The TEDWomen lecture by Luvvie Ajayi hit home with some truths about people and women in particular. One of the most difficult things to do is to create uncomfortable situations. You know that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Everyone standing around, not willing to make eye contact. No one knows exactly how to respond to the uncomfortable comment without making people even more awkward. So, what do we do now? Nothing, right? Everyone acts as if nothing happened and we go on about our business.
How many of us are brave enough to create these situations? For example discussing pole dance or sensual movement in a group or for that matter with your friends. Right, not many. Let’s take a look at why we as women don’t want to speak up and speak out. How many times as a child are we told don’t say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say? Or it’s impolite to interrupt others? Women are taught it’s our role to make people feel comfortable and welcomed. We want people to like us. Our whole lives we’re conditioned to not to create unpleasant situations.
Breaking that mold can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Some people have confidence built in or they’ve been brought up in environments which promote expression. For those of us who don’t, we can start small. Find your voice in something you’re highly passionate about. You can begin in a less intimidating environment such as a blog or vlog, no direct human contact. Sometimes it’s even bigger baby steps like telling our kids, NO! Lol.
At our studio it is our endeavour to provide a safe place to try and begin our journey. Talking in an environment where people are more accepting will ease the pressure of learning to have uncomfortable conversations. Building our confidence to be comfortable in our own skin helps to fortify that little girl inside who’s afraid to speak her mind. Take a deep breath, be brave, and speak your truth.
Link to Luvvie Ajayi’s lecture
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.