Remember the lesson I blogged about, where Andi was away and the new pole teacher almost broke me with arm-strength moves?
She was back - I'm going to have to name her G.I Pain, just down to her strength exercises and quite frankly frightening ability to hoist herself up a pole like a stick insect.
But I was stoked to see her cheery face back in front of the class as we all warmed up; she was unbelievably positive and confident that she made me convince myself I was capable of everything that was about to happen during the next hour.
Each week that passes, I'm feeling that little bit more confident; with the girls around me, the moves, the fact that I'm starting to get to grip with static pole moves. (Or so I thought.) As I walked in to this week's class with a t-shirt for G.I Pain; a design she'd described the week before and asked if Wild Bangarang could create (and after pestering our designer Zsolt, he printed up that afternoon much to my delight), I felt my confidence extend with a less-shy 'hi' to the usual girls of the Thursday evening class as I stuffed my leggings and hoodie into the cubbyhole and took a place for the warm-up.
Hitting the Eighties look with our brand new limited edition Bangarang Box Eighties leggings (if you didn't grab the box, you missed out! But don't worry - we have plenty of other limited boxes to grab coming up...). Like the tee? It's one of our newly designed bespoke tees for Active Cherry - and it'll be in our shop to buy very soon!
G.I Pain started - and continued - the lesson exactly the same as the previous lesson, and it was fantastic. I'll readily admit we all have that part that can't wait to learn a new move, but the older I have become the more I want to stop and work on what I didn't quite get right the first time, instead of charging ahead forgetting these important little strength sessions.
"Knee to the pole, ladies! Hand here, leg here!" The move I barely mastered last time came fairly easily - sloppily agreed, I'm not a whizz at this arm stuff quite yet - and I was able to join the other girls in the class in mastering the first move.
Attempting a sloppy move or two learnt from the last lesson. I was pretty happy with this, even though my knee wasn't talking to me the next day...
There were all those moves I'd written about so sulkily before; but this time, whether or not I was achieving it, I was trying to achieve it, and that is all that mattered. I was teamed with Kat - she was a pro at these moves and made it look easy, like most of my buddies; but she also helped me to work out why my brain wasn't telling the correct body parts where to go. Mixed hands, mixed knees, I knew my embarrassment at my inability to achieve was showing its ugly self, but she sure helped me to qwell it with her tips and interaction.
You'll all be laughing at my inadequacy and ridiculous attempts at pushing myself from the floor when you see my blog photos, and I don't blame you. I watched G.I Pain do this and make it look easy, and this is something that alot of people who don't do pole fitness don't realise; some moves that look good are easy, and some moves that look easy are EVIL.
Pure, skin-removing, dread-inducing, frustratingly EVIL.
This move (don't ask me to remember the name of it), it consisted of hooking my leg around the pole, pushing up with my weaker hand and off the pole with my stronger hand, extending my back leg and holding it. It really looked like something you should be able to do from the minute you entered the playground at seven years old, but my poor arms felt like they were holding up an elephant. My leg just wouldn't extend, and I slumped to the floor in a heap. BUT - I managed twice as much as I had first lesson, and I was proud of what little progression I had made. This repetitive lesson was actually just what I needed, to gain confidence that I was actually changing my pole techniques and my strength was creeping up bit by bit.
The struggle is real - and so was the collapse! But I managed some form of the move in the end!
The final move we practised was one I've always wanted to master, but not being a static spin girl, was absolutely mortified to try. A rear grab spin job with legs out and elegance. Pffft... But with the right positivity, I managed something by the end of class that was passable... It may not have won medals, but it was still a small dent in a large goal of mine.
Yes, I look forward to learning new moves, yes I like the challenge of new and exciting positions to try and bend myself into, but most of all I am really starting to love this feeling that I am actually progressing in my journey here at Active Cherry. Things I cast aside that I couldn't do at first are coming back around in these current classes, and I'm managing to actually attempt them with some sort of result. Not everything in life needs to be conquered straight away, mastered with ease, or aced with top scores. Sometimes things take that little extra time, that perseverance, and a good revisit once or twice a month, just to prove that all this sweat and all the tears are totally, 100%, worth it.
Thanks to Andi (Pole Witch), the girls in the class this week and everyone else at Active Cherry, Eastbourne, and big thanks to G.I Pain this week for her awesome lesson! Grab 10% from the Wild Bangarang pole collection using POLE10 if you fancy an addition to your own wardrobe - click HERE to check it out.
Until next time,