Is it wrong that I don’t want to fonji?
For a while now, I have been feeling under pressure to practice and nail the fonji.
The wonderful thing about social media is that it allows us to share new moves and progress at the touch of a button. We see a new move in the evening, immediately plan to try it out the next morning, perfect it in the afternoon and post our own photo that night.
This leads to a steady ripple as the move sweeps across the pole world, spreading wider and wider as everyone aims to nail the Move Of The Moment.
|Move Of The Moment:Shimmy’s seahorse|
For me in the past year or so, the Move Of The Moment was first Janeiro, then it was side superman, moving on to titanic, then Shimmy’s seahorse, before Anastasia and her superman/titanic variations, and finally stopping off most recently at the sailboat.
But nestling in amongst all these amazing and creative and challenging moves has been the fonji. Not strictly a “new” move, but one that seems increasingly prevalent. One that seems to be popping up at every masterclass and private lesson with the pole elite. One that is proudly perfected and videoed and uploaded with increasing regularity.
And while all the above Moves Of The Moment have set my pole blood on fire and made my heart sing and my hamstrings twinge and made me want to rush out immediately and try it RIGHT NOW, something about fonji just makes me think: no thanks. I don’t want to learn to fonji. Is that wrong?
|This is nothing
compared to what goes on in my studio
when someone nails a move
Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way pissing on the bonfire of those who have worked incredibly hard to achieve it. I train with friends who I admire hugely for their dedication to Mr Fonji and his shoulder crushing demands. I know that euphoric feeling of finally nailing a nemesis move, especially one that is clearly so super advanced, and the pride that can accompany the knowledge that you have had to dig so deep into the well of your abilities to get there. And I’m not trying to say I’m not impressed by it: I’m hugely impressed. And I’m chuffed to bits for my pole sisters and brothers when they crack it. I get inordinate amounts of excitement from seeing what this wonderful community can do. But something about this move is not for me.
Now I know what you’re saying. You’re saying I don’t want to fonji because I can’t. Because its too difficult for me. Because its too challenging and I don’t want to put in the time and effort, or deal with the pain, both physical and mental. Because I’m jealous.
|Pole Vs Leg|
I can assure you this is not the case. Those I have trained with can regale you with tales of moves it has taken me a year or even more to achieve, and the stupid injuries I have sustained along the way, the three months I had to teach on crutches and wearing a cast, not to mention the ridiculous noises and imaginative swear word combos I have created. I’m not scared of a bit of pain, and anyway since when did polers start assessing pole move desireability on just how much self torture one person can take? I know we can be a masochistic lot but does Pain Inflicted Upon Oneself + Distress Caused = Ultimate Success?
When did pole turn into a competition where you are supposed to take on moves you don’t like and won’t enjoy learning because you have a voice in your head saying “you should be able to do everything! Everyone else is learning it! If you can’t do it you are a failure! If you were any kind of decent person you would learn it and push yourself, I don’t care if you have other moves to perfect and a million other things to be working on, do THIS, or somebody somewhere will say “well, she can’t even fonji”, and in those lame supposedly inspirational quote things, aren’t they always telling you that the thing you really, really need to do is actually the thing you don’t want to do?”
Frankly, that voice needs to get lost.
Fonji is not my style. I don’t mean that in a glib way, the way people say “public transport is not my style, darling”. I mean its not my dance style, my pole style. We all have our own thing, that’s what makes our sport so fascinating and beautiful and varied and inspirational. I see a move and think: yes, that’s for me. I’ll work my arse off and I’ll get it. I haven’t been beaten yet – and out of the moves I still can’t do, I’m still not beaten. I’ll keep going, and I know I’ll get it. There are many moves I can work on and push myself to do, and that I will achieve and make my own. Why should I feel pressure to do something else?
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll decide to give it a go, and I’ll love it, I’ll find a way to make it work with my style and and I’ll be writing an inspirational blog about how wrong I was, possibly entitled Just Call Me Little Miss Fonjipants.
I fell in love with pole for many reasons. One of those reasons was that it enabled me to push myself and challenge myself – to push MYSELF, not to push others and not to be pushed by others. This is my sport. This is my pole. This is my journey.
Pole isn’t Pokemon. You haven’t gotta catch ’em all.