaching them takes so long. But at least the journey is a lot of fun!