Getting Flexy – Fall 2019

In 2017, I had a great training plan set up for the New Year, including working on my shoulder and back flexibility. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. I got hand, mouth and foot disease which prevented me from training for a bit. After that, I was sick for a week. And then shortly after that I pulled a tendon in my bicep. I got hit with one thing after another, making it difficult to consistently train. I suffered with my arm injury for a month and I finally went to physio for treatment. I took time off completely while my arm was getting treated. Right when my arm was better, I had to go in for surgery on my breast implant…a week before I was to perform. The surgery resulting in scar tissue that tightened my shoulders further.

I struggled for years with any tricks that required shoulder flexibility. It took a few years and several osteopath and massage sessions and lots of yoga classes to regain flexibility in my shoulders. It was a lot of work to reverse the effects of the injuries and surgery.

Now I have finally made progress in improving my shoulders and back, as well as my middle splits.

I have also started training for a very advanced pole trick called Bird o Paradise. The trick is adapted from the yoga pose that shares the same name. The difference between the yoga pose (which is tricky enough as it as) and the pole version is having the pole weaved behind the shoulder. It hurts a lot to train so I can only practice 2-3 times until the pain on my shoulder is too much. It is incredibly difficult and takes a lot of shoulder flexibility. I have managed to progress to grab my hand, now I have to work on the positioning and balance to take my top leg off the pole. The last other demonstrates what the trick is supposed to look like.

My overall strength has increased with noticeable changes to my body and my abilities on the pole.

Finally Progress – Killing It In 2019

I am achieving the goals I set for myself at the beginning of  year. It seems changing my diet has also contributed to building muscle and strength.  I can check off titanic, aerial shoulder mount and ayesha! Those are 3 big ones that I’m so proud of.  And I got my nemesis…handspring!  After 3 years of frustration and thinking that it will never happen, it finally did happen.  I did exactly what I planned, I left handspring for a bit, got some other tricks, and then returned to handspring with renewed determination. The first time I did a successful handspring at SASS, all the girls cheered, as they know how hard I’ve been working on it.  It felt so good.  In silks, my aerial inverts are getting much stronger.

All the hard work is finally paying off.  I have finally got past the fear of trying new pole tricks and have had fun learning new things again.  I now can do headstands and getting close to handstands.  My love for pole has returned.  I’m spending 10-15 hours a week training between pole, silks and other workouts.

Last on my list is brass monkey! I will conquer.

Falling In Love

I seen a few pole dancer videos and I thought it was so beautiful.

I just had to try it.

And then I finally did.

And I fell in love.

Pole is where other girls support and compliment each other . We bond doing the most incredible crazy things with our bodies. We can be sexy. We can twerk. We can do the splits. And we also celebrate each other. We laugh and cry together. We share bruises, we share goals. We get each other.

Pole is a beautiful community.

The days that I don’t want to go to class are actually the days I NEED to go to class. It’s the days that I’m feeling down that I need pole the most. In class, I strip down to my itty bitty pole clothes and have to look myself honestly in the mirror. It’s when I can be myself and let go of my daily stresses. I am surrounded by strong, beautiful and kind woman. They help me remind myself that I am all of those things too. By the time I leave class, I am always smiling and proud of myself. I overcame the negativity that fueled my mind earlier.

I’m looking forward to the adventurous to come in the new SASS Studio in St.Catharines. A group of us had volunteered our time to help paint the studio, which is an example how polers come together to help each other and the sense of community it is.

2019 Goals

It has felt like that I haven’t been able to get any new tricks in quite a while. I go to class, watch all the girls do amazing things, and fight back the tears of my own frustration. I would stare at the pole in anger, why can’t I do things everyone else is? There were many classes that I felt like leaving early. Usually, I would put on my pants, and play on the silks as that would make me feel better.

I’ve been working on handspring for years, I just can’t seem to get it. I’m made some progress at the end of the year, I did get my extended butterfly back, which I lost for a few years. But handspring remains my nemesis so I decided to leave that for a bit, and make some new goals.

1. Titanic

2. Aerial Shoulder Mount

3. Ayesha

4. Brass Monkey

If I can get some of these, I will then return to handspring. I’m going to set aside time daily to do some conditioning, and work on some tricks. 2019 will be my year!

Published – August 2017

Pole has opened a lot of doors for me that I would have never thought possible. One of them is the ability to model. I always dreamed about being a model when I was a little girl, but never thought I had the looks for it. Since I started working out, I’ve gotten the confidence to try things I’ve always wanted to do.

I joined a few modelling groups online, posted a few pictures I had and before I knew it, I had several photographers wanting to shoot with me. It was almost overwhelming at first, I didn’t think anything would actually come from it.

I did several photo shoots throughout the summer, which allowed me to build a portfolio. I worked with a bunch of different photographers with very different styles, allowing me learn what works for me best. I took in all the advice and tips the photographers gave me since it all was new to me.

One photo shoot I ended to getting published in 2 online magazines! I was on cloud nine, was so proud of being published. In that moment, I realized I can do anything when I really put the work into it.

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Where Oh Where Can My Motivation Be? 

Dear Motivation,

Where are you? Why are you hiding? My energy levels and drive have been low.  I try to eat better but then slip backwards into old habits.  My progress in aerial has been slower. I’m at a plateau.

I see other people grow above me. I get frustrated at how my lack of advancement.

Why can I not handspring yet? Am I just not strong enough? I am doubting my abilities.  The other things in my life have taken over. My dreams seem like they are no longer obtainable.

I wasn’t sure how to proceed from here. So I thought looking back may help. I recently reread this blog.  It reminded me where I started from and how far I’ve come. Just within the last year, I created this blog, a brand for myself and started performing. Later this year, I will be competing and getting my instructor certification.

I also looked but at my pole board on Pinterest. I used to spend hours looking through pole pictures and videos for inspiration and motivation.  I took some time revisiting my pins, which reminded me how I fell I love with pole. And how obsessed I was with it.  Whenever I listened to music, I thought of poling. Whenever I shopped for clothes, I looked for new pole clothes. Whenever I was out anywhere, I looked for a pole to play on.

My handspring will come. It took me a year and a half to do a shoulder mount.   More than half my battle is mental. I need to keep believing in myself. I need to stop looking at others with envy, instead let them inspire and teach me. I too can do it.  No more excuses. I had so many goals at the beginning of the year.  I know once I start training regularly again my passion will return.

Workin’ on Twerkin’

 

At the beginning of the year, I took a screenshot from Cleo’s Rock ‘n’ Pole that will be my dance goal for 2017. It was the perfect move to try to master as I’ve been really wanting to learn how to twerk. I have figured out that it is all in the hips, but can’t seem to get it yet.  I’ve been watching videos for inspiration and tips how to do it. No videos of me yet as I’m really awful so far. I am determined to master twerking this year. I’m open to any videos or tips that anyone else has to offer!

 

 

 


New Year, New Challenges

I ended 2016 with posting a recent picture of me and my body stats: 

December 31, 2016

Weight: 122

Body Fat: 23%

Waist: 27 inches

I posted it to hold myself accountable towards my goals and to keep pushing.

I started stretching as I really want to gain flexibility. I have been using the techniques I learned in the flexibility workshop last October.

 

My goal is to train 5 days a week:

1. Silks (class)

2. Stretching (at home)

3. Pole (classes)

4. Hoop (at home)

5. Pole (at home)

I don’t have set days for the training at home, as it will vary with my schedule. The first step was setting goals, the next step is to commit to them!!

 

 

 

I received my Christmas gift from my husband, which an lyra hoop from Juggle Gear.  The day I received it, I couldn’t wait to get it up and rigged. I was afraid I wouldn’t remember the tricks I learned from the workshop I did last August. It didn’t take long to get it all back though!

Turning 33 and 10 Years of Marriage – Fall 2016

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I celebrated my 33rd birthday and had a wonderful day. I would have never thought that at 33, I would be the strongest that I’ve ever been. I’ve found myself through pole, and so excited to see where this journey will continue to take me.

 
At the beginning of October, my husband and I went to Jamaica to celebrate my birthday and out 10 year wedding anniversary. My mom watched the kids at home, so it was just the 2 of us. We had the best time, and of course I found a pole to do a few tricks on!

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My husband is my biggest supporter and encourages me to achieve my goals. He helps in any way he can from watching me learn a trick or routine and giving feedback to staying up late at night to alter my costume to make sure it fits perfectly. He is proud of my accomplishments and have seen the changes in me over the last few years. We have had our share of bumps in our marriage and it does take a lot of work. I found that since I really discovered how to love myself, that it has helped my marriage as well.

My First Recital, The Highs and Lows – June 2016

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I spent several months working on choreographing my own routine for the first time. It was supposed to be for a spring showcase at SASS, which the date was pushed back several times. Then it was cancelled and postponed until the fall due to a lack of performers ready with a routine. When my silks instructor heard it was cancelled, she invited me to perform my routine at our silks recital.

I altered my costume a bit as the show was for all ages. I had to change my song to a Beatles song as that was the theme. I picked Free As A Bird and it fit my routine well. I spent hours preparing for the show.

On rehearsal day, I set up the 2 stage poles to practice. The show was in a gym and it was very hot. I was very worried that I would be too sweaty to execute my shoulder mount in the routine.

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The day of the show, I was beyond nervous. When I got out there, I concentrated on my music and my movements and didn’t look at the audience. I did bail on my shoulder mount as I was just too slippery. Overall, I was happy how it went but was going to take the shoulder mount out of the second show

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The silks group routine I wasn’t nearly as nervous for as I wasn’t out there alone. It went well. My husband and kids came to support me and my husband recorded my performances.

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Between the first and second show, I was told that there was some negative comments about my pole routine posted on the events Facebook page. I was asked to tone down the routine or perhaps take it out of the second show. I thought about it for a bit and decided that I did not want to change my art because of a bully, so I didn’t perform. I went home for a bit to clear my head, and went back just to perform the group silks routine at the end of the show.

After the show, I bought a big bottle of wine, relaxed in my hot tub and vented to some pole friends. I took solace in hearing other friends stories of facing negative comments through their pole career. The stigma around pole is sometimes difficult for a dancer to deal with. But it’s our passion and art and we are tough girls that will face the negativity head on and will not let it defeat us.

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