Friday, October 28, 2011

RE: (Humor) Care to take a poll? Pole fitness that is...THE NORTH AND SOUTH POLE

The North and South Pole

I’ll try just about anything (legal) once which is what propelled me into giving pole fitness a whirl. Literally.

The week leading up to the event I gleefully told anyone I came eyeball-to-eyeball with about my impending class. I loved seeing the look on their faces; something akin to horror and curiosity – horriosity maybe.

Eventually it dawned on me I needed to quit fooling around and prepare for the class mentally and physically.

Thus, I commenced with carrying out the equivalent of balloon flight offloading of unnecessary items and applied it to unnecessary calories.

I didn’t just purchase fruits and vegetables, so they could sit prettily in hand-painted bowls, but I actually ate them. All of them. All of the time. Because I was starving.

Then I turned my attention toward mental preparation. I needed to become at one with my not-as-yet-grasped pole. Be the pole.

I envisioned a mini training pole that I would twirl like a middle-aged Ninja, in readiness for the full Monty, so to speak. Then “wa-cha,” (a well-known Ninja sound effect), it would unfurl into full-scale and I would install it as easily as a shower curtain rod, albeit in a different direction.

My pole fitness instructor would be my Miyagi and it would feel as though I had been waiting my entire life for this moment. Okay, then I snapped to, hitting the humbling reality that was my pole. Literally.

As it turns out pole dancing is more pole than dancing.

Though Cirque de Soleil has never come knocking on my door, I have been dancing my whole life, even matriculating toward a dance minor and performing in a dance company. I was amazed at how well all of that did NOT prepare me for this particular foray.

I had fun stretching to the upbeat pop tunes and, initially, I was all sensuality and smiles as I shimmied closer to my pole. I’m on my way, oh, sexy, silent sentry.

As long as I was swinging along as though I was clutching a benign maypole I was in decent shape. Literally.

Arches, hip rolls, galloping horsie kicks. All good. Until we initiated our choreographed routine.

As executed by me, it did not manifest so much as an artistic form of expression, as it did a survivalist’s form of expression illustrating what it looks like to be hanging outside a 40-story building by a pole.

As I watched our teacher demo how the piece was supposed to be performed I realized I was so far out of my league I didn’t have a league.

Additionally, it is not a welcome sight to be standing adjacent to a reed thin pole in comparison to my not-so-reed-thin-like physique.

A few moves sent me into an ice skater death spiral, only I wasn’t on ice or skates and I was spinning on a pole.

The mirrored room that had looked so inviting when I arrived now garishly reflected my moves from the perspective of a fun house mirror. It mocked my every purposeful and not-so-purposeful move with exaggerated reflections of an act gone dreadfully wrong.

(By the way, screaming “Here I go!” does nothing by way of mastering the routine or scoring “pretty points.”)

The solution, and as it turns out the problem, was body weight. Not only was I attempting to launch, hold and swing my Rubenesque lusciousness up and onto a pole, but we were schooled to use our body weight for momentum. Uh-oh.

While our instructor beautifully rocked to and fro, using her pole as a prop that accentuated her lithe stature, flowing flexibility, and athletic prowess I was juxtaposed as the opposite of all that. I had taken my own advice to “be the pole” to heart; stiff, immovable, unable to change my form.

I’ve never been known for my skills at defying gravity as my severe pommel horse flashbacks will attest.

At one point I had the oddest sensation that I was being watched. As I glanced out the window I saw a group of someones standing in the parking lot – no less than 20 of them – watching my one-ring circus act due to my awesome pole positioning.

Pole fitness should encourage the inner vamp in you. For me, instead of a “come hither” look I had more of a “come hither and take me down” look.

While it was all good fun I’m not sure whether I’ll be working pole fitness into my regular exercise schedule.

I’m still undecided. Maybe I need to take a poll?

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