I walked into pole class this week full of something I'd not packed in my gymbag for a long time.
I usually blog about the struggles, or lack of what I can do, finishing the entry with total adoration for everything 'pole'. I haven't really started one of my weekly blogs with the L word, so this has been a perfect chance to blog all about that giddy, heartwrenching, tingly, happy little thing called love.
I was paired up this week with Freddie, one of the most bubbly and outgoing young girls I've met in a while. She always starts a new move with an 'eek' or an 'uh oh' but ends it landing gracefully on her tiptoes after successfully presenting the most effortless attempt. She's that girl you really don't want to be paired up with out of pure jealousy, because your first attempts look like something that would earn you £250.00 on a Bloopers show. But hearing Andi tell me that I was spending another week in the company of this cheery Cherry just boosted my loved-up mood, and I couldn't be more grateful to be working with this little legend.
Andi helping Freddie with a first-attempt move. What's not to love about that smile!
If you're not in the mood for anything gushy, you'd better minimise this blog post right now. I was about to break my own expectations. I started by working on my 'fancy hands'... and proceeded to smack Freddie in the face. There was the first sign of love right there; her laugh as I profusely apologised. The support of a pole buddy is almost essential. This partner will inevitably get to know me during my hour class about as well as the midwives who delivered my children. Whether I'm kicking them, hitting them, or thrusting my body parts in their face, pole class is far from the beautifully lit and seductive atmosphere of a performance stage. In fact, pole buddies are about the bruises, the chafing, the sharing of the half-empty Dry Hands bottle and the polite turn of the head when that awkward flash of a girly part or two decides to occur mid-splits.
Freddie supporting me as I try some new moves, and ensuring my favourite moves are still covered with a reassuring arm. I'm keeping my 'girl bits' in check with my Wild Bangarang Origins grey string top - click here for yours!
Friendship is most definitely bred in this little room. I've yet to see any animosity, bitterness or jealousy. Those who get it first time are busy helping those who can't. And those who don't get it third or fourth time are turning to those who can for help and encouragement. In a world so full of frustration and criticism, to be surrounded by positivity is worth the cost of the lessons itself, before Andi even opens her mouth!
Everywhere I turn in this room there is love. For instance, the walls are littered with drawings and canvasses, photos and paintings, children's artwork. Even Andi's child's footprints in the shape of a butterfly have their little home in the corner.
Drawings decorate the walls, making the classroom a place of unity and happiness
"One of the little Cherries drew that for us!" Andi said as I took a quick snap of the cherry tree. 'Cherries' - a beautiful little expression for her class members, almost an exclusive right earned by your first blister on the palm, or purple bruise on the leg. Again, a small but precious expression of love and sincerity, something so important when you are trusting these people with your safety and your confidence.
This week I was determined to master something really impressive, something that would make me go 'ooh!' and fall in love with my own abilities a little. I'll be honest here, I'm not the best at being confident and I certainly don't rock the 'self belief' look too well. In fact, I'm that irritating girl in the back row, who bites her lip and mumbles incoherently that she's useless at everything. When nobody is looking, however, the task is completed, but with any sort of audience, I'm about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
This move that I mastered was something else. It was another one of Andi's Pole Witch moments (I'm so sorry Andi, but that name is sticking whether you like it or not!). My first attempt ended in disaster, my second and third with help from another Cherry was a little better. My final attempt happened, as per usual, when Andi skipped up to the pole.
I cannot begin to describe the pain, for starters. My legs and arms were screaming, but there it was, the move I was desperate to master. And I was in that moment of absolute agony, so massively in love with every little part of my life. The lights in the studio, the pole smeared with chalk, Andi's voice in my ear, Freddie taking the photo. By all means, this move wasn't perfect; Freddie's was flawless. But for me, this move was every last inch perfection, because I did it - with a little bit of self love I'd achieved it.
My achievement. It hurt. But no more than that whacking great smile I had!
So there it was. My first class where there was no panic, concern, stress, anxiety, frustration, irritation or self doubt. Whether this was because the team at Wild Bangarang had made me laugh hysterically all day prior to the class, the beautiful drive home through the sunset with my favourite tunes blaring away, or maybe just the fact that I was simply happy, but the pride I took away from my lesson was priceless, and I couldn't be more grateful to be surrounded by such fantastic human beings.
The Moonlight Unicorns Anne Stokes leggings kept me company this week, along with our brand new sample pair of pole shorts. You'll be pleased to know that they were an absolute Lycra miracle! Keep watching for these to hit our fitness page on the webstore very soon in some very cool designs. But for now, click here for your unicorn leggings --> Click here
Some of the pretty additions that make the class so homely. The cabinet is full of pole goodies as well as some crafts and trinkets to buy that the girls create.
Like every other week, my thanks goes out to Andi at Active Cherry, Eastbourne, Freddie and all the other girls and guys in the class, Wild Bangarang for providing me with the best pole fitnesswear I've ever owned (sorry other leading brands!), and everyone who has taken the time to scroll through my pole adventures. Grab 10% off our pole collection with my blog discount code POLE10...and for awesome fitness tops, grab 20% off our Gymnasty range with GYMNASTY20 until the end of the June!
Until next week,