Guess who hasn’t been anywhere near the wonderful, pain inducing chrome goodness of a pole since THE FUCKING 12TH OF MARCH?! Me that’s who! Shocking I know, but my last pole class pre-lockdown did indeed take place over two months ago – and due to not having a home pole up and running (yet) I’ve not had sight nor sniff of a Gemini, Extended Butterfly or my beloved Cross Knee Release since that class. Yes, I am getting chronic withdrawal symptoms, as I’m sure my fellow folks without a home pole are experiencing too.
Now, whilst I have been stretching on the regular since 23rd March, I am the first to admit that any solid, full arsed (as opposed to my half arsed chin up efforts) on the strength training front have been very few and far between. I promised back in this earlier blog that I would have daily strength competitions with my husband, and unfortunately we fucked that as we forgot all about those like a pair of utter wallies. It’s pretty safe to say that whilst my flexibility game has been massively upped lately, my strength has fallen by the wayside. Well, it had until Thursday 14 May.
Enter Eloise Comer.
The absolute tank in the photo above is my pole teacher Eloise, and I’m pretty certain this utter tour de force of a woman could deadlift an entire house, full of furniture, with a family of four inside. What she doesn’t know about strength training you could write on a grain of protein powder, no joke.
Thankfully, the mighty Eloise has come to my feeble aid and has started running weekly Strength and Conditioning classes at my virtual second home during the lockdown Silver Cloud studios. Now naively, when these classes were first advertised, I practically jumped for joy. Finally, for those of us who don’t have a home pole, we had a solution to get that all important muscle building madness in. Signing up as soon as I could like a mad fucker, I eagerly stuck on my pole gear and trainers ready to begin the strength building mission once again, ensuring that I’ll be fit and ready to go by the time my home pole arrives.
Shit the bed the class nearly killed me.
Eloise subjected us to an hour of an absolute beasting like I have never experienced before. I thought the high energy, squatty and stretchy aerobics at the start was sufficient enough, but it turns out that was just the warm up! In the first class (yes, I have been mad enough to go back since, I’ll get on to that point later) Eloise had us doing two sets of exercises, for a minute at a time for three minutes in total. Naturally, each section was specifically dedicated to either your upper body, legs, abs or active flexibility (aka passive flexibility’s evil big sister). I fully committed to as much of this madness as I could and boy was I aching the next day- it is not natural for me, with arms like wet noodles to be shoulder pressing my hefty dining room chairs over my head!
Now, because this class, all be it as hard as it is, got my endorphins flying through the roof and boosted my mood no end, I decided to stop being a wet flannel, suck it up and book on again for round two the following Thursday. That class was another beasting of unfathomable proportions, as Eloise had devised an exercise that I’ll refer to as the pyramids of doom (lol, that sounds like a ride at Disneyland). The pyramids of doom consisted of doing six different exercises , one for 10 seconds, then another for 20, another for 30, another for 40 and so on leading up to doing an exercise for a full minute, again with each set for the lower body, upper body and abs. Fuck me I was a crumpled, sweating heap on the floor by the time I had climbed those three bastard pyramids I can tell you! My abs were on fire and my legs felt like hefty lead lumps by the time the hour of doom was over.
So, have I signed up for week three of the strength building torture? You bet your arse I have. Despite the pain, sweating and screeching throughout the class like, it has done wonders for my mental health. Over the past week I had entered a bit of a lockdown funk, and struggled with motivation, low mood and being irritable as fuck. Thanks to Eloise’s hours of power on a Thursday night, I’m starting to feel a bit more like my old self. Hell, one of my class mates Claire and I were even Whatsapping saying how buzzing we felt post class.
As well as the mental health boost, there’s the old classic “no pain no gain”, and I fully consent to putting myself through an hours torture per week all in the name of developing enough strength to throw a tank. See you on Thursday Eloise, I am ready for another beasting!