I pull into the carpark, and purposefully faff with my parking change in a hope that the visions of making a total idiot of myself will disperse as I head towards my first pole class at Active Cherry, Eastbourne.
A quick five minute reassurance session with my Dry Hands in the car park
I'm not sure what I was fearing the most: new people, judgment, moves I couldn't do, or just intense exercise after two years. The teacher bounced up energetically to her students as we piled into the room; friendly-faced, she introduced herself and reassured me that I would be absolutely fine. Instantly at ease, I was able to relax and start the warm-up.
After the warm-up, it got slightly interesting. The poles were all set to static, there was no spinning. I could feel the panic returning slightly as the girls casually aced static spins, and I hesitantly attempted a reverse carousel with about as much grace as an elephant on ice.
One of the ladies sharing the pole with me stepped in to encourage me and help me with hand placement; obviously patience was her middle name as I fluffed every attempt. But she continued to help me, which I found later was how Andi tutored her students; to always help and aid those who struggled, and to spot and take care of the safety of each other always. This somehow drew the atmosphere into a close and comfortable environment to learn that it was actually okay to be a total failure at one or two moves.
We continued on to inverts, and that was my green light. I could not be happier to see the ceiling once again. To feel the burn as my thighs and wrists throbbed red from continually attempting new twists and moves. Looking around to see the other girls all laughing with enjoyment that they'd achieved these new moves, and those who were struggling receiving positivity and encouragement from the teacher and other students until they worked their way into the desired position.
There was a hang-glider, into something else...I got to this in the end!
Class was soon over; and as I stretched, I realised that I had lost an hour of my life and not even noticed. The teacher was fantastic, encouraging, friendly, happy, and supportive. Her students weren't far behind her. I felt part of a little community of men and women that worked hard to achieve almost impossible contortions of the body while holding onto a 50mm metal pole, and I couldn't wait for my next lesson.
The teacher followed me out of the room, and asked me how I had found the class. Her attention to care of her students was faultless; she was a bright, cheerful and intelligent woman with an infectious happiness that sent me home fulfilled and confident.
So all that fear, and I actually DID have an idea! I completed my first move on a static pole, and I was still intact after the lesson!
Perhaps this is the calm before the storm, the next nine weeks will tell - continue to read my Pole Fitness Adventures here every Friday.
Until next week!
I wore the Lost Girls limited edition Bangarang Box leggings and Origins Coral Fit top, available here: https://www.wildbangarang.com/collections/origins/products/coral-fit-multi-strap-fitness-crop-top