I wish someone had told me this when I started…

There's no need to feel like crap!

Saw a great discussion thread in the Studio Veena forum yesterday, titled:

‘What do you wish someone had told you?” (When you’d first started poling)

My responses are:

I wish someone had told me that…

1) Its normal not to progress as fast as ‘everyone else’ does, and that I would definitely get better over time.

It took a while for me to realize that there’s an entire range of different learning curves when it comes to physical learning. And that I actually fall somewhere in the middle, and not right at the tail end like I thought I did. Which is perfectly fine, too.

But back then when I was struggling to get my basic inverts and felt like the… Slowest.. Person.. Around.. Ever, it would have helped to know just how long it had taken some others as well.

And if I’d only known how far I would progress from then, and that everything really does eventually get so much easier with time and practice, I wouldn’t have felt the need to rush myself to improve.

But then again, nah… I’d still have rushed myself to improve!

2) that I would probably get injured somewhere along the way, and that minor sprains and pulls are normal, pretty common, and not something to freak out and worry so much about!

Oh, the angst this one would have saved me! That first wrist sprain, that first back sprain, that first pulled hip flexor.. all incited panic and the fear that I might not be able to continue. But here I am, still fine and perfectly functional.

I do wish someone had told me right from the start: You’re going to get injured somehow. But it’s no big deal if you just manage it sensibly because the body is an amazing healer!

Nowadays when I pull/sprain/hurt something, I know it’s only a temporary set back and part of the process. I can even roughly evaluate what went wrong, why it happened in the first place, and learn from the mistake! Of course, mistakes will still happen but at least if the day comes that I ever fall off my pole, *touch wood!!!* I’ll be more able to maintain my cool.

3) that not all of my friends would ‘get’ how pole isn’t just another hobby but an entire awesome lifestyle, and not to care if they don’t. Cos no one else gets a pole dancer the way her pole sisters do!

This one took the longest to come to terms with and it still occasionally bothers me, actually. While my friends have been very supportive in general, sometimes a negative judgement or two still shows up. A friend once commented that pole dancing is ‘basically pussies in the air’, which I found surprisingly hurtful.

But I can understand why pole dancing can seem threatening. When I first started, I could barely deal with the sight of so many bare bodies moving in tune with their sensuality, let alone face my own! Whether through pole dancing or another means, it’s the very confrontation of our sexuality and the embrace of our sensuality that is the doorway to our inherent power as females. That power in ourselves that gets buried by reason and responsibility, and sometimes gets forgotten about entirely.

And unless you’ve experienced that (re)discovery for yourself, you only understand it as a concept. Kinda like falling in love, or giving birth… you can’t know what it’s really like until you’re there. Which is why I wish I could share it with my non-poling friends sometimes.

But to each their own, and I’m just happy to have embarked on this amazingly fun journey.

What do you wish someone had told you?

I’d really love to know! 🙂

About Chwenny

Body, soul, and pole!
This entry was posted in Gimme some Dancing!, I'm just saying.. and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I wish someone had told me this when I started…

  1. e* says:

    …that doing tricks with good form is very important (instead of just doing tricks any old how, e.g. by kicking into it) to build strength up properly and avoid injury, because once you get injured, it’s more frustrating having to sit out days, if not weeks or months of practice

    … and also the importance of keeping the shoulder engaged and down and away from your ears. my teacher used to tell me that before, but i never knew why (thought it was an aesthetic thing)… since then i’ve learnt it’s a rotator cuff thing

    … to over-train 🙂

    i agree on your #3 above… in the sense that, i really wish my girl friends just listened to me already and signed up to at least TRY pole. i’m sure they would love it if they only tried it. and i’m so frustrated when they refuse to give it a go, because i think they are really missing out on a potential life-long passion.

  2. 1. Good Form over rushing to learn a trick is more important. Doing a simple basic move nicely and properly is better than having a fancy fancy dance pole thingie and messy toes, back, lines , out of time etc. I used to rush to learn everything and bungled up my choreo (especially footwork).
    2. Not everyone progresses at the same time and rate. It’s also really ok to go at your own pace (to prevent injury). I realized (too late) – the other chicks or older women who could do the tricks or get up the pole while I could not or were more flexible…also had other experiences that helped. Eg. pilates or yoga practice – strong core
    3. If you don’t like the pole music for the choreo – it’s ok! There’s lots of other stuff to dance to.
    4. Find your own pole personality / outfit / way of extending hands etc etc instead of copying others.
    5. Look in the mirror alot – to spot your lines etc and also to realize your progress
    6. That in 2-3 months – you WILL be a different person
    7. Don’t think too much about getting into the trick or choreo – just do and let go of the fear
    8. Don’t expect everyone to *get* pole dance and still be careful about who you tell. I’m still coming to terms with how there are alot of misconceptions…it’s ok if people want to believe what they think. And anyway, I can pole – can you? 🙂
    9. My favourite : you will start looking at every single pole with new eyes…can i pole on that? Go upside down….?
    10. You will also spend MORE on underwear. Fun!

    Yupo, thanks for the injury thingie – cos at least now I’m not afraid and accept that I will get one or two here and there and probably…..fall too. *Choy*

  3. Really interesting post. It’s funny how opinionated people can be about other people’s fitness when it’s related to sexuality. I’ll definitely have to give it a try…

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