I’m Basically an Acrobat!

Mar 29, 2015 by

03.29.2015 - I'm Basically an Acrobat!

          “Get your ass up the pole!” one of my studio friends yelled her encouragement at me this morning.

          I breathed in, placing both hands and one shin on the brass in front of me to begin my climb, squeezing my legs around the pole after each pull-up to allow another breath before my next upward progression.

          “Push yourself further away using your foot, so you can get more height out of each climb,” she advised from the ground.

          In following her advice, I made it further up in one pull than I had in the previous two.

          “You’re doing it!” she shouted.

          “Keep going!” another friend urged.

          Our entire class was watching me by this point.

          As I climbed to their cheerleading, I thought about how for weeks I’ve only been able to manage one pull, getting myself no more than a foot off the ground with each attempt. Every time I would reach my hands further above my head to pull myself higher, my legs would slip, bringing my feet right back to the ground. Then, in my last pole class, on Thursday night, one of my friends pointed out that I wasn’t gripping the pole with my thighs as I climbed, which was why I didn’t have the stable form needed to progress. Once she demonstrated the proper technique with emphasis on how to correct where I was going wrong, I understood what I was supposed to do, and I was ecstatic to make it two pulls up the pole that night.

          “That looked effortless!” my Thursday night instructor proudly exclaimed.

          “Really?” I asked excitedly. “It didn’t feel effortless,” I laughed, my arms quickly tiring.

          Somehow, from that class to my next one this morning, I went from two pull-ups to four to –

          “You’re almost there!”

          “You’ve got this, Maria!”

          “You’re so close!”

          I could hear all the girls cheering from below with each additional pull. Although my muscles began to give way and I started to get too sweaty to maintain my grip, I was almost at the ceiling, like one or two pulls away! The ladies clapped to my progress my entire way back to the ground.

          How can I possibly leave that positive environment, that repeating challenge, that ongoing sense of accomplishment come April 9, when the two-month promo membership I bought following my one-month intro membership expires?

          I can’t.

          I need to touch the ceiling.

          And I need to get my invert.

          And I need to nail a reverse grab.

          And I need to do whatever comes after all that.

          And pole aside, I can’t just not do aerial! Update: I’ve been taking aerial classes since early March! For those who aren’t familiar with aerial, essentially, I get to hang on things that hang from the ceiling! I work with straps and a fabric swing. It’s so much fun! Because I’m more trusting of the aerial equipment than the pole, I can fearlessly flip upside down, as opposed to my nervous inverts on brass (which I determinedly continue to practice despite being terrified, because what would I do if I weren’t afraid?). Furthermore, like pole, aerial builds upper body strength. I now have to stretch my shoulders just to get out of bed in the morning, and I can tell I’m getting stronger because it’s getting easier to lift both at the studio and at the gym.

          In conclusion, in April, I’ll be purchasing a one-year membership for $1,128.87. Now that I’ve taken advantage of all newbie promo memberships, I’m subject to regular rates. With pole and aerial instruction regularly priced at $28.25 per class, a membership with a six-month commitment regularly priced at $145.77 per month, and a no-commitment membership regularly priced at $168.37 per month, a one-year membership will save me huge, especially since I’m at the studio often enough that I feel like my shoulder blades are permanently in set position.

Happiness Tip: Head down, ass up!

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