I'm a Genie in a bottle baby....
Thank goodness today is Wednesday. I've spent all day thinking it was Tuesday, but without the expectation of pole...it was like being in limbo! At least Tuesdays = pole day. Psuedo-Tuesdays do not!!
I got given some chocolate a couple of days ago. An innocuous box of Cadbury's Heroes. I swear sometimes that my students are entirely set on getting me to look the way I did when I was bigger because apparently they can't believe it would happen. Oh, it would happen. One day, when I'm offered a cupcake, or a brownie, or a chocolate I'll get food-blindness and it'll be like the hulk transformation....only I'll eat ALL THE THINGS. That'll learn em... :p
Anyway. The chocolates are sat on my desk. If you listen REALLY carefully, you can hear them, they're whispering "Twirl me round your tongue Michelle, get all Twisted up with us. We're Caramel-ing for your attention, don't Fudge this up..." .... honest...
It's like when you pass the cakes in the staff room that have been left out from our "coffee" mornings whispering "look into my Iii-cing Michelle, you know you want to...."
No? Just me then.
So, yesterday was POLE. POLE. Whoop!
Having done an EVIL upper session with Tom on Monday, followed by a 45 minute swim and a core gym session on Tuesday I got to pole feeling a little worse for wear. Now, when I say worse for wear, I mean that my arms no longer move above chest level and I think my hips have locked up.... ;P
Still, that's no reason not to stretch it out, shake it off and get onto that pole :D
Tonight we'd been "demoted" to the shorter pole we started on, it felt weird but after a few inversions it all got pretty much back to normal.
Robyn was instructing us tonight, and came over just as Tom was chickening out of trying to do a one-handed knee release. He blames the hairs on his legs. I think he's just being a wimp ;P
What were we doing last time? I kept VERY quiet at this point. What was I doing last (yes, I am fully able to admit to being a wimp at this stage. Although if I'd known what Robyn had in store I'd have been singing it from the roof-tops) I was doing double knee-hooks (OUCH) and Gemini into Hip Hold....Robyn didn't know this, as Tom explained he was going into a Flatline Scorpio from Butterfly. I happily helped Tom onto that pole, positioning his arm just so....
And then came my turn. Uh, yeah. Not attempting that just yet. I finally 'fessed up and told Robyn what I'd been working on....mostly.
Apparently the two moves we'd been working on were "hard", why not try something "easier"?
Now that's a relative term isn't it.
Half-star into Geneva into Genie. Uh. What?
Geneva - check, Half-Star....check-ish. Genie? What the hell is a Genie?
Well. This is a Genie.
It's actually 30 seconds of mind-numbing pain from pinching my fat thighs, tilting backwards to try and get my hip (which is still stiff from the 40k on Saturday) to BEND round the pole to get my second leg on.
Hilarity ensued. Robyn very patiently held my weight as I got my arse onto the pole and sort of almost got it. "Lean back into it, go on - just there". For some reason that command did not compute and I ended up sliding down the pole on my left butt cheek with as much dignity as I could muster.
I suddenly felt nostalgic for the old "drop and roll" moments we'd have (which I might add are still really handy for that inverted thigh-hold).
Eventually, with a look of resignation Robyn left us to go and check on the other pole she was instructing, leaving me with a stern "when I get back you'd better have done it" *gulp*
So, with Tom on hand here ensued my battle with the Genie.
Having tried (and failed) several times, frustration won out with a rather colourful explanation of why I *couldn't* do it. I didn't mean that and I knew it. I can do anything I put my mind to.
Tom stepped forward to have a pop and got a hissed "I'm not finished yet. F*ck this move". Within 30 seconds I was sitting in a Genie.
The Michelle from a year ago would have stepped back and let Tom go. Hell, the Michelle from 10 weeks ago would have done so, but I know something now that the old Michelle didn't know. I know I can do it.
Having droned on at you guys, week on week - never give up, believe in yourself, do the things you want to do I knew I couldn't just give up and let the weak side of me win that one. I'm not going to roll over and beg for the old Michelle.
So, having had a good pop at Genie and knowing now that it CAN be done, I took a break. I'm not going to lie, the back of my knee looks like someone has taken a bat to it. Think black and blue. In fact, lets get a picture in here.
I got an approximation of Genie, which I'll continue working on, but felt like finishing the evening off with a spin. So I got Robyn to show me a spin I REALLY love the look of, not sure what it's called - it looks like a variation to the Rockstar spin, but with the split grip and the second leg over the top....no, I'll take a video when I get it. At the moment all attempts are ending in one leg dragging round behind me and/or me in a heap on the floor....which is of course apparently amusing to watch...
Now a few people have spoken to me, saying that pole looks great - they'd really like to try it out. I always totally recommend it, it's amazing exercise (I may not be able to pick up a pen today, but it shows it works - also, the progress pics on my upper body would suggest that even without the weights recently, pole has been making some amazing changes in me :D).
So what would I recommend you bring with you to a pole lesson?
The top 5 things I think are essential for Pole:
- Water Bottle - you WILL sweat. It's hard work - the girls in the YouTube videos make it look easy simply because they have practised. If you look back over my pole videos you will see the difference ;)
- Flip-Flops - I recommend wearing open footwear that you can slip off. If it's your very first time you might want to check you won't be doing anything with your shoes on, but most dance lessons I've been to are a no-shoe zone. It saves having to try and get your socks back over your bruised feet at the end of the session....
- Loose trousers - the first lesson or two you might get away with 3/4 length shorts. After that, you'll WANT the hotpants, so much more freedom for movement but whatever you do, if you're going to cover up at the start of the lesson go LOOSE. I know for one that when I get hot I puff up. Tom will attest to seeing me trying to get back into a pair of jogging bottoms once. From then on, I've gone trackie sort of loose.
- A Caribina - one of those climbing clips. One of my fave things full stop, but for pole, you can have it attached to your water bottle/bag and then simply clip your watch and any bracelets/rings you have to it. No fussing around with pockets or worrying about losing them, all in one place. Yesterday my water bottle had my watch, my wedding ring and my spare hairband clipped to it.
- Your phone - even at the start TAKE PHOTOS. They always look cool and they'll help you track your progress. If you look at my first Pole Freaks article, you can see clearly my progression and they were all kind of accidental photos. I never thought to take them at the start and it's one of my 'regrets' for my pole journey - I'd love to see full progress from then till now!
If you're more advanced I'd say liquid chalk in the last place there, but it's really best suited for the end-ish part of the evening when you're hot and slippy.