and how to avoud them
My most recent blog, detailing how I idiotically broke my foot whilst
teaching a pole fitness class, has proved by far to be the most
popular blog of all. There could be a number of reasons for this: a
genuine interest and concern for my health from friends and
wellwishers (possible) or that people love reading about pain and
suffering and misfortune (much more likely).
People love a bit of negativity. After the initial flurry of very kind
messages to soothe both my broken foot and fractured soul, the doom
merchants came slithering out of their Jeremy Kyle shaped caves and
stalked across the landscape with their scythes of catastrophe,
slaying positivity and hope and belief left right and centre.
“I did that, my foot’s never been the same…”, “My sister did that.
It’s broken eight times since…”, “You’ll never, ever be able to wear
heels again…”, “You may as well just cut your foot off now and be
done with it…”
That last one is an exaggeration, but you get the picture. I’m a
pretty positive person by nature, but Christ on a life raft, if one
more person tells me I will have to cancel my booked up and paid for
holiday in Florida (you know the place – sun loungers, swimming pools,
sunshine, waitress service, lots of laying about) I am going to beat
them about the head with my crutches.
So, ladies and gentlemen, with this in mind, I present, for your
delight and delectation, the roll call of pole dancing injuries. Gaze
on in wonder as your image of pole dancing as an easy leisure pursuit
or male fantasy vanishes before your eyes! Marvel at complicated ways
to injure your body you never thought possible! Admire the women who
put themselves through such things, and then photograph it and upload
it to Facebook!
Pole dancing is hardcore. When starting out on the pole odyssey (by
which I mean starting lessons but let’s make it sound Herculean) most
students are surprised to find pole dancing is difficult, and it
hurts. This is one of the reasons polers can be so defensive, and get
annoyed when it isn’t taken seriously as a sport
The first thing to deal with are the bruises. Pole dancers can spot
other pole dancers a mile away. A rash of little bruises sweeping up
the inner thigh? Superman. Top of the foot where your flip flop sits?
Learning to climb. (There was a girl on The Apprentice last year who
wore a skirt one week and revealed some very suspicious looking
bruises to the beady-eyed pole enthusiast)
Pretty soon on your pole adventure you will come across pole burn –
friction burns caused by skin-on-pole contact. This little pleasure
really comes into its own when learning to pole sit. Oh, to hold your
entire body weight clenched between your inner thighs! This is where
it’s good to carry a little bit of meat on your thighs – more to grip
Watch in awe as ladies climb, sit, hold, release and rub their inner
thighs in agony whilst taking the Lord’s name in vain and cursing all
his cherubim and seraphim to high heaven.
You may also come across the joys of floor/carpet burns when landing
your spins. And it’s not just knees – when executing a floor move
pushing back from a press-up position I have experienced carpet burn
on the chin – which is not easy to explain at the school PTA AGM.
For those who still maintain pole dancing is about titillating men,
ladies and gentlemen I bring you callouses. Spinning around the pole
will wear the skin on your hands – and when your spins get fast, you
will wear the skin harder, until eventually a little line of callouses
will develop. These may extend to the little patch of skin on the
inner side of your wrist. These double up as exfoliating pads when treating your significant other to a nice scratchy massage.
These are good and are to be encouraged as
they will protect your hands, in much the same way a guitarist must
develop callouses on their fingers to hold down the strings. If you
pole dance a lot, the delicate skin on your inner thighs may start to
toughen up too.
If you still think pole dancing is sexy, let’s talk about dry skin –
moisturising will cause you to slip off the pole. Oh and some find
stubbly legs grip the pole better. On the other hand, all that walking
about in shorts means bikini waxes are a regular feature, so there’s
no need to turn into the Wild Woman of Borneo. It helps to keep your
nails short as well, or you may gouge a chunk of flesh out of your
thigh when changing a hand grip.
All this, plus the fact that it’s obviously uncomfortable to wrap your
nice soft body around a metal pole and stay there. New students often
say “Is that right? It feels weird” and it does – because really, when
would you have ever done anything similar before?
On the plus side, you see a difference in muscle tone fast, within six
weeks or so, and learn something new each week. You see your strength
increase much faster than in any other fitness class I’ve been to, and
all of the above hazards decrease as you perfect your technique. Or
maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just clumsy. I’m the one with the broken
foot, after all.