All my life, I’ve had absolutely zero upper body or core strength. Despite my best efforts in school fitness tests, my flex-arm hangs would last all of 1 second, followed by my free-falling deadweight.
Even during yoga, my first attempt at the chaturanga move (lowering slowly to the ground from plank pose) ended swiftly with the floor getting bashed by my chin.
But in the short four months that I’ve been taking regular pole classes, I’ve built up more strength that I ever did during four years of irregular yoga classes. I can spin and climb up the pole now without breaking a sweat. And though they’re relatively basic moves, its pretty impressive by my standards when you consider what a piece tofu I was to start with.
So it’s pretty ironic that just as I thought I had found a much cooler replacement for my sluggish yoga practice, i’ve found new passion for it instead. These days yoga moves that used to be out of my ability are suddenly not such a big deal anymore, and I’ve actually been surprising myself in class lately.
Still, I’ve got nowhere near the amount of strength required to do a lot of the nicer moves yet. And I really, really, want to! Because learning new pole moves is a huge part of the fun, plus they just look gorgeous when performed well.
But there are some odds to overcome. Like how being tall with long legs means that my weak little core muscles need to work harder to support their weight than those of someone else who’s more petite. And how my body builds muscle comparatively slower than those who started getting fit at a younger age or have a natural tendency towards athleticism.
But having all the convenient reasons in the world wont help me. Ultimately, pole dancing is an art in defying gravity. And defying gravity requires an incredible amount of strength and control, two things I need to work very hard for.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with this video of the current pole dance world champion, Felix Cane. It’s her winning routine from 2006, when she was crowned Miss Pole Dance Australia just ten incredible months after she first started learning. It’s the video that mesmerized me into giving it a try myself.
I hope it inspires you too!