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So I've previously written about battling a move I never thought I'd be able to do, turning a bad day into a good one, and twisting my can't's into will's. But what about the moves that I can do? How do I know I'm going to make this work before I even try it?
It's been a hot week. The Cave (Wild Bangarang HQ) has challenged our little portable air con system with rising heats in the office, and as I packed my bags after my day, I'd be lying if I said I didn't wonder how I was going to reawaken my mind and body after a slightly sleepy afternoon stint.
The drive from Seaford to Eastbourne is nothing short of beautiful - the views of the Seven Sisters Country Park are never too shabby when you're making your way over the hills. I started to find myself thinking of my impending pole class, and what might be in store for my muscles this week. By the time I arrived in Eastbourne and parked up behind the Active Cherry studios, I was suitably cooled and relaxed - and ready to take on whatever Andi had to throw at us.
In the changing rooms wearing our Sylvanas legion leggings and my grey-green FIT top - click here for the leggings!
Class started; warm-up completed - and we started with a combination of moves that I'd done before, but not in this order. This shouldn't have been an issue for me, but being 6pm my mind was relaxing into evening mode and my face must have reflected confusion and slight amusement as I tried to match my brain with my body parts. Again, I was paired with Michelle and Freddie; I didn't envy Michelle as she had been working hard on a pole routine all day and looked like she too was flagging in the heat. Her thighs were glowing from her continual inverts and moves - "You've probably inverted 55 times today, Michelle!" Freddie exclaimed at one point - and if there was ever dedication to a sport, this was a prime example. I knew that this lesson I couldn't mutter any 'I can't' or 'I'm not doing that' comments, else Michelle may launch at me with both hands.
Before I had left the Cave, I had asked Lyra 'what can I concentrate on for this week's blog? What shall I try at class this week?' and she replied 'Not allowing any can't's'. I couldn't argue with this; whether it was my nerves or tiredness, I had let far too much negativity into my pole workouts, and I was pretty sure it was showing in awkward moves and rushed combinations. And as I watched Freddie support Michelle into a move for the fifth time, I could see the pain of her day session etched on her face. As she paused at the bottom of the pole, ready to invert for the sixth time, she said something very poignant.
'When I say 'can't', I don't mean 'I can't'. I mean 'I can't do this...yet.'
This was just ammunition to my mind, and my instant motto for this class. What I can't do today, I will do again and again until I can. I thought of Lyra's challenge, and pushed forward to try and qwell my fear of performing in front of the class. I have no idea why I continually feel pressured into getting things just right; Andi and the class don't do this, but I do it to myself, and I was reprimanded for this when she came over to see how my combination was panning out. 'Take your time! Make it pretty! Put your back into it!' She was insistent that I took my time - nobody was watching, nobody cared whether I'd do this right or wrong, just lose myself in the moment. And there was my blog post for this week - The Move Happens First In Your Mind.
With the wrong mental attitude comes the wrong approach. The wrong self-belief, the wrong focus - the wrong everything. This was entirely where I was failing myself, and I needed to fix this quickly. Of course, Andi, Michelle, Freddie and the class continually support and encourage this, but in particular this week Andi's firm and authoritative manner snapped me back into the room and into making effort mentally as well as physically.
A smile, pointed toes, straight legs, neat hands. Time to start cleaning up my act!
Presentation is key - it's not like I don't drill this into my head day after day, so why is pole class any different? I made it my objective to try things as neatly as I could this week, and as the class came to a close, I was grateful for the reminder and the push. Michelle had what could only be described as tiny purple bruises surfacing her inner thighs, a reminder of her persistence and success of what she had achieved. I stood by the door picking the callouses that had appeared on both hands and was quietly proud that I'd earned those little lumps of stressed skin. (If you're reading this and thought pole fitness was glamorous - I'm sorry to dash your illusions.)
Freddie helping me into an umbrella. Soon after this photo I had lifted both legs to the front and was holding on proudly with my back arm. I'm wearing our Origins lilac crop which you can check out here.
Yet again, a fulfilling and satisfying hour was spent with the class, another week had flown by, and I think this week in particular I was proud of the most. Maybe perhaps even more than the week I managed my Jade! Because this week I'd worked out my mind. I'd exercised my brain, my attitude. With the support of the girls, I had mastered where I was failing - and it wasn't my body. I may be tired, I may be sore, but the biggest part of my body that's aching is what's up the top - and boy, was that an important lesson I had this week.
Follow me weekly for my pole adventures, and as always a huge thanks to the girls and guys at Active Cherry, Eastbourne, and my teacher Andi.
Check out our exclusive pole collection while it lasts and for 10% off the pole goodies, use my blog code POLE10 - enjoy!
Until next week,