25 November, 2013

Savour your journey.

The pole community worldwide is growing at an amazing rate. Each week we have new moves to try, new competition videos to watch, new workshops to attend, new blog posts to read. We want to be the best, in the middle of things, and we want it now. In return we're finding ourselves frustrated and fed up. 

Sound like someone you know? Maybe....yourself? Here are some tips to help you appreciate and make the most of your pole journey. Read on dear friend.

1. HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS. Repeat after me: expectations are total fun killers. Expectations lead to disappointment. This may seem like a negative way to look at things but life doesn't do what we expect it to do. Even if we work as hard as we can. Set rough guidelines of where you'd like to go but do not convince yourself that they will magically be fulfilled. Sometimes we're just not built to do something a certain way and sometimes the right path is the one that pops up unexpectedly.
2. Set no goals. That is until you are at a point where goals will help guide you; usually when you start to begin to understand your strengths and weaknesses. For me this was after I had been doing pole for nearly a year and they were quite vague. I chose one long term and one short term goal. Sometimes setting goals can have the opposite effect - specially if we don't reach that goal as expected. Achieving your goal is all well and good but it really is the journey that is more important.
3. Leave jealousy at the studio door. This is your journey and your journey alone. You are not the person you share a pole with in class. You will build strength at a different rate, enjoy different moves, your muscles will have a different level of natural flexibility, even the level of grip your skin provides will be different. You are no less or more than them. If you can do one thing better than when you first started then you have made progress. You are a better version of yourself already.
4. Have a positive attitude. Every class I hear someone say "I can't do it" before they've even tried. How the hell can you know if you don't even try? Studies show that belief is incredibly important in all aspects of our lives. Have some faith in your abilities and know that even where your weaknesses lie you can improve. You can learn, you can practice and you WILL get better.
5. Try something new. Getting on the pole is not the only way to improve and in fact the best of the best primarily train away from the pole. Almost all forms of exercise will have a positive impact on your performance on the pole; take some dance classes, go to adult gymnastics, go rock climbing, start doing yoga or stretching every day, run to improve your stamina, learn another aerial art. It will keep things fresh and allow you to work on areas that pole alone cannot improve.
6. Just play. Adults can play too, in fact it is important that we do. Enjoyment is the greatest motivator of all. If you have a pole at home then turn the lights down low, put on your favourite song and JUST DANCE. Play around, roll on the floor, flick your hair, jump about, spin around and around that pole. Loosen up. Pretend you're a goddamn professional dancer. Let go.

- Bex