At Bobbi’s, we spend each term learning a dance routine choreographed to a song. The tricks in the routine are usually performed using the right arm, including the inversions. As a result, most of us practice using our right arms almost exclusively.
As I slowly get stronger, the difference between my left and right arms is also getting more obvious, and not just in terms of pole tricks: After a while I started to notice from my reflection in the mirror that my right arm actually looks slightly bigger than my left. At first I thought it was all in my head, until I insisted that my husband check the circumference of my biceps with a measuring tape.
And true enough, the right side is 1cm bigger!
Spurred on by pure vanity and my fears of looking lopsided, I decided to embark on Project Lefty a few weeks ago to even out the strength in both my arms.
At first I was shocked at how much weaker my left arm was.. I couldn’t even hold a chair spin for half a round. And everything felt frustratingly awkward all over again. Learning how to climb, how to spin and how to invert, (all things that I can do effortlessly on my right arm) felt almost like being a true beginner once more. How humbling!
The first time I attempted a basic ankle-grab invert on the other side, I actually felt that same wave of fear that I had back then when I first learned it! Luckily, muscle memory took over and I managed to get it after a few tries.
But as I started working on my left side more, I started to enjoy it. And I definitely know I don’t want to be limited to doing everything on only one side.
Anyway I’ve since slowly been working on my left, and I’m proud to say that yesterday I managed to do a chopper invert and get into an opposite-side left leg hang. It’s also probably time for me to start calling it by its more popular name of Gemini, since I’m technically hanging by my right leg now.
Sometimes after left-side practice, my left arm and shoulder actually ache when I wake up in the morning so I know the muscles are developing. With any luck, my left bicep will catch up in size with the right in about half a year or so… but then again, no-one can tell the difference except for me.
More importantly though, I want to eventually become totally pole-ambidextrous and do that dreaded pull-up-V on the left side too!