It’s just past half way through the year. Just about 6 months since my stroke. Just under six months since I started doing pole at home and other workouts on a regular basis. From running 20 mins maybe once a week and some yoga from time to time to training on and off the pole between 4 and 6 times a week.
Not every week, admittedly. There have been some down times and some better moments, some difficult periods, a couple of panic attacks, a few moments of realisation, some lifestyle changes, some habits broken.
So where do I find myself, my pole, my body, my dancing shoes now, at the start of August, at the height of summer?
In a great, sunny place with the horizon streeeeeetching out before me!
The down times? They come from frustration and a lack of confidence. The frustration of finally getting into the superman in class (applauses all around which was lovely!) but not being able to do it again at home. WHY???? Fear. As well as a lack of strength in my legs and flexibility in my back.
The horrible drop in confidence when someone mentions my hair as my best feature for pole-dancing. Damnit!!! I’m working on every muscle in my body and yet all I can think about is, well, is it just my hair that’s gonna make the difference between an ok pole dancer and a great one?
There really is only one person I should ever listen to for advice: myself. My body. Me.
The realisations? The learning curves? They come from random notes, messages and comments, some on social media, some from reading, some from my own observations. The first: you can’t out-train a bad diet. And as much as I like to think I have a good diet, I know I don’t in reality. But something clicked recently. I started listening even closer to my body, my moods, my emotions, my energy levels, my recovery time. And for the first time I am craving real food. I am craving colourful fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and juicy steaks, rather than the ‘bigger the better’ muffins and cookies and cupcakes. They make me feel tired, grumpy, sad. Nuts make me happy. I never realised it before but they do!!! (With a little chocolate too, of course!!)
Another huge realisation? When I eat sugar I have no control as to when I’m full and, as a result, when to stop. I can eat it for ever and ever and ever… Just knowing this has given me the upper hand. And I don’t need it so much anymore.
My body is now very good at telling me what it needs, if I just listen a little more carefully.
What do I need to do now? What do I work on? Which direction should I head in?
Fear: This is number one. First stop: invest in a crash mat. Practical side solved. Next: breeeeeeaaaathe. And just go for it, no need to think so much. Confidence may help too… The more work I do, the more confident I will feel and less insecure, hence, less fear.
Leg strength: A big issue for me. I have to work out a lot more on this if I want to get the cupid, the knee holds, the bird and to have stronger splits (would love to do the handstand splits someday!). Cleo’s Rocking Legs and Abs, here we come!
Back flexibility: Now I know it’s not so important to push the back as it can be dangerous. So what I really mean here is that I need to concentrate on my shoulder flexibility, as well as my hip flexors (useful for my splits too).
Confidence: Confidence is key. I will just have to fake it for a while, if that’s going to get me in the right direction. Once all the above are coming along nicely, I think confidence will come naturally.
Will keep you posted at Christmas time as to my progress!! And will start posting pics once I have some to be proud of!!