Be Strong like a Man but Love like a Woman
Logic, rationale, and critical thinking allows for the ability to fortify oneself with strength and power. Many men weld these talents like weapons. When used well, they can result in many wins. These skills are valued in the business and academic worlds. Thinkers are praised for their intellectual achievements. These are definitely useful abilities, but are they enough?
Women in business brought another layer of necessary skills. We not only think with logic and reason, but we make emotion-based decisions. This probably threw men for a loop when we entered the workforce. WHY are you crying because the machine won’t work???? This is the stereotypical thought process about women and emotions. Does this happen sometimes? Yes. But incorporating EQ or Emotional Intelligence into the business world has provided a new way to interact with people on a whole new level.
Women are not only thinkers but we’re born nurturers. Most of us have the ability and need to connect with people on a deeper level. This natural instinct to reach out and heal, not only the physical but the emotional aspects of a person, gives us the means to fix problems more holistically. Logic, reason and critical thinking are good for resolving processes and the mechanical issues. When we need to repair a people-based problem, we need more. We need to problem solve on more than just the surface level because people are not machines and their problems stem from more than a process breakdown. Being able to understand how the issue has started or impacted people mentally will give you the ability to change not only the process but the mindset and culture.
Don’t neglect this gift we have been given as women. Don’t try to hide your ability to understand someone on a more emotional level. Our nurturing side is not a weakness. It’s the core of our feminine strength. Allow your talents to shine. If you look at many of the powerful women throughout history, you’ll see they leverage this gift to propel them through their success.
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.