Pain and Pole
The suffering that comes from pole dancing – the bruises, the stubbed toes, the pain – along with the pleasure of accomplishing something is an analogy for life. And I like seeing life’s ups and downs manifested through my body and my dance. (Karol Helms)
I could not agree with this statement more. I’ve been training more frequently lately. I’ve been learning new moves and perfecting old ones…I don’t know about you but when I try a move for the first time, I injure myself. My shins bruise, skin tears off my wrists, foreign muscular pain develops… To me this is such a vital part of the growing process. I think the pain associated with pole dance is so much engrained in the community that at least every pole dancer can say he or she has proudly snapped a picture of a pole-related injury at one point or another.
Remember your first pole class? I remember mine vividly. I felt humbled and inspired. I felt scared and self-doubting. The day after, my arms ached and I could barely climb the stairs of my 5th floor Manhattan walk-up. I was motivated by this pain and the challenge pole dance presented though. I kept going back to class week after week. I learned to avoid slamming my shins into the pole in the Fireman Spin. My sensitive inner thighs developed a tolerance for the pole. My strength grew and I became aware of my body and what muscle groups I needed to engage.
There are always new challenges in pole and always new moves to learn. Those first few shots we take at attempting a new trick might leave us initially discouraged and wondering if we will ever be able to reach our goal. Anytime you feel this self-doubt, I want you to go back in your mind to day one. Remember where you were and how far you’ve come. It’s inspiring to have tangible evidence that if you keep trying, you will overcome and succeed. You will misstep and come into harm’s way. But you will always learn. And if you hang in there long enough, you will be able to achieve what once seemed impossible.