This week’s mystery guest blogger knows a thing or two about incorporating feminine prowess with her fitness. While I’ve been celebrating national coffee day with mochas all week, she’s been losing back fat while looking fly.
Picture this: 32 years old, 8 weeks postpartum after my third child. On a whim, that may or may not have involved a glass of wine or two, I signed up for a pole dancing class and somehow gather the nerve to show up.
I walk up to the pole with my 6 inch heels provided by the studio, and, well to be frank, I couldn’t do shit. I had zero core strength, (partially because I just carried and delivered a 9lb4oz baby 8 weeks prior), no rhythm, zero skills.
But what I did have was FUN. For the first time ever I had a smile on my face while “working out.” I used to be a big half-marathons girl. And while running is amazing for your mind, body and soul, not once in single run, be it 3 or 13 miles, did I have a smile on my face the whole time.
So here I was: smiling, dancing, twirling, spinning. Although at times I looked like a squatting leprechaun swinging around the pole (yeah, just let that sink in…) I very quickly decided that it didn’t matter who was watching or what I looked like because that’s not what it’s about: this was a place people come to be in their bodies, pushing themselves as far as they want. And just….BEING.
The smile I gained in class lingered, and I carried it with me home. That was the beginning of my love of Pole and a journey that really would change my life the way no sport has.
Ok, yeah I know, as dramatic as that sounds, there are a few things that Pole has done for my life.
CONFIDENCE & IDENTITY
When you start taking care of yourself, your body will take care of you right back. This is true of any sport, but there is a uniqueness to the results of pole.
Just getting up the courage to go to your first class in an accomplishment in and of itself.
Then, as you get stronger and develop skills; nothing feels better than accomplishing something you worked towards. Every session leaves me with a feeling of achievement. And with each achievement comes the drive to move on to the next goal.
You will find yourself comfortable in a sports bra and booty shorts. You will be confident, asking your class mates to photograph you in the latest and greatest move you have accomplished. You will be shocked at what you can do and how….beautiful, strong and yes, even sexy you look! You will proudly share these photos, like the mother of a new baby would.
Those feelings of confidence will follow you outside of your pole class. I feel like a better mom, knowing that I am more than just “insertchildsname’s Mommy”, I am a better friend because I am beaming with positivity, and a better wife because my husband doesn’t have to hear me saying negative things about myself anymore.
This may be the least tangible benefit but it is definitely the mightiest.
As women, there is so much emphasis placed on the way we look. The world expects us to have: a tiny waist, popping booty, boobs for days, a smile in your eye and don’t even get me started on the thigh gap….
Have you ever seen what bearing three children will do to a body? Well, I have. I can promise you that I do not, nor have I ever fit into the definition of a “good/sexy/amazing body” I am the short and stout Irish girl with a champagne habit.
I am no longer concerned with what my body looks like, but I am now focused on what my body can do. My work outs are no longer about bikini season or that gut that just won’t quit. Now I work out to become better at pole. I work out to achieve that pose I have been working towards and maybe even make it look seamless!
Meanwhile my body has responded on its own without me completely obsessing over it.
So why is pole the perfect full body workout? Okay, there’s the very obvious fact that you are performing feats that require a tremendous about of strength, coordination and flexibility. You are literally moving your body and supporting/carrying your own weight on a shiny vertical pole.
Have you ever heard of HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training. Pole is a series of BURSTs of intense activity (climbing, spinning, inverting) followed by lower intensity activity periods. HIIT type exercise are well known for burning fat and improving cardiovascular health.
To sum it all up, I have never felt stronger, I have never felt more overall fitness. From my toes to my nose, I have felt and seen the effects of this amazing sport.
They call it “Pole Sisters” and it is so incredibly true. Pole is a sport that attracts a diverse spectrum of ages, sizes, personalities, professions and cultures. For those 60 minutes, we are like best friends; working to achieve our own individual goals while having fun together, cheering and celebrating. Our shared interest in pole develops a really special bond I have not experienced in any other sport.
Pole fitness is a celebration of the female form and the female strength. It’s an amazing sport that comes with a large diverse community of like-minded girls. Personally, it has brought my confidence, happiness and fitness to amazing places….And for that, I am so incredibly proud of my sport.