Ugh. I overstrained a back muscle this week trying the same move too many times.
It was a literally painful reminder that pole dancing isn’t something you can just throw yourself into, because of the very real and constant risk of injury.
It’s also a reminder to slow down and move at a pace that makes sense for my body, and not let my ego push it to the point of injury.
I still struggle with the compulsion to keep up with the girls who started beginner level at the studio around the same time as me. Like my pole buddy, most of them progressed immediately to the next level after last term so they’re already ahead of me. It’s the thought of getting left too far behind that makes me scramble anxiously to push myself.
The next level has been known to be so challenging that most girls need to stay there at least 2 terms. Which gives me the chance to be with my original cohort once more when the new term starts in 2 weeks, even if it’s just for a while before they move up again. I already know that I’ll probably stay there for at least 3 terms because I’ve seen the moves taught at that level and they are way out of my current strength capabilities.
But in my heart, I still don’t feel physically ready for intermediate 2 just yet. Another whole term of pure technique training would probably give me the time I need to build enough upper body strength so I can handle it. Plus knowing how injury-prone I am, even just attempting more advanced moves without the adequate strength could cause unnecessary injuries.
Actually, repeating intermediate 1 was the best thing I did. Going over the same moves that I’d already learned helped me execute them with more finesse and confidence. Without the pressure of having to learn challenging new tricks, I’m able to focus more on the dance aspect and really enjoy the choreography.
That said, it’s not rare to repeat a level. I’ve gotten to know a few girls from different levels who told me that they repeated each one 3 or 4 times. One of them even told me she thinks girls who rush to progress too quickly perform less than impressively as a result of never taking the time to correct bad habits and sloppy form.
The next term starts in 2 weeks so I still have time to decide on which classes to take then. I just don’t know how long it will take for me to fully come to terms with how slowly and steadily I need to take my progress.