My name is Jenny - I’ve been doing pole for about 1.5 years and I’m currently back in Beginners/T1.
As a strong-minded woman I've felt my own pressure to move up Pole levels, but due to a few injuries, my pole journey has taken me back to where I began. I'd often get twinges of envy when I would see others progress up levels or get a trick/combo/spin that I was struggling with. At times, I'd go home feeling defeated (I’m sure some of you know the feeling!)
There are 2 sides of pole:
1) You feel empowered, fierce & smashing goals.
2) You feel tired, apprehensive & disheartened.
Recently I got struck with severe Tennis Elbow, had weekly physio & took over a 4-month hiatus. It broke me as I couldn’t look at any social media posts because it made me sad & I didn’t know what to do with myself. But then I realised as much as a love pole, I had to give some love to my body & it’s recovery: mentally & physically. I channelled my energy into other parts of my life; such as my career, wedding planning with my supportive fiancé & spending time with loved ones.
Once I was finally back at Sydney Pole, I performed a Beginners routine – my recovery made the comeback even sweeter ... I could focus on working my “goofy” side from scratch, made some new friends & got to finally hug old SP friends & instructors!
After speaking to a lot of Sydney Pole students, I realised I wasn’t the only one who felt the pressure to be moving up levels every term – but why rush & take away the fun out of what we love?
This is when I had my light-bulb moment. I'd never felt happier than where I am right now. I might not be able to do an Outside Leg Hang or Straddle like I once could but I can still let myself feel the joy when I am in class – this is me being at peace with my pole journey, accepting it and embracing it.
Sydney Pole encourages you to love yourself so here are a few tips that might guide you to find your “pole zen” -
1) Be kind to yourself - you are already slaying for doing pole, because let’s face it – pole is hard work! Realistically in the words of my pole mumma, Cynthia: “Jen - How often do you shove your cookie on the pole in everyday life?” lol!
2) Take time-out if you need it – mentally & physically. When injury strikes, make sure you get it checked properly, rest & heal. Also sometimes the stress of trying to nail that combo is creating more negative energy so take a deep breath and come back to it later – also try switching up classes to try something new.
3) Reach out to other students & find your support network. For me it’s my fiancé, fam, friends & pole friends who have my back. Just smile at your pole neighbour in class, have a laugh, relate to each other & make friends.
4) Don’t compare yourself. Everyone’s progress will always be different and this is OK. Just because you can’t move up levels faster, don’t take it as a hindrance.
5) Be humble & encourage others. Sydney Pole is a beautiful community, not only celebrating your own goals but also supporting others. Last term in Beginners I saw someone in the corner struggling to do a Hello Boys - I went over to give some tips & then she finally got it! The smile on her face was priceless & she couldn’t wait to take videos of her progress.
6) Take the good with the bad days. Some days you are like "Yesssss, combo is now done - BOOM!" … and then the next time you are a slippery cat spending the entire hour lathering shaving cream & dry hands - don’t worry, the next class will be better.
7) Keep a pole diary, learn your limits & set goals. My diary is often “1 step forward, 2 steps back” however - progress is still progress. It will also remind you of how far you have come!
8) Find your joy in pole, dance & have some fun! I know this might sound simple but it really should be … (and start planning your next showcase outfit!)
If you ever see me around (when I am not injured), feel free to say hello or follow me on Insta @pinkhotpants
(Featured Image courtesy of Nikki from Lioness Photography)