It Doesn't Have To Take Forever To Be Good At Pole
Are you a newbie to pole? Or maybe you’re an experienced dancer that’s taken some time off and are now getting back into class? Either way, starting something new or getting back into something you were once good at can be hard.
Actually, it can be downright frustrating AF.
I hear you, I do. And I’m here to talk about that awkward feeling and what we can do with it.
Don’t let that initial rush of awkwardness convince you that you shouldn’t be doing pole fitness.
This is a common feeling I see in my students and fellow dancers that have taken time away from the pole and are shadows of their former pole star selves. I’m not going to tell you that same old story about “Good things come to those that wait and work hard” (although that is true, too).
No – my message here is that things don't have to take a long time to right themselves when you start something. I personally learned this big time when I stopped my daily habit of writing.
My Old Routine aka What I Used To Be Good At
Each morning, I follow a similar routine. I arise from bed and head to the kitchen for my dose of caffeine and to fill my big bottle with water. Then it's back to bed - not for more sleep, but for the start of my work before the day unfolds. I begin my day with a "taking in" and a "pouring out": the ingestion of 32-ounces of water, and the shedding that results from three pages of random writing.
For as long as I can remember, I have written daily in a journal. It has taken many forms over the years: when I first started writing, I was about 20 years old and it was a way for me to get my confusing thoughts about the world sorted out. My therapy was writing it out and getting it out of my head.
My journal has evolved over the past 16 years; writing for me now is an eclectic mix of entries: stream of consciousness ramblings, poetry, declarations of intent perhaps one day to be seen through, curriculum ideas, to-do lists, dance routines, prayers. It is still therapeutic to me, although in a much different way now than it was in my earlier days.
What Happened When I Stopped aka g**dammit i suck
For the past 4 months, I stopped writing completely.
It's funny, but somehow, I didn't even really notice that I stopped writing -but, I have been busy with other things. What I did notice? My creativity felt stagnant. Ideas for projects weren't circulating as easily from within myself. The door of “openness” I usually experience felt shuttered.
Once I came face-to-face with this, I felt compelled toward writing again. Last week I began a new journal and put pen to paper again.
It didn't go well.
As soon as I picked up my new notebook, I was struck with fatigue and felt immediate resistance to the annoying new composition book.
It seemed that I had lost my stride. I asked myself, "How was I ever going to get back into this again and it be as cathartic and rejuvenating as it once was? Dammit, I'm stuck - again."
Another interesting aspect I took note of: it felt physically difficult to write. The hand holding my pen felt stilted and almost arthritic.
I kept writing.
The pen dragged begrudgingly against the page.
I felt robotic. I was mechanical. I kept going.
What Happened When I Perservered aka let myself keep sucking and feeling awkward
The next morning, water bottle half-chugged, I pulled the notebook out and already there was a shift.
The ink in the pen I was using was gliding across the page. "How quickly things can change when you just keep going," I thought. I didn't just think this thought, though - I felt it. What an incredible feeling, what...possibility.
And not remote possibility or the promise of possibility - there was a feel-it-in-my-gut tangibility that had happened practically overnight that felt quite miraculous. I loved that feeling/thought and I reveled in it for a good few days. Still am, actually.
Things don't have to take a long time to right themselves when you start something.
Many times, after a period of rest or leave of absence, getting back to it is going to feel boring, laborious and awkward at first. Stay in it for a minute. Stay a minute longer. Stay.
The Moral Of The Story aka we all suck at first. The great pole dancers just keep letting themselves suck until…they don’t suck anymore
It's miraculous what happens when you tender your little offering of willingness to the universe. Things move and shift to support your endeavor, help comes in ways unexpected - whether it through a wise word from a friend, a random remark from a stranger, a thought that bubbles up that reinvigorates your ambition, or an opportunity that comes along to fatten your bank account.
Begin for the first time, or begin again for the hundredth time.
The only important thing is that you begin. Joseph Campbell spoke of "a thousand unseen helping hands" that come about when we take that courageous first (and second and third) step into a new endeavor.
There is magic in the world you can harness firsthand when you put aside your “practical” beliefs and continue slogging forward.
You just never know when that Rainbow Marchenko is gonna happen. ;-) Keep going.