Blog 9 It’s Starting To Come Together

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Friday night rolled around. I had eaten a good pole enabling dinner, I’d had my nanna nap. I was armed with a positive go to attitude, pole would be mine.

We got up to the dive part of the class and I actually slumped. I thought oh here we go let’s go and do this thing I cannot do. Now the funny thing is there is a girl in the class who loves dives and she’s great at them and just her sheer joy at doing them kind of motivated and inspired me a bit. It was like my mind, which had been saying oh no Trishy not the dive, was now saying, well she looks like she’s having a lot of fun there Tricia how about you give it a go?

So I gave it a go and I didn’t get it but I got further than I had previously and I thought hang on a minute. The first time I tried to dive I pulled a muscle in my calf just trying to get up there. After a couple of weeks I could get up and couldn’t figure out the feet part. A couple more weeks I got the feet now I was working on the knees. I got the knees and then I had to figure out how to get my body in front of the pole. I did that and last night I was working on how to get out of the dive without crumpling and hurting myself. All of a sudden when I was working my way to the front of the pole and when I was slowly coming down not just crashing I realised that I was thinking about what I was doing not just saying, “Sarah help me I can’t do it”, Sarah is our instructor who can do Iron X push ups. I want to be like Sarah when I grow up.

So last night showed me that I am progressing, I am getting stronger and I am able to think about the moves and work on them. Slowly for sure but that’s ok as long as I am moving forward. Going from the hang and pushing myself out with my arms I thought was very cool indeed. It made me see possibilities for my pole future.

Stretch on Saturday was brilliant. I come there straight from gym so I am all stiff and twisted up and it’s agony for the first ten minutes or so until I unkink, then it’s so relaxing I can hardly stay awake. I can see all sorts of possibilities for me stretch wise in this class and it’s going to be interesting to see how far my body can take me. Already I can see improvement in my splits and my back bends, it’s all kinds of cool.

I was all kinds of rubbish in the following inters class but I get so mellow and relaxed from the stretch class it’s hard to fire up for the next class. I got to see Giang do some seriously cool stuff and it was like, stick with me kids and one day you will be able to do this too. Every week I go to pole I see the instructors doing new things and I think oh I want to be able to do that and that and that. Giang was doing these kicks and it just looked fantastic. I don’t know if I will ever get to that stage but I aim to find out.

I’ve signed up for some new stuff at the studio with the idea of taking myself out of my comfort zone and seeing what I can do. I’ve never been very comfortable in my own skin and pole is very good for working on that. So I have signed up for an exotic dance class. Oh my gawd!!!!! There will be shoes and I am very excited. Step one – get the shoes, step two learn how to move in the shoes, step three don’t trip and do an ankle. Step four if I do trip and do an ankle don’t tell anyone how I did it. Can Pole make this Clydesdale into anything resembling a show pony? Just how magical can pole be? Stay tuned to this bat channel to find out. This week’s picture is courtesy of Pleasers.

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

Blog 8 There’s a Clydesdale in the China Shop

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The most important piece of information for this blog at least important to me is that my pole studio, my happy place, my place that I did not think could get any better – has plovers. I am seriously nuts about plovers. I was minding my own business getting to class and what do I see on the grassy verge out the front but plovers. But wait there’s more. First I see the plovers doing their cool distraction thing when a family walked past and I thought in my plover knowing way oh they must have eggs, but when I went back to take their picture after class what did I see? I saw a BABY PLOVER!!!! I nearly died.  I love plovers and after kookaburras they are pretty much my totem bird. I wish them all the best with rearing their baby. My photo won’t upload so the photo with this blog is one I got off the internet, the plovers I saw only have one baby. The plovers have chosen such a busy spot to have their babies but that is the way of the plover, inscrutable to many.

Now the reason for today’s blog is, I was standing at the back of the class in inters trying to hide and not succeeding much. I caught my image in the mirror in front and the image of my fellow students and the thought that came to me was – I am a Clydesdale in a china shop. This isn’t a new thought I used to have it when I did belly dancing and I used to clip clop around the studio. I had a ball but there was very little grace there. I have long accepted my clydesdaleishness so that isn’t a cause for distress, although I constantly worry about breaking the tiny little instructors. What it got me to thinking of was – what is the expectation of the trainers for the students?

There is very little I can do in the inters class. At the moment I can do choppers and I can do the strength and conditioning exercises and that my friends is it. What I have noticed Giang and Sarah do, (they’re currently have the task of teaching me inters), is they break the moves down so if I can’t get the dive and at the moment I could very easily use harsh language when I think about the dive, they will say ok if you can’t hang on just get up there, practice that, then practice the grip. So some people just pop up get the dive, done and dusted, some people like your poor blogger have to move excruciatingly slowly towards the dive and the superman. I can see theses moves progressing but ye gods it’s a slow slow process for me.

I did think, while I was feeding my horse and donkey, because that is a good place for thinking, I did think what does it matter if it takes me ages to get these moves. If I am going to do pole for the rest of my life does it actually matter that much if I don’t get the moves in a month or a year. The moves will come when they come. I do wonder about the instructors though. Do they think oh for f’s sake will you get it already or are they happy if you show up on time, show them respect and do your utmost. I know as a primary school teacher if my students do this I am more than happy.

I have to fight against feelings of I wish I had started earlier, I wish I was smarter, fitter and stronger. I have to be grateful for what I have and work with that. It’s very hard when you see the whole chocolate box that pole is and you think I want that  and that and gimme some of that please, but you can’t have it until you get your poxy dive and superman. It’s a case of suck it up Trishy.  Allrighty that’s my lot for this week. I love Pole.

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

Blog 7 I’ve Fallen in Love with Pole

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I’m into my third week of Inters and I didn’t think anything could replace trapeze but I love Pole I truly, madly, love Pole.

I do two inter classes a week, two stretch classes, two beginner classes and a dance class. I’m still going to the beginner’s class because there’s some handy stuff in there that I haven’t mastered yet.

The inters class is a world away from beginners and in all honesty there’s not much I can do at the moment. I have a nice Chopper and that’s getting me a little class cred but for the most part I keep my mouth shut and try not to be seen. If the instructor’s eyes are not on you that means you can take a moment to get your breath or summon up courage or try to work out just how the hell you are going to do something.

High school taught me how to avoid eye contact with a teacher, I wish they had given a grade for that because I was a master of avoidance. I knew how to stay at the back of a class and how to keep quiet. Back to present day the pole instructors get to you eventually but a much needed ‘suck a breath’ time is obtained by these strategies.

Taleah from Friday’s class moved to Honours in the Avoidance category. Sarah the instructor was doing the rounds of the room getting each student to demonstrate the move we had just covered. She stood in front of Taleah and said “Show me”. Taleah without batting an eye said “Pass”. “Pass?” I said, “I didn’t know there was a pass option” especially as I was on the pole next to Taleah which meant Sarah came to me next. We all knew the instructor was coming back for Taleah but that didn’t help me much as she was now staring me down. “Show me” She says. “Pass?” I try but it didn’t wash. I think I didn’t deliver it as confidently as Taleah did. Fortunately this was only beginners class so that when I mangled the move I didn’t die I just sort of crumpled.

We did have two other more experienced inters students in the class that night. They took up the back two poles and they were pretty much running a comedy routine for the entire class. I’m hoping they come back, they were fun. Sarah was then coming up with activities for brand new beginners, more experienced beginners and intermediate students, all in the one class. She certainly earns her money.

The Saturday inters class was brilliant. Giang takes this one and she showed us handstands. I couldn’t do them but I have the start of it and now I can work on them. A large part of the problem is that I seem to have lost my nerve. I’m confident that it will come back but it deserted me today.

We also did this very cool static pole stuff and that was brilliant. You got to really throw yourself around on the pole and while I didn’t get very far I know that I have moved forward even just a teeny tiny bit. Static is tricky because you grab the pole but you still need to release enough to spin round. My class mate was whizzing around her pole but not for trashy this week.

I heard today that Sky High is going to hold a showcase next year and friends and family can come. I am very excited by this. I would love to be able to do a routine but what routine is the question? I have wanted to do a routine since I saw Greta Pontarelli on You Tube. She’s a bit of a hero of mine and got me interested in Pole.

The photos from the pole shoot have been coming in and I love them. I may even be willing to up my game next year because the other class mates who also did the photo shoot came up with beautiful costumes and great poses. So I may step out of my comfort zone next year.

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

Blog 6 Stretch Class

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Blog 6 Pole Stretch Class

I’m into my second week of inters it’s definitely a growing experience but I would like to save that for another blog. I have the feeling that inters may take up a few blogs, that’s if I survive it.

For this week I would like to talk about stretch class. I never used to stretch then I started doing a little with circus class and Hit Ball. I backed this up with doing more in my own time but I had never been to a weekly stretch class until now. I have a pole mentor and she said if you want to be able to do the pretty moves you have to be able to bend, so off Trishy toddled to pole stretch. Let me tell you pole stretch takes stretching to a whole new level.

You do stretching of course in the beginning and the end of your regular pole class and that gives you a taster for their stretches but yowza the dedicated stretch lessons are amazing.

On Thursday night the class starts at 8.30 and that’s pretty much time for jim jams and cocoa but I thought suck it up Trishy you want to be able to bend. Tina takes Thursday night and she’s a stretch guru. She gives you a stretch that you’ve known for years and then she tweeks it and says just go a little further or just turn a little that way or just try this position. I can’t work out if it’s exhilarating or torture and I suspect it’s somewhere in between but at the end of the class you feel long and lean and flexy, it’s amazing. After these classes my joints feel less stiff, it’s like a stretch work out. If you live in Adelaide I would recommend you come to our studio and try it. Tina is uber bendy, so she’s walking the talk, she is an actual example of what people can aspire to in the world of stretching, very cool stuff.

Giang takes the Saturday stretch class and this Saturday we did backs. My goodness I felt like I had been on a rack and someone had just stretched my back right out. We used yoga blocks and we bent one way then the other and it was Heaven. I’ve never had great flexibility bending backwards and she gave us some exercises that would work on that as well as strengthen your back.

These two instructors have reignited my love of stretching. I’m going to be really interested to see what my body is capable of. There is this lovely stretch which is a variation on the pigeon pose. Ella in our class does it beautifully and I want this so I’m already practising that one at home. This is what I’m talking about.

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I’m also starting to wonder about the positive effects of stretching rather than just learning a cool move. I know strength is good as we grow older but I’m wondering now about stretch. I know I feel better after I stretch but I’m wondering if this is another way to get into old age more mobile, with less pain from joints and so on. I’m very interested in fitness being a life long activity rather than just do it until you can do it no more. There are some extremely senior yoga people out there that are pretty darn flexy.

I wanted to mention one more thing before I go. It’s trust again which seems to be a recurring theme in my blogs. If you don’t trust your instructor, if you don’t trust the person you are partner stretching with, the experience is miserable. Even if it takes you a couple of classes to make up your mind about your instructor or who in your class is good to partner up with it’s worth it to take the extra time. I need to trust the people who are saying do this and bend that. I need to know that they can do what they are asking me to do and that they care how I am progressing rather than just “Away you go, go give that a burl”. A lovely aspect of the Sky High Pole and Fitness studio is that all of the instructors engender that trust.

Allrighty thank you for reading and I’ll talk to you next week.

: Please note I don’t own these images. I found them on the internet, liked them and that’s why I’m using them. If you know who I need to give credit to for them please let me know.

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Blog 1 What Do You Do When You Can’t Use Your Trapeze

I haven’t written a blog in a long long time and that’s because various forces of darkness have worked hard to remove much of what I enjoy. However I have prevailed. Circus has gone and for the moment so has trapeze but I have found a couple of things to keep me happy while I wait for at least trapeze to come back and who knows about circus, never say never.

Two things I have discovered have saved my sanity and they are Crossfit and Pole. Today’s blog will be about Pole.

To begin with I have found a pole studio that is close to home. This is an incredible luxury, no more one hour trips there and back for me. It’s a brand new studio and it’s clean and lovely with this great colour décor and beautiful lights. I’m a sucker for fairy lights they just make me happy.

The prices are great and the instructors are wonderful. I joined because I wanted to learn the flag and I wanted to be more comfortable in my own skin but I am getting so much more out of this experience.

I go to Sky High Pole and Fitness and it is my happy place.  I have met many fantastic, interesting, funny kind people, people that I would never have met otherwise.

There is an atmosphere in this place that is safe, encouraging, friendly and funny. The owner can regularly be seen in a lamb onesie and when I saw her in that the first time I thought, these are my people and it just got better. My Monday and Friday instructor is pretty much an amazon and I want to grow up and be just like her. My Wednesday instructor is teaching me moves that I never dreamed I could do and she breaks it down bit by bit. I don’t get all of it but it doesn’t matter I know I will get it in time and I know that every class I go to will progress my ability in the move.

In this blog I would like to talk about my Saturday instructor, I suspect I have known her in many previous lives. She is a female soul mate.  She starts her lessons by saying, “think about your intention for the lesson”. I love this idea so much that I use it for just about everything I do now. She has unicorn coloured hair which changes colour every time her head moves and she’s so kind it’s ridiculous. What possibly some trainers forget is that if you do not get your students to trust you or feel comfortable with you they won’t perform or succeed as well as they could. They have figured this out in Sky High Pole and Fitness, Stacey sets the scene in her classes. She spends time getting to know everyone and she makes sure everyone gets value out of the class. I’ve seen the other instructors do it too. They are really skilled at getting around to everyone in the class, having a laugh, having a joke, it’s really impressive.

Stacey does a very good Voloceraptor and before pole I hadn’t seen anyone do a Voloceraptor. The lamb Onesie got involved too and I remember thinking who else could be in a room with a Voloceraptor and a Lamb Onesie, there can’t be that many.

Apart from some near monkey strength, what Pole has given me is some confidence that I did not have before. I’ve never worn the outfits that I have worn in pole before and nobody cares, nobody looks, it’s awesome.  The first time I showed my stomach, it was a huge deal for me and I looked around and nobody in the class even looked in my direction. I remember thinking well here I am my stomach is out and nobody cares, it blew my mind.

Now this Saturday just gone I had woken up in the night with chest pains that were dreadful. I finally went back to sleep I got up Saturday and was greeted with the mother of all anxiety attacks. I know how to deal with them and I dealt with it, then I was exhausted because it’s like going on a rollercoaster. I skipped gym thinking you’re not safe to drive and then the roller coaster went up and I had nearly manic energy. I thought stay home Morton you are not fit for the outdoors but then I remembered Saturday means Pole for the Soul.

I curbed my mania I got in my car and I headed for the studio. Lack of sleep and still riding the rollercoaster meant that I achieved very little in class but again I knew that I was progressing each move even if I was just toughening up the skin and then at the end of the lesson it was time for Pole For the Soul.

Stacey says we need time to just dance and move to one song so she makes time at the end of the lesson to do this. She calls it Pole for the Soul and she warms you up for it. She explains that no-one is watching, she gives you some simple moves you can do and she says she will dance as well so there really is no-one watching. I’ve never been able to do anything unscripted until we started these sessions and I love it. I’m not doing much but it’s like a moving meditation and afterwards I feel the same as if I had had an hour of yoga, I am so grateful for these classes and I am so grateful this studio opened.