Shit the bed and call me Barry- it finally happened! After an almost three-month break (13 weeks and 5 days to be precise) I AM BACK ON A POLE! Ever since I saw that X pole UK were shipping again from 12th May, a pole was bought, and my life has regained some semblance of pre-lockdown normality. And fuck me a semblance of pre-lockdown normality was needed.
It’s safe to say there was a strong correlation between the length of time I was apart from a pole and a decline in my mental health. I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m prone to anxiety, and for me, pole dance worked absolute wonders for getting on top of that bastard. From major victories such as entering pole dance competitions in a solo performance, to smaller but equally as important victories like being fully mindful and present in the moment when learning a new move, pole dance has been utterly fabulous throughout the past five and half years for showing anxiety who is the boss bitch around here.
Therefore, it wasn’t surprising really that recently, I’ve had a bit of a blip anxiety wise, but that shall soon be coming to an end – it’s time to launch my excess energy back into hoisting myself around a pole again! My homies over at Silver Cloud Studios are running four online pole classes per week, and this bitch right here is fully committing to attending at least the Spinny and Static pole classes each week. Whilst I want to give my current surplus of excess, anxious energy something to focus on, I don’t want to overload myself and end up burning out from trying to cram in all the online exercise classes under the sun, so I’m starting out with two classes a week in the hope that I shall soon start to feel a bit more like me again.
Now, for those of you who have any level of anxiety or worry about getting back on a pole again, that is perfectly normal. Bloody hell I wrote an entire blog about how anxious I was feeling. However fear not, returning back to pole after a three month break was no where near as scary as I was expecting it to be.
After putting the pole up (which involved much nervous faffing around with the spirit level and quadruple checks that the pole was straight after seeing so many videos of people flying off dodgy, knock off home poles) I embarked on busting out a few, old faithful moves to see what I could still manage to achieve.
First off, hip-hip hooray my strength is still there! After all my worries in said previously mentioned blog I could still Aerial Invert, Shoulder Mount and just about bust out an Ayesha, as you can see from the photo above. For those of you who are concerned about losing any strength over the break, my advice is to take advantage strength and conditioning based exercises if you can. I am convinced that attending my teacher’s off the pole Body Pump and Strength and Conditioning classes in the break stopped my arms fully turning into wet noodles when it came to hopping back on the pole again. Also, let me reassure you that I am in no way an expert or pro-level pole dancer. I’m an intermediate level pole dancer at best, so please don’t think for one second that pre-lockdown I was some sort of advanced level strength beast who had Fonjis and Iron X’s stuffed up her sleeves. Basically, I am no expert and I haven’t regressed massively, so hopefully that thought will give you some hope for when you return to pole.
However, what I had retained in strength holy shit I had lost in pain tolerance. What I discovered during my first (online) class back at pole was that whilst my knee and thigh grips for both outside and inside leg hangs were still very much alive and kicking, fuck me they hurt like hell and my legs were red raw after the class! Also, my teacher Eloise the beast bloody loves an armpit grip too, so my previously soft and unharmed armpits took a mighty battering as well. Naturally as these are online classes I’m not sharing a pole with anyone, so my body got twice the beasting it usually would during a class, as my pole sister Dannis wasn’t with me in person (sob!) to share the pole with. Also, I decided to launch myself right back in head first at the deep end and book onto a spinny pole class as my first class back, so mother of god was I fucking dizzy throughout.
By the time the class had finished I felt like I had gone ten rounds with Anthony Joshua, and it felt bloody fantastic. Yes, spinning around and gripping onto the pole was a massive shock to the system, but it was a shock that kickstarted my heart as Motley Crue would say. Seeing bruises and friction marks make a welcome return to my legs again was just what the doctor ordered. Roll on training twice a week and toughening up the old skin again!