For all of you out there who have hit a right bit of a bastard slump, or even a downward spiral in terms of your pole progression at the moment, this blog is for you. Right now, I am in the exact same boat. My pole dance ability to do anything except shoulder mounts and inverts appears to have fucked off to the moon, and it’s doing my head in.
I do not get it at all. Back in August I felt like I was on fire! My ayesha had returned, I could finally superman after four years of attempts, my jade was getting noticeably flatter and I was smashing my 2020 pole goals left, right and center. However, after going on a break for all 11 days at the start of September whilst I went on holiday, all progress seems to have disappeared like a fart in the wind. My ayesha has vanished (shit I couldn’t even butterfly properly in practice on Sunday), the arsehole superman is once again a difficult arsehole, my jade feels like it’s back to square one and everything just generally has gone to pot.
Are pole breaks a bit like hangovers in that they get worse with age? I swear back in the day I would take a week or two off from pole whilst on holiday and I would come back to little or no regression whatsoever, but now just over a week is enough to have kicked me in the tits progress wise. I mean, yes I did over indulge on the booze front whilst on holiday, but after being stone cold sober for three weeks since returning, you’d think I would be on top form training wise. Obviously not.
At the moment, the real struggle I’m experiencing that’s hampering my progress big time is my absolutely shite grip. I’m assuming that now the autumn is well and truly here it’s the colder weather that’s got a part to play in that. I really struggle to get a good grip on a cold pole, and the second that I get my hands on the bloody thing they appear to turn into a pair of wet salmons. This, coupled with my shiny new pole that needs breaking in, has made all the tricky, arms only moves that I’m trying to conquer (seriously, who even felt the need to invent the ayesha, handspring and sneaky shithouse v?!) feel pretty much impossible. I also swear my grip was better pre-lockdown, however I’ve been back on the pole now since 2nd June, so I think I need to suck it up and admit that I can’t use that one as an excuse.
I’m also thinking that maybe your pole progress can slow down more frequently as you embark along your pole journey, as you’re working on more difficult moves. Gone are the days of working on the good old classics of climbs and attitude spins, now it’s time to defeat the high-level bosses that are way more difficult and in general much harder to conquer. Well, they are for me anyway. Also, unlike the steady old foundation moves, the harder bastards have a tendency to come and go as they please too, which is less than ideal.
One last reason to throw into the hat as to why my pole progression seems to have slowed down slightly is of course the after effects of the pandemic on the pole dance industry. Now we are not sharing a pole in class, I find myself getting much more exhausted and shattered as I’m putting twice as much effort in as I used to in class. Exhaustion is a very real thing, and sadly my body is not a T1000 killing machine that can just keep going and going, this bitch needs her rest days, and maybe pushing myself too hard when training is actually having the opposite effect to what I want.
After chatting to my pole buddies and some lovely people on social media, I’ve came to the conclusion that conquering this current pole slump is going to be a case of mind over matter. I’ve got through the most infuriating of plateaus before and I’ll get through it again. I’m currently training twice a week, so if I keep that up I’ll hopefully be back to my August self in no time at all. As I was wisely told, this is just a bad few practice sessions, not the end of pole dance as we know it. Some days on the pole are shite, some days are incredible, and others are just plain average. Also, I must remind myself that as much as it’s great to have goals to work towards, it’s also important to just enjoy progressing and my pole journey as a whole, it’s not a checklist to tick off every move after all.
If you’re currently in a bit of a pole slump, or have any fab tips for getting out of one, please drop them in the comments below!