When I did pole fitness, it was all about timing. Changing from one move to another would involve shifting a hand further down the pole, twisting your body to the right position and making sure your hand or leg didn’t get caught in the process. Everything had to be in sync, because one wrong move and you would find yourself getting very intimate with the crash mat below.
Just like pole, life is all about timing.
When learning a new move in pole, we always took it slow. We would start off by watching the instructor complete the move, and in my case I would watch several times before I would even attempt to try it out. After watching several times, we would then attempt to go into the move. Some people would get it straight away, but for others it would take a bit longer. It’s important to remember that everyone’s journey in life is different, some people may take longer to achieve the same goal but there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their own processes they need to go through in order to feel confident and comfortable when reaching their goal.
It can be easy to compare yourself to others, but everyone has different strengths and you have to work with yours. There were people in my class who were more flexible, so they could contort themselves in positions that I could only dream of. But I was physically stronger so I could do certain things that others were struggling with. Whilst we all have different strengths, we can learn from each other. I asked for stretching exercises to help with my flexibility, and I shared strength exercises to help with their upper body ability. By working together, we were able to help each other reach our own personal goals. It might seem like a dog eat dog world out there, but it doesn’t have to be. We can strive to help each other along the way.
There would be times during a class that I felt so close to perfecting a move, and I would get frustrated when I fell short. I realised that pole, like most things, takes perseverance. It was okay that I was not perfecting moves straight away, but I had to get back up and try again. If I gave up, I would only be more frustrated with myself further down the line. Always wondering what if, what if I had kept trying, perhaps things would have turned out differently. The timing of your plans may not have been great the first time round, but you learn from each experience and you know what to do next time to make it work! Each time I fell short, I took stock of what I needed to work on to make sure that the next time I would be better.
I also had someone spot me whilst I was trying out the moves for the first few times until I felt comfortable enough to do it on my own. My spotter was there to support me. They could see things that I couldn’t (especially when I was upside down), and because of that they could give me advice from a different perspective. My spotter was also there (to an extent) to lessen the blow if I did fall from the pole. This goes back to one of my earlier blog posts about the importance of a support network. Having a great support network can help you reach your goals, and of course support you during any obstacles you might face.
Even when I managed to complete a move with relative ease, I didn’t stop there. We would always do conditioning exercises to strengthen parts of the body that we used excessively in class; core, arm strength, climbing etc. This would make transitioning into the moves easier, it would increase our strength and flexibility and continued practice would also help us to complete more complex variations of a move. Your journey is not over just because you’ve reached a goal, you can always be better and do better. Stay on top of your game by continually growing and exercising the skills you used to reach that goal.
A move that might seem impossible can be achievable. Persevering through difficult times, and not giving up is how you will reach your goal. When I started pole I could barely do anything, but with time and perseverance I got better.