Imagine standing alone, in front of peering eyes, waiting for you to speak. To speak your truth. A truth no one else has spoken before. One that no one wants to hear. Are you bold and strong in your testament? Do your hands sweat and knees shake from the doubt in your heart? Not doubt about your message, but how it’ll be received. How you’ll be received. Do you stand strong or do you melt into the crowd and allow the fear to take your voice away?
In recent news about the #metoo movement, the question has been asked, “Why did they wait so long to come forward?” It may have even crossed our minds from time to time, especial if you’re the kind of women who are comfortable standing their ground and don’t fear confrontation. Understanding why someone would wait years, some decades, to tell their story seems illogical. If they couldn’t stand up for themselves then, why come out now? Whether you believe some, all, or none of the allegations, the answer is simply, there is strength in numbers. We are stronger as one.
When you stand alone, there is no one else to validate your truth. You’re the lone witness against what’s usually a stronger, more influential party. We ask ourselves questions like, “Who would believe me?” “What’s going to happen to me and those around me if they don’t believe me?” Many times, threats have been made and people in these situations have been in not only a physical but also a psychology battle with their alleged assailant. This makes us stop and quiet our voices. For some, it makes them completely silent as they try to disappear from the anguish.
That’s when life lines are important. That one strong person who says, “ENOUGH!” The brave soul who stands up for themselves and inspire others to follow suit. When we stand together, it’s a little less scary to speak our truth and tell our story because someone else has a similar tale to tell. We’re no longer standing alone to be judged. We can find strength in each other. Whether it’s from a movement like #metoo or our sisters in the studio, we as women can support one another when we need to fortify ourselves. Take the time to hear someone’s story. Sometimes all someone need is to be heard. Courage is easier in numbers. Maybe you can help someone’s truth be told.
Kesha Grammy Live Performance of Praying
Most fitness programs tout weight loss more loudly than any other benefit. Pole is a great way to lose weight too, and maybe that’s why you got into it to begin with. But a funny thing happens to many dedicated polers: whether they came into pole to lose weight or for some other reason, they can end up not really caring about dropping those extra pounds. In fact, there are several reasons polers with curves might want to keep them!
Pole is a bodyweight exercise, which means that you only work with what you weigh. So that means that polers who weigh more are lifting more weight, and that sounds like a better workout to me! Unlike with some bodyweight exercises like air squats where you’re just using your bodyweight but not really lifting all of it, with pole you are actually literally lifting all that weight. Carrying it with your arms and your hands and your legs up the pole and moving it around in the air. When you start to think about doing that with ankle weights on, you start to realize what a big difference those extra pounds can make to your workout!
When you’re holding onto the pole with your hands, there are only a few things that matter—the size of your hands, the size of the pole, and the grippiness of both. But when you’re holding on with your thighs, your armpits, or your elbows, it’s a whole other story. Extra meat on the thighs just means there’s more of you to hang onto the pole with when you go into your layback. Extra arm and boobage can save your Teddy or your Rocketman. If you’re just hard bones and muscle, those things aren’t great to grip the pole with because there’s not enough give. Some softer areas can really help you cling.
You know what’s funny about pole? It always hurts, even if you’re not on the pole. Floor work causes just as many pinches and bruises as the aerial aspects. And you don’t get a nice rubbery mat like in yoga. If you’re at the studio or performing in a competition, it’s just you and the floor. That can be painful, especially if your bones and joints are digging into the floor, which they invariably will be at some point. Having a little extra layer of you there can take the edge off. Be your own yoga mat.
What is it about pole fitness that makes us come to appreciate our bodies just the way they are? We used to say it had to do with the sensual empowerment aspects of pole—but we find this confidence and self-esteem even in purely athletic studios. Maybe it has to do with appreciating our bodies’ abilities instead of their appearances. Maybe we get so used to seeing ourselves and our friends in our Brazil Shorts that we realize how silly our insecurities are. Or maybe it’s just because pole is so damn flattering. Whatever the reason, polers seem to be happier with their bodies at whatever the weight.
Many people get into pole to lose weight, and many do lose weight, and many are still trying. If any of that is you, that’s great! But if you find yourself appreciating what those extra pounds can do for you in the studio, that’s great, too.