When I first contemplated pole, in my head it was a space for thin people. People who had danced before, could do incredible feats and only wore size 6 clothing. Oh dear lord how wrong I was.
I started Pole in September as part of a bid to get fit. I was dangerously overweight, unfit and unhappy. The thought of showing up to a room full of strangers in my underwear was inconceivable, the fear of judgment and embarrassment was prevalent and the possibility of even doing a single climb up the pole was impossible to me.
During my first taster I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin I wanted to cry. It felt like everyone was miles ahead of me even though we were all beginners, I felt too fat to occupy that space and even my obsession with Roz The Diva a fat pole instructor couldn’t help my embarrassment over my body. I am not mentioning my discomfort with my body to self flagellate or elicit pity, I talk about it because that is one of the biggest fears people raise when I encourage them to come to Pole, “am I not too fat?” Pole is for everyone. Body shape, ability, skin colour, religion, we can all learn something from pole.
Over the last 7 months I’ve learned a lot about how far I can push my body. I have learned to push through bruises, they’re as painful as you let them be, I’ve learned to push through embarrassment, everyone falls over, everyone makes mistakes or doesn’t get moves eventually and that is okay and part of the process.
One of the best things about Pole is it’s unlike anything you have ever done before so everyone is a beginner in different areas. Laugh at your mistakes! Falling over in Pole can be really funny, everything is sweaty, you pull funny faces from concentrating, sometimes you fart! Everyone does it, own it!
Pole doesn’t have to be “sexy” it can just be fun! Pole for me is about pushing myself physically to new feats. If you had told me 7 months ago I would be able to invert without help I would have laughed in your face, the idea of me tipping my body weight upside down would have been inconceivable, but after training hard, really hard, I can. Pole is about learning from your mistakes and building yourself up.
You don’t have to love it all the time. Pole can SUCK! You leave every class aching, probably with 6 fresh new bruises. The amount of people who have asked in all seriousness what I’ve been hit by because of my legs is far too many. But there’s something addictive about the successes, about nailing that new move, about not breaking your nose in the newest horrifying move.
Pole is about empowerment, it is a sport that is focused on artistry, creativity and incredible feats. It definitely is unlike anything you have tried before. Pole teaches you to push yourself further than you have ever pushed your body before, it can make you incredibly scared. But at the end of the day, we do it because we love it.
I hope to see many of you at the PoleSoc taster in September because despite all the pain, it is definitely worth it.