Blog 17 Murph


Before Murph

I’m doing Murph tonight and I am so freakin nervous and anxious it’s ridiculous. Murph is a work out that was created to honour a soldier who died in battle. So there’s a respect element to Murph. The actual workout is with a weighted vest, run 1 mile, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, run another mile.

Now for mere mortals we don’t use the weighted vest and for even more mere mortals we scale the pull ups and the push ups. I’ve been practising this workout for the last two weeks, I use a band for the pull ups and I do the push ups on my knees. I know I can run forever. I know I can do the pull ups and the push ups and the squats. There should be no reason for nerves but I am honestly close to throwing up.

I hurt my back so I didn’t do gym or pole since Tuesday and it’s now Thursday and tonight is the night or the afternoon really. Gym and pole would be the usual way I would get rid of nerves. So I have saved my back but my head space is fucked. I’m doing deep breaths and I’m telling myself that I have done a shit load of challenges before.

The problem is I’ve run away from Murph before. When my gym ran it I just didn’t show up and it’s not often unless there are spiders or ghosts involved that I run away from fear. So tomorrow is one year that I have been at this gym. They have open training tonight so that is when I have chosen to do Murph. Two friends are going to join me. I have arranged for cake afterwards. It’s going to be so nice when I write this blog after Murph.

Still before Murph

Allrighty essential preparation before a big event I have gone out and bought a very cute outfit. This is following the philosophy of “if you can’t do something look the part” or “fake it till you make it”. I will also look good if I end up in hospital, see no flies on Trishy!

I have spoken to a very lovely friend who is a mighty lifter and she can do Murph just on the spur of the moment. I always feel better when I talk to her and both of us are looking forward to the post Murph conversation.

The gym might have to close you know? There could be a power outage or maybe a snake could go into the gym? Things could happen. I could have a heart attack after the first round? Just saying.

I think what is freaking me out is that this is my first big thing in a long long long time. I also want to show Murph proper respect, that’s a lot of pressure. Wish me luck?


Post Murph

It’s Friday morning and I am now a person who has done Murph. I got to the gym on time. I set up my station and Sam the coach said he was going to do it too. That was huge. He always has shit loads to do and he said nah I’ll join you – just like that. Brodie came on board, he wanted to do Murph but wasn’t sure he could finish before he had to leave – he did. Samantha the other coach also joined in which meant the world to me because she had been there when I joined. We didn’t expect Lisa because she is always so busy but she walked through those gym doors and I thought my goodness we are all doing Murph.

I explained to them how I was breaking down the workout so one mile run, then 10 pull ups, twenty push ups, sixty squats, for the first five rounds then the last five rounds you only have to do ten pull ups twenty push ups each round because you have done your squats then finish with another one mile run. It was really funny I explained it to each person separately because they arrived at the gym at different times and nobody understood my breakdown. I will do it differently next time probably ten rounds of 10 20 30 but live and learn hey?

Now my Murph was heaps scaled. I used a band for the pull ups and I did my push ups on my knees, trust me I still worked extremely hard.

In my practice I hadn’t included the run. Firstly because I figured I can run forever and secondly because I hurt my back before I could incorporate the run into the practice. So here I was at the very start of Murph doing the run and I was hopelessly out of breath. I thought this isn’t good. I was hoping that I could catch my breath on the squats.

The Universe had given me a good cool day as well as holding my anniversary on school holidays so I hadn’t been to work I was good and rested plus the temperature was cool. I got back into the gym after the first run and I was stuffed and I thought – that’s not good.

So I began, I wasn’t able to get my breath back and that meant I started puffing like a steam train and pretty much kept that up for the first six rounds. Round five – can I keep going? Round six – oh yes I have the answer now, no I can’t. So here I am in the gym, with people around me that know I have run away from Murph before and I’m thinking. Do half a Murph it’s better than no Murph. Just stand up say this is too hard and walk away. I had ordered cake for the finish but the Murph finishers could have the cake. Lisa looked at me and she’d pretty much been keeping tabs through the whole workout, I said I’m done. She said you’re not. I said I feel sick. She said I know. I thought I don’t want to show Lisa that I’m a wusy and this is why I wanted to do the workout at the gym. When I have practiced at home I’ve done a couple of rounds and gone and gotten a drink. A few more maybe one more and does the dog need to come in. Round seven now he needs to go out. Round eight I’ll just put a load of washing on. I think now my practising should have been more rigorous.

Round six I was done. My arms were shaking, my chest hurt, I hated gym, I hated fitness, the next time I had a stupid idea like this someone should give me a big slap.

I’ve been watching this program about people going through SAS training. I am not for a minute suggesting that my scaled little workout is like that but I was reminded of what one of the directing staff said. Apart from entertainment you can learn something from most anything you experience and what he said came back to me in this workout. He said they deliberately exhaust their candidates, push them as far as they can be pushed and then you see what’s left. He said he had been in a very dangerous combat situation, he was exhausted, wanted to be home and he knew he had to get up and get out of that situation. So they needed to know what did these people have on the other side of exhaustion. So round five, round six I was convinced that I didn’t have anything left. If I hadn’t done Murph at the gym I would have stopped. I would not now be a person who has done Murph. I got up and I started doing three pull-ups then another and so. The rounds took forever but I was completing them.

Round Seven Adel took over from Lisa’s encouragement. Lisa is an angel, Adel is more like old testament angel. Right Trish how many reps do you have left? Well get going. Come on three more. Adel I said I’m done. She said I can see that do them anyway. There was no escaping Adel and between her pushing and Lisa pulling and Sam throwing in a cheeky jibe about if you ate meat you’d be stronger, I swore at him for that one, I finished my rounds. I still had to do the final run and Lisa God Bless her had waited to do the final run with me. Then Adel and Samantha came too and I thought, I was going to walk this bit.

My mind was happy as shit that I had done Murph. My body was saying just walk the last bit, your legs hurt, your arms hurt you feel ill and wobbly – WALK!!!! I said to Lisa can we just walk a little. No she said keep going. Murph is run then the reps then another run. It’s not run reps walk this is what I told my poor tired body and that there was cake waiting for us at the gym.

That second mile was the longest mile in my entire life. It took forever but I did it and I now know that I can do Murph and here’s the kicker, this is what crossfit has done for me. When I do a crazy workout like this I get so absorbed by what we are doing I forget that I was ever sick, I forget to take it easy in case something goes wrong I forget the whole horrible time and it’s just me and exercise and good mates and that is worth more than gold. When I did the crossfit open I was still – oh I could hurt myself, I shouldn’t do too much I could bring something on, this never occurred to me during Murph and that is way cool.

Now something else very nice happened.

There was cake and the cake was good. I felt really too ill to enjoy it but cake is cake and this was happy cake. I got myself home. I had already done the animal chores. I did a little facebook – yay me I did Murph and then I went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. Here I was post Murph. Two weeks of prep, all those nerves, all that anticipation, nearly not finishing it, sleep was not coming to me at all.

I got up and Lisa had posted some photos. While I was working on Murph Adel had shown me a photo of me and she said you have back muscles. Now I seriously love muscles I really truly do and that was the one thing that made me smile during Murph. So Lisa posts these lovely pictures as a collage and then she sends them to me separately. There is a beautiful photo of all of us, minus Brodie post Murph. That one is going up on the wall. I just wish Adel was in that because she pretty much did it with us. There is also a photo of me doing a pull up and I can see back muscles and they are lovely beautiful back muscles. I thought you don’t know how long you will have these lovely beautiful back muscles – post and be damned! So I did and it was very unoriginally titled “Look at my beautiful back muscles!” So that picture is going up on the wall too, that and the other picture and the whole experience really was a gift in itself.

Crossfit is great for fitness, great for friends and great for mental health. I can’t speak highly enough about it.

Thank you Universe for providing Crossfit Northern Adelaide and my gym buddies who I love to bits.


Blog 15 It All Makes More Sense Now!

Carly Rowena

Mondays lesson was immensely different and I think my, ‘How not to get totally exhausted’ strategies are working. These strategies have been, divide pole and gym up into different parts of the day, don’t do them one after the other, only do one lesson of pole at a time and use protein shakes.

Only doing one lesson at a time even though Sky High Pole and Fitness is a veritable cornucopia of all things that are wonderful, is starting to pay off. I have told myself you may only do one lesson at a time so choose, is it going to be Vital force, Intermediates or Dance. Monday night I picked Intermediates and I didn’t even do gym first. Straight pole nothing else.

Only doing the one lesson meant that I got to the class with some energy. I enjoyed the class a lot more. I had much more stamina and strength and this morning while I am typing this I am not completely stuffed. I wish my body was strong enough to do all three classes but she may get stronger with time who knows, in the future I may end up doing three classes and this one class time is but a memory.

Something else struck me last night as to why I’m finding pole so much more difficult than trapeze. In trapeze, depending on the class, we had four people or even six using two bars. This meant that there was a part of the lesson where you were standing around waiting for your turn as well as watching what was being taught. In Pole we have our own pole and the only times we stop are if the instructor is instructing or if we are too stuffed to do anymore so I hadn’t realised it but there is a lot more constant physical activity. That’s a bit of a relief because I could not work out why pole was destroying me physically as much as it was. I think it’s also possible that a vertical pole is more difficult than a horizontal bar but I certainly don’t want to get into a discussion of who is stronger, a person who poles or a person who does trapeze. I’m just giving my observations.

I also discovered Monday night that Emily teaches by progressions, if you get this move I will show you this move. You may not like this first move but this is what it gets you. This is an amazingly motivational way to teach so that’s going to keep me coming back to classes and will get me to persevere on moves that I think blech. For example anything with twisty grip is frickin impossible at the moment

My chopper is a gift that just keeps on giving. I can now do the chopper for ten seconds no problem. Emily says now do it while spinning and that gives it a twist and then she showed us an aerial chopper plus a transition and I thought oooh, yes please I’ll have that. To do an aerial chopper means you have to think about what leg goes on the pole first to make sure you get the hand you want and the underarm grip you want. It’s fascinating how everything works, stuff up that first leg and say good bye to your trick unless you want to fake some make up moves to be able to switch arms.

It was a great class with great people and I was not physically wrecked or exhausted the following morning, very cool bananas.

Friday’s class which should have been something little and light ended up pretty well destroying me to the extent that I didn’t make Saturday gym but the upside was that without Saturday gym I got a lot more out of Saturday pole.

I don’t know why Friday destroyed me. I tried doing regular stuff up high on the pole and that was exhausting. I did do gym in the morning and went for a run but that shouldn’t have wrecked me for the day. Who knows maybe sometimes your energy just flags (teeny tiny pole pun). I like these Friday classes though. They are an opportunity to refine what you have. So when you climb a pole keep your toes pointed. When you do a chopper how are you getting down. All these little tips and tricks that make what you do on the pole more beautiful, more controlled and more controlled pretty much means more strength.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself since I wasn’t able to go to gym and then Sarah, Friday’s instructor, posted on facebook that she had done ten iron x’s. Now please bear in mind that I want one. I congratulated her and she said back and I quote “Thanks Trish you are getting so strong won’t be long and you will be flagging! Now I want you to take a moment to see if you can understand what that meant when I read it. It’s one thing when your mates say, yeah you can do it. It’s a whole different ball game when your trainer says you can do it and in fact she says it won’t be long before you have it. Sarah saying that actually made me feel like the Iron X was coming. I stopped feeling so exhausted and I started feeling like mmm how many lessons of vital force can I squeeze into my week. The comment rejuvenated me, it was like a shot of adrenalin. I think it’s because when the words come from someone who has the relevant knowledge or training then the words carry more weight and have more impact. It’s crazy but a little phrase like this meant everything to me. How cool will it be when I can post a picture on this blog of me doing the Iron X?

Saturday was amaziballs. Stretch was good without being excruciating. A really lovely person has started the class and it must be nice for Giang to have fresh fodder to work on. To see a new person, and this was her first stretch class, shows you how far you have come yourself. I remember praying that the stretch class and the torture would end when I started pole stretch but now the lesson goes so quickly you can’t believe it’s over.

The next class because I’m going to continue to do back to back on a Saturday, was more amaziballs. We only had two students in the class and that meant it was an incredible opportunity to work on any areas you wanted to and you get stacks of teacher time. I can’t believe how far I have come. There was a time when I could not make it through one of Giang’s classes when there was a full class with lots of people now I can hold my own when there is only two students.

Today we worked on our grip and we worked on Ayesha and we worked on the Iron X, I could not have been happier. Just for a moment when I couldn’t figure out how to hold the pole and still face front I thought this is too much for you. Then I thought no, even if you can’t see it at this moment you couldn’t climb a pole when you started. You certainly couldn’t do The Superman. I am amazing myself by what I can do from week to week.

So today I can’t do the twisty grip but I can work on that. I managed to hold the pole, keep my shoulders down, face front, have my head tilt down and then spin round. That alone gets me closer to my beloved Iron X.

I think and I don’t want to be a wanker here but I think I have my Ayesha. Giang told me this really cool trick of checking that you are in proper alignment with the pole and since she has done that I can get myself in the right spot and then do the legs part of it. I hope I’m remembering it right and if I’m not blame me for my shocking memory but I think it went like this. Your head must point to the ground. Your chest should face the pole and your lower arm should be slightly bent so you can push yourself out. Then when you have those three things going on you can pull your tush out which will bring your legs out and huzzah Ayesha be yours!

I also need to work on the cool dismount from this move. It is too sad to clunk to the ground after such a pretty move, I will work on the side ways cartwheel off dismount, definitely more decorative.

I had set myself homework for this lesson and I failed miserably. However onwards and upwards next week I will do better. Giang gives us free style time at the end of class and she sets some challenges in it. So you need to spend thirty seconds on the pole, or thirty seconds doing floor work. This week we had to string three then four moves together. Mine was atrocious and my class mate said, can I do mine (hers) again just better so I don’t think either of us shone in this part of the class. I had hoped that I would prepare something for this part of the class because I do not have a spontaneous bone in my body and I didn’t and when Giang said do your free style bit I pretty much had nothing. Now Giang is very funny when she doesn’t like something. She doesn’t say well that was crap she says instead, let’s try it this way or let’s try this. It’s pretty funny. Anyhoo after a lot of assistance in choosing the moves which I shouldn’t need in free style but there you go I had three then four moves I could put together. The challenge was work on beautiful transitions. I think we can safely say that my transitions were not beautiful but what it did do was give me an idea of how exhausting a pole routine is because just four moves had me puffing like a steam engine. It will be very cool when I have enough stamina to be able to pole for a whole routine.

On that note last night I went to see several people who did just that. It was the Australian Amateur Pole Performer competition. A brilliant night and I saw some extremely talented and gutsy people. They held the competition at the Star Theatre in Adelaide and that place has so much atmosphere it was fantastic. I pretty much felt like I was in the theatre from Sing, it was a surreal experience. The performers were incredible. It gave me an idea of what our trainers are trying to teach us when I saw people up there doing their moves to music, one after another. I couldn’t believe their fitness and their timing and their bravery with the moves they chose. It was a great night. One of the guys from Sky High Pole and Fitness won his division so that was pretty cool. The competitions are fun. People dress up, we got to do the Mexican wave, you are expected to hoot and holler for performers. I’m going to see Scarlet and Sarah perform next week and I am looking forward to that.

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

Blog 14 What an Amazing Class!


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.



Blog 13 Fitness is Kicking My Tush



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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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

IMG_3579 Colour SM

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.

Blog 10 High Heels, Superman and Face the Fear


I am about to take an exotic dancing class. I started pole so that I could do the human flag, they call a variation of this the Iron X in pole. I also wanted to feel more comfortable in my own skin, so the offer of exotic dancing came up and I thought what the hell. Stay at the back, don’t make too much noise, they won’t even know you’re there.

I had arrived for my studio’s strength and conditioning class and Scarlett who runs the studio brought in some shoes for me to try in preparation for this class. Yes people there are shoes and OMG! I was going to get short boots because I figured they would stay on but Scarlett brought in thigh high boots as well. Now I have always wanted to have a pair of thigh high boots but where the heck would I wear them? Bring on Pole and your wishes are answered Trishy. I didn’t have time to try the thigh high boots before my class started so there they stood in the corner of the studio while we worked out.

I’m doing push ups and I’m thinking boots. I’m doing squats – it’s still boots. Pull ups – now the boots are actually talking to me, Trish come over here, you don’t need strength and conditioning you need us! There was 15 minutes to go and Scarlett comes in to wave goodbye. I wave back then when she’s gone I look at Sarah (she takes the Vital force class) aghast and ask if Scarlett had gone? Sarah can be a tat bit psychic and answered yes but she’s already said you can try the boots. I was all set to go running after Scarlett and throw myself at her car – SCARLETT THE BOOTS!!!! Anyhoo since Sarah is a mind reader there was no need for that. The class was finally finished and I had a date with those boots.

I put them on sooo carefully and then I got up so carefully and then I tottered around for a little bit in them. I made sure Sarah took my picture wearing them and then I thought I’m getting me a pair of these, yes sir. On a side note I have always thought that high heels were a way of restricting women’s movement so I have always been against them. These boots however reminded me of getting up on stilts when I was with circus I guess they are another type of prop or tool for the discipline. All of the pole shoes take strength and balance to be able to dance in them and not impale yourself while you dance.

On this same night my Superman arrived. I got the idea to use a mat because maybe the idea of smooshing my face into the floor was making me hesitate. I tried and failed a cupla times and Ella said you’re almost there and I thought almost is like a world away. I know I should have thought it’s close but I didn’t, it felt like it was an un-obtainable move. So I pounced on poor Sarah, and I said come work some magic. She didn’t look too convinced that she could do magic but I said just stand there and tell me what I’m doing wrong. So she watched and she said, shoot the hand out squeeze those legs and you will have it. So I thought righto my son I’m having this. So following Sarah’s instructions, blindly like someone leaping from a cliff, I shot my arm out and I squeezed my legs and bugger me if I didn’t get the superman. OMG!!!!! This is a cow of a move, there’s timing, strength and a soupcon of courage needed and it doesn’t help when others don’t seem to struggle with it but oh I wanted this move such a lot. I wanted to run around the studio yelling I got it, I got it, but that’s a crappy thing to do when others don’t have it yet. So I ran through the curtains, told Skye at the desk, (she handled the news very well) and I waited until I got home to announce my news on the facebook pole page. I wanted to announce it, not to brag but to acknowledge when it happened and that it did happen because for a long time I started to wonder if Superman was ever going to arrive. It took me forever to get to sleep that night.

I’m going to call Friday’s class hilarious. I went with an intention that completely didn’t materialise. I listen to a positive thinking cd on my way to class and I said to myself that I was going to have the Dive. I saw myself doing the Dive, I wanted the Dive, I was strong enough for the Dive, so tonight was the night.

We had a wonderful class where we did cool spins up high and worked on our leg hangs. I had to find my pocket and you need to be a poler to know what that means. My pockets two days later are still a little sore. Sarah spotted me for the leg hang and I got in a good position and I know that she is as strong as hell but when she said let go of your arms, in my head I was saying “no fucking way” but that translated from my mind to my throat and out of my mouth as “oh Sarah no way” and no hands were taken off that day. I know she’s strong but I am big and bony all at the same time I didn’t want to crush her if I fell, can you understand that?

I managed to do the Superman again, he’s a little wonky but he’s there but we didn’t do the Dive in class so I thought ok I’ll wait for the end of class and then the Dive is mine. The end of class came, up and I went and nuffink. It was bloody soul destroying. I was still pumped on a half hours worth of the ‘you can do it’ CD. I tried and I tried and I tried until I fell and pretty much lost feeling in my foot for a while and I thought well shito just because you visualise something, that doesn’t actually mean it will come – live and learn hey?

Saturday arrived and Emily was the instructor and that girl is a riot. She is gorgeous to look at but is so down to earth you feel like you have known her forever. Emily, God bless her, allowed us to work on a move that we wanted so off I went to Dive school. Amelia one of the students showed me how to fall and not hurt myself and Emily gave me some brilliant tips so I’m closer. I don’t have it yet but if I got the Superman I can get this.

While I was slogging away at the Dive I watched Emily demonstrate some moves for the more advanced students. I cannot imagine myself doing these moves. It is going to be amazing if I get them, one was called the Teddy bear and I thought teddy bear from hell? I know I’ve said it before but Pole is heaps more physical than I realised.

I had a go at the Genie, it wasn’t pretty but hey I had a crack. We did the Star gazer and I thought that was awful pretty. I know now that I am much happier with moves that involve holding on with my hands, leg holds pretty well freak me out. I’m going to take a tip from Amelia who was saying that she identifies her weaknesses and works on them.

I hadn’t had Emily for an instructor for a little while and I was kind of hoping to show her that I had improved since she had seen me last. She said at the end of the class that I had done good and that I was more willing to try things so I’m going to take that as moving forward. It’s funny but you want your trainers to be proud of you or at least know that you are working your tush off and that their work is appreciated.

I figured out this week that I am not so brave on the pole as I was with trapeze because I don’t feel as secure on this slippery metal upright structure as I used to on my perch. I’m sure with time I’ll get more confident with it and more confident in my abilities to hang on.

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

Blog 9 It’s Starting To Come Together


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


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.