Blog 14 What an Amazing Class!

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I have just come out of the most amazing pole class. To be more accurate it was an amazing couple of classes but to think that I nearly missed one of them is staggering.

Lets start at the beginning. I have been struggling for some time now to juggle my love of Crossfit with my love of Pole. On Saturday morning the struggle is the worst because Saturday Crossfit is a brilliant one and Saturday Pole at Sky High is also brilliant so apart from splitting myself in two you can see my dilemma.

What I have come up with is, I go to the earlier lighter class of gym which is a compromise because the later one is legendary. However if I go to the earlier one I have enough time to get my tush over to Sky High for their stretch and intermediate class which is also legendary.

As you can imagine I’m a little pooped by the time I get there. I am trying particularly yucky protein drinks, (is there a way to dissolve the powder completely? Because if there is that method has evaded me). Anyhoo the protein drinks are supposed to give me more stamina and help me recover quicker. If I notice a difference I’ll let you know.

I had time for a nap and a snack before Pole stretch but I could already see that they had been doing cool stuff in Pole beginners and a wave of FOMO washed over me. However I told myself to suck it up and get ready for stretch class.

Now one of the majorly cool things about this stretch class is that we look at how we can progress. So I’ve had my splits for a while. Pole has shown me how to straighten them up but I got an additional gift today. Today I did an extended stretch by putting my foot on a block and I’ve been wanting to try that for a while and then because it didn’t feel too bad I tried two blocks and huzzah Trishy new split challenge. That alone made my day. But wait there’s more…..

The stretch class ended and disaster struck. I leave home at dawn for gym and I had forgotten to pack pole shorts. Now I could have bought some more but I am trying to be better with my money and I thought now think Trishy.

Giang the teacher loaned me a pair of hers which were super cute but good golly I’m not ready for that amount of exposure yet. Still I actually tried them on and saw me in them so that was a progress move. I ended up wearing my big enoromous floofy gym shorts and that’s when disaster struck for the second time.

I had picked a position right up front in class so it was pretty much me in the corner with that bloody great mirror that takes up the whole wall. Usually that mirror and I have a wow of a time. In other classes when I position myself a couple of rows back I stand there and admire my muscles but up close and personal like we were today it was like it was a magnifying glass. An attack of the flabs assailed me in my big floofy shorts and I thought oh go home, what are you doing here.

I’ve done a couple of brave things in my life and this was one of them. I said suck it up Trishy, you know you love Giang’s classes, you are here, you will stay here no-one cares about your big floofy shorts or your big flabby belly but my god it was hard.

Now Stephanie and Cody were in the class and those girls were gorgeous. Trish try this, Trish give this a go. Total inclusion, total Trish you’re one of us, it was lovely. Whoever has raised those girls have created beautiful human beings.

So I’m proud I held my ground I will probably burn all my large floofy shorts now but something big happened, something very very big that made me enormously glad that my floofy shorts and I stayed. This blog was going to be about how I have decided to commemorate one year of Crossfit but something big happened…….

So there I was in class. It was an inters ½ class and all the good people were there so this usually means I try to stay out of the way and just do what I can. It’s cool, there are classes when there are just a couple of people and then I can say show me this show me that etc. Giang is a real sweety and she still manages to give me plenty of time.

Anyhoo there we were in class and I knew I needed my Extended Butterfly to be able to do the Ayesha and then my friends the next step is the Iron X. I want the Iron X like Gollum wanted his ring, possibly more so. So my plan for this lesson had been, shut up, keep quiet, pick up what you can, but Giang says “Who wants to learn the Ayesha?”. She may as well have taken the ring out of her pocket and shown me. Stuff keep quiet, my hand shot up before I knew what it was doing and I yelled MEEEE.

Giang says Do you have your Extended Butterfly?. Yes I said, lieing through my back teeth. I don’t know why I did that I just want the Iron X so badly. Giang, clever little thing that she is, is not easily fooled and says “Show me”. I figured this is your chance Trishy do or die, how hard can it be. I’m amazed I didn’t bend the pole. I socked one leg up there, I chucked the other leg next to it. I’m talking to myself while I do it. You put an arm there and then you bring that leg down and it was ok. Nothing special. Giang says can you extend it because I had just done a regular one. I tried and I succeeded but I needed Giang to say turn your chest and your head must point downwards. So I was disappointed that I couldn’t do it on my own but I thought hey Trishy you gave it a red hot go and you will practice and you will get it. So off Giang went to help Cody with her Ayesha and it looked awful pretty.

So there I was sucking it up, being a good sport and a respectful student thinking ok I can see the progression work on your Extended Butterfly and then Giang comes back and she says do you want a spot. I think this is very nice and she is going to spot me the Extended Butterfly. So off we go and then she says put your legs here, bring your but to me and ……. now….. reader prepare yourself…. make sure you are sitting down while you read this, OMG – WE DID THE AYESHA!!!!!! I nearly died. Giang showed me a cool way to get down afterwards and I had a smile as wide as a mile. Oh my giddy god I was so grateful I and my floofy shorts had stayed for that lesson and you know what? The move felt ok, I think I have the strength to do it. I barely gave a rats tush what happened after that. For the remaining minutes of the lesson it was just me and the Ayesha and in the distance I could see just gently glowing my Iron X. She’s out there waiting for me.

The only thing that brought me back to the real world and Giang had shown us Suicides into Supermans in the meantime and even that wasn’t enough to distract me from my high. She has gone and introduced a lovely thing back to our class. When Stacey was our instructor she used to give us unstructured time on the pole and my soul loved that. Well Giang has brought it back and I love it. I don’t care if I have the grace of a Clydesdale in wellington boots I just love it. My soul loves it. So what a morning hey I came home exhausted.

Thank you Universe for providing my pole studio, my teachers and my fellow students and gym buddies who I love to bits.

 

 

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Blog 13 Fitness is Kicking My Tush

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I haven’t talked about Sky High Pole and Fitness’ Vital Force class yet so there’s no time like the present. I go to the Monday one and then I do the inters class and I have yet to have enough energy to do the dance class that follows it.

I’ve started trying protein shakes to see if that will help with some stamina. The thing is you would think the class would get easier as you progress but Emily, little energiser bunny that she is, is making the exercises harder.

Monday night bloody killed me and I keep chanting to myself, if you want the Iron X you need to do this so stop whinging and do it. I am getting hella strong so I guess it’s working but my goodness I am going to have earned that Iron X when it arrives. I can do five chin ups now with totally extended arms and I’ve never had that many chin ups. I got as far as four before I had to go and have surgery but I remember getting my first and second and what a big deal that was for me so five is huge and my goal is twelve. So that was Monday and I was pretty well stuffed for the whole of Tuesday.

Friday night I did a little bubby beginners class and then Sarah’s floor and combo class and my butt was truly kicked. I got up Saturday morning and I had the shakes. I ended up feeding the animals and then going back to bed for a half hour to see if that would help. Now I’ve missed gym and I love Saturday gym so what have I learned from this?

I have three fitness loves, I love running, gym and pole. From now on if I want to be able to do everything, I will do one lesson of pole at a time, schedule the run in first and get it out of the way because too often you run out of time (ooh accidental pun) or run out of energy (ooh more deliberate pun) by the end of the day. I don’t know if this shaky horrible feeling is a by product of fitness, is it a result of my being ill previously, is it an age thing? I used to run marathons and while my body hurt all the time while I was training for marathons, my fitness was ridiculous. I would like that back please Universe.

I’ve sent a facebook post off asking for advice so we shall see. I feel very sad that all my gym mates are at the gym having a fabulous time and I am here sitting at my desk typing. Oh well suck it up Trishy. The advice came back, its rest and eat properly. I do wish I could just take a magic pill and kapow my energy is restored, maybe like Roger Ramjet and maybe like amphetamines.

I’ve spent my convalescence time coming up with a new schedule and I have managed to wrangle 7 runs throughout the week, 6 gym visits and 4 pole visits and if I ever get some stamina back those pole visits could become double lessons. I am very sad to be missing Saturday pole but I don’t think I could drive today I am completely wiped out. In all fairness Sarah’s floor and combo class Friday was fast and strong. The routine had all of these cool fan kicks and choppers and changing sides on the pole. I was holding my own, maybe doing one floor leg thingy to their three but she lost me on the backward shoulder roll. I thought bloody hell I would need a whole lesson just to learn that. I did wonder if maybe this was something that was beyond me but Sarah offered to spend some time on it in next week’s class so I could at least try it. I just don’t want to hurt my shoulder like I have done previously in gymnastics. I did my AC joint on the Wednesday before a Sunday Ultramarathon and that marathon was miserable as a result. It also took ages for the shoulder to heal so I am nervous about hurting it again. Mind you if I can do the flippin Superman and the Dive maybe I have a shoulder roll in me. I can but give it a whirl.

I’m going to use this latest crash as a learning experience. If I want to do Saturday pole then I will do one lesson of pole on a Friday. Split up gym and pole to give myself some recovery time and of course run first. If all else fails run first. I did a park run at Carisbrooke this morning and it was just Heaven. The facebook reminder came in and I thought yeah I’ve got time. I threw breakfast at the dogs and cats and the horse and donkey. Told them Mama’s going out and I arrived just as the runners were heading off. Me and this other guy leaped out of our cars and went running after them. It was a beautiful run and you go faster when you run with others.

This hasn’t been the usual I’m kicking ass type of blog but I think it’s important to share all aspects of fitness not just the highlights. I will be doing fitness until the day I die and I need to manage my interests so that I can do all that I want to do and try and avoid these crashes.

Thank you Universe for providing my gym, my pole studio, running, my trainers and my fellow students and gym buddies who I love to bits.

Blog 12 I Got The Friggin Dive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Pole Log – Monday night –Inters is starting to make sense. After weeks of having no bloody idea of what was going on I am starting to piece things together. I have discovered that there are moves that are quite difficult for me and there are moves that aren’t a problem at all. I can work on the difficult ones and I can say thank you Universe for the ones I like.

Monday night showed me that I can still do the Superman both sides – Huzzah. I still got my Star Gazer – cheers for that Pole God. I seriously need to work on my ability to bend backwards because I’m not gazing that much in the Star Gazer.

I did a Jasmine, I just upped and did it – Shazzam people. I still can’t do a poxy Dive or a Leg Hang but I still got my Butterfly even if it is a little caterpillar like some days.

I was so happy about the Jasmine, brand new move thank you very much.

Emily the teacher, I love Emily, she says do the move to your level and that’s brilliant. So beginners do a little, more advanced people bend more or link moves or do it aerially, nobody feels like they are being left out. It’s a great studio with great teachers have I mentioned that?

Friday night was ridiculous. It was the most amazing pole class. I had my nana nap so I actually stayed awake during it. We had two students in the class so lottttttts of attention given to yours truly. And Sarah my beautiful trainer says what do you want to work on? Anything giving you trouble? I says Sarah I can’t do the Dive it’s a head fuck. She says rightyo and improves my Dive. Anything else she says. I say well I can’t do a leg hang I can’t lift myself up and I can’t get my leg to go all the way over. So she fixes that up – both sides thank you very much. Then she says what about your Superman? Oh I say I have my Superman. Aerially? she says. By this point I think hey bring it. So up I go and I’m doing a bloody leg hang up there and going into an aerial Superman and I’m thinking this is it, My head will explode………. Thank you Sarah, thank you Sky High Pole and Fitness I am seriously seriously chuffed like seriously.

Sarah did this really cool exercise where she said climb and use mainly your legs to see if that will get me trusting my legs more in that bloody Dive. Did you know that climbing with primarily your legs is heaps easier than climbing with primarily your arms – who knew?

A big shout out to Sarah’s hairdresser. Sarah’s hair is a coat of many colours and it is gorgeous. I counted blue purple and pink before she moved her head and all the colours seemed to merge into each other, it was mesmerising.

On Saturday my pole path to Paradise continued. Now Giang was the instructor and I was keen to impress her. This time I had had a gym session first, no nana nap and hadn’t been game to risk eating first because of my treacherous stomach. I was tired and hungry and I had an hours worth of stretch class before our inters class.

I pretty much snoozed through stretch. I can do that. I get in the position required, shut my eyes and take a micro nap until someone talks to me. Giang always gives us plenty of time in the stretches so you really feel like you have just been pulled apart by the time you’ve finished. There’s nothing worse than getting into the stretch and then the instructor is saying change sides and you think hang on, a minute or two more and I would have this puppy!

The stretch class went very quickly and I was quite concerned that I had imagined everything that had happened on Friday. I told Giang all about it and she had seen my big braggy facebook posts but as we all know talk is cheap and deeds are gold.

I think Giang asked us to do a leg hang both sides and I wondered if I still had it. Well bugger me if I did not get up and just get my leg hang first go. Giang wasn’t even surprised. I nearly fell off the pole. So Leg hang I did, both sides, even using my gosh darned pocket first with a spot then without a spot, both sides and we were away.

Giang asked us was there anything we wanted to work on and I said my goal was to get the Iron x. I said I know the Ayesha is the transition move to getting it but is there a move before the Ayesha and she said yes Butterfly and extended Butterfly. Amelia was in the class and we said sure we’ll have a little of that thanks.

So we were Butterflying away and I think we even did a little Extended Butterfly today I mean we were on Fire! Amelia and I are saying oh that frigging Dive because for the very first bit of the Butterfly your legs are in a Dive position and Giang said well why don’t you challenge yourselves and do the Dive now. Inside I’m screaming Not the Dive Giang; Don’t make us do the Dive, but outside I’m saying yes of course that’s a great idea.

Now Scarlett had posted earlier about how if you are scared of doing something you do it over and over again until you’re not scared. I knew then when I read that post that I had to do the Dive over and over again. Emily had shown me how not to die when you come out of it. Sarah had said stop relying on your arms trust your legs. Giang had said your arms are doing nothing in this position it’s your legs. So all of these people who I totally respected had each given me a link in the chain to getting this frigging move.

I went up, I got in the position, I felt totally unsafe but I was able to take my hands off for a second and then put my hands down and walk out of it. I went up again I felt less unsafe, I was able to take my hands off and then I was able to put my hands down and walk out of it. I went up again I let go of my arms I felt myself slipping down a little until my skin caught and then I was there, I had it. Not pretty, scared as shit, but I had it and I did it again for a picture. I had the Dive. Can you possibly imagine how good it feels to get a move that you are fucking terrified of? It was better than sex.

We did stuff afterwards but it was all a bit of a blur. I got myself home and I was exhausted. The Universe had given me a great big fat gift and I was so frigging grateful.

I actually felt like a poler in this lesson. I actually felt like a real contributing student not some big gormless character who could do very little. I cannot tell you how beautiful that feeling was.

There is a very real possibility now that I might get a Jade split and my beautiful beautiful Iron X. Pole will change your life people it is an amazing art form.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

 

Blog 11 An Interesting Week

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I had to scrap the exotic dance class there’s just not enough of me to go round and attend everything that is on offer. I’m starting to feel like Bilbo using the ring too much, “I’m getting thin like butter stretched over too much bread”. The good news is that I can use my kick ass boots in my studios combo class if I can manage to do a class without damaging myself but that happened later in the week.

So what was so interesting about my week? It was a week of revelation, introspection and just generally sucking it up.

I don’t often mention Crossfit in my blogs but Crossfit featured heavily this week. I go to a brilliant gym in Elizabeth (Crossfit Northern Adelaide – yes shameless plug) and I have made great friends there. The coaches are funny and we have these really good conversations that I love. Now at the gym we have been doing an eight week challenge where you work on your sleep, your nutrition, your water consumption and your fitness and I my friends was quietly confident that I was going to do well.

In the eight weeks; I attended gym quite a bit, I drank lots more water than I had done previously, maybe a glass or two a day. I thought about getting more sleep and managed it occasionally. I TURNED DOWN two invites to a milkshake shop which I really wanted to try, I’m positive, almost positive that I ate less biscuits and donuts and chocolate bars than I would have normally. I’m currently on a vegan diet so all of those foods I have managed to find vegan alternatives – pretty cool hey? Oreos! Who knew? So at the start of the challenge we did this fitness test and a body scan and then we were going to finish with a fitness test and a body scan at the end.

This was the week we had the final fitness test and the body scan. I knew I was in trouble going in to the fitness test. I had a nana nap before going to gym, I thought about my clothes so that I would be comfortable and not get too hot. I kept my attitude positive but I knew I was in trouble when I was puffing on the first round. Now in all fairness I improved on the test but not by as much as I was hoping and that was a great big dose of suck it up Trishy. I rallied, next fitness test I’m going to practice in the eight weeks not just do one at the start and one at the finish, there I thought, that will fix that. I’m already working on the Christmas challenge.

So the Universe had done me foul on the fitness test, she was going to come good on the body scan. I had only one breakfast instead of my usual two and arrived for my scan famished. The scan happened, I had a chocolate bar salted away for the celebration that I knew was coming and I was flabbergasted with the results. The only good thing about the results was that I got to use the word flabbergasted which I really like. In eight weeks I had managed to lower my muscle content and increase my body fat. I had lost a kilo in weight (that’s probably due to no milkshake shop) but I have to say Trishy was not a happy camper.

The problem is I am a slow and steady person who likes to eat, this makes fitness and movement, problematical. I don’t care. I’m coming back. I’m going to do another body scan in eight weeks and the results are going to be much much different. One of the women at the gym said we should put FAF (Fit as Fuck) on our shirts and that cheered me up. I’m going to do that. One of the coaches reminded me that in the eight weeks I had increased the amount I was able to lift and that cheered me up too. We did have a ball during the challenge, the highlight for me was a workout with our dogs and I and my dogs had a great time that day. There was a film night WITH pizza which I didn’t attend mostly because I can’t stay up late but mainly because I thought oh no I won’t eat pizza in the eight weeks, look at how well that turned out?

Something that I really love about Crossfit is that it teaches you mental strength. We do these workouts which are awful sometimes and you think there’s no flipping way I can do this. Crossfit teaches you that you start, you do the first bit then the next bit and you keep moving until the job is done. I actually use that philosophy in a lot of activities outside of Crossfit.

Allrighty on to pole. To try and juggle work demands, going to gym, family and pole I have cut pole back to Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. TWO (I’m using caps a lot this blog) but TWO people have said they could see my abs and this made me very happy both times it was said. I may not be able to do well in a challenge but I have abs and that is absolutely wonderful and if you had the stomach for it I could throw down a lot more ab puns because puns are the core of my humour.

I went to a beginner class run by Giang and it was a hoot and a half. If there is a spot free I go to the beginner classes because it helps you polish up some of your moves. For instance this week Giang said climb with your toes pointed and I have never thought about doing that. I’m usually grateful just to be able to climb up there. Anyhoo I went to this class and two women were first timers and two had had one lesson before this one. What this meant was that Giang said spin round the pole, spin they did and giggled. She said spin backwards and spin they did and giggled. Everything was a giggle or hysterical laughter. You couldn’t help but have a good time. I got to practise my pirouettes (I think that’s what they are called) and my pirouettes are a thing of great ugliness so I was grateful for some catch up time on them.

I tried my first inters floor and combo dance class next. The good news is that I now know I can wear my boots to this class if I want to. The bad news is that Rhianna sings faster than I can dance. I tried getting around this pole before she said the word Desperado and something pinged in my shoulder, I tried again, the shoulder pinged again and I thought bail out Trishy, save yourself. I’ll be back next week.

Saturday was stretch and I got to stretch out my poor injured wing. I skipped gym because my shoulder was sore and I was shitty about the body scan test. So I was pretty pumped for stretch. I learnt a cool way to prepare for the jade spilt and we did thirty, hang on, THIRTY! ok now keep reading, reps for our leg swings, forward, side and back. I thought I’ll be here all day doing this. The stretch class is awesome though and my shoulder felt less pingy.

Next was the inters class and I’m going to come out and say I am improving. Now please remember I started with not being able to do too much at all but this week I felt like I was doing more, it was really cool. I’m still crap at it but I can do more moves before getting exhausted and I’m starting to string things together so Huzzah Trishy! Something a bit interesting happened which I want to share.

I’ve been trying to do the dive and this move is just not happening. I can do the legs but I don’t feel secure. I hang on for grim death with my hands and I fall and land on my head. I get almost shitty with the instructors when they say you’re secure let go and I say back I”M NOT. Giang said something to me which has made me think about what I am doing. I’m paraphrasing but she said something like, “you are upside down holding on with your legs, I am not doing anything. You holding on with your hands is not doing anything in that position”. So I’ve got it into my head that my hands are what is keeping me on but in fact they could be what is stuffing up the move. I need to trust that my legs are doing their job. Bloody hell Pole can be scary.

We did many wonderful things in this class. We did The Suicide spin, I can’t do it but I loved it. I started the Jade Split ooh and I started an aerial Jamilla. One of the highlights from the class was that I did a Butterfly and I love that move. I still don’t understand how it works but I love the way you’re on the pole and then you extend out, it’s very cool.

Thank you Universe for Crossfit and Pole, these instructors and trainers and my fellow students who I love to bits.