Oops, There Goes My Shirt

May 20, 2015 by

05.20.2015 - Oops, There Goes My Shirt

          “Nice bra!” one of the girls from pole complimented me last night.

          “Thanks!” I replied with a sassy contrapposto. “I just got it today. I was warned that I’d need to take my shirt off for stomach-gripping and I didn’t own a sports bra, so I went to Victoria’s Secret on my lunch.”

          “It’s hot!” she exclaimed.

          “Right?!” I squealed. “Oh! I need you to take pictures!” I told her. “This is my Level 3 outfit,” I proudly gestured to my lack of clothing.

          She clasped her stomach in laughter. “You’re so funny!”

          “Do you think I should roll my shorts up higher for this?” I asked as I prepared to pose.

          “Yeah,” she laughed harder. “This is Level 3.”




          On Sunday afternoons, Jeanie kicks my ass. I typically walk out of her classes with my inner thighs burning to the point that wearing pants hurts. I love the sense of accomplishment that accompanies the pain. It has less to do with nailing pole moves than it has to do with trying my goddamn hardest to. I could “credit-card my cookie with the pole,” as Jeanie would put it, and still leave her class feeling proud for pushing myself hard enough to hurt.

          Back in February, Jeanie was the first instructor to teach me at the beginner (second) pole level. I remember comparing going from essential-level to beginner-level pole to going from Kansas to Oz. After taking beginner classes taught by other instructors, I’ve come to realize that the Dorothy-like leap had less to do with going up in level than Jeanie’s mentality on teaching: “My goal in every class is to make sure you succeed at something, but also to make damn sure you fail at something too,” Jeanie said with her usual cheeky smile a few weeks ago. “It’s always good to try something that’s a little bit above where you’re at, so you can get better.” She followed that with a promise to intimidate anyone who she felt wasn’t being intimidated enough. I wouldn’t put it past her. She actually chased me up a pole to get me to climb higher once. Her classes are some advanced kind of beginner level, lovingly referred to in the studio as “Jeanie beginner.”

          Jeanie beginner challenges the nerves out of me – literally, we literally hold skin-pinching positions on the pole with intent to kill nerves. (It works! I can hardly feel the sting of brass between my legs when in a basic pole sit anymore!) As for regular beginner classes, though, they haven’t challenged me in a while. That is, except when it comes to inverting, a.k.a. hanging upside down on the pole by just my legs. That’s still a work-in-progress for me, and it’s been the only thing stopping me from moving up to beginner-intermediate (Level 3) pole. Until yesterday.

          Yesterday, I decided not to hold myself back from learning more just because I’m still working on other things. I took my first beginner-intermediate pole class, despite not yet having my invert, and I used aerial as my justification. When I went up to the second level of aerial two Fridays ago, I hadn’t mastered everything at the first level. It took going to Level 2 to improve in Level 1. Like with aerial, I plan on taking pole at two levels simultaneously: beginner-intermediate and Jeanie beginner. That way, I’ll ensure progression by continuously trying things that are a little bit above where I’m at. I already feel the difference. After last night’s beginner-intermediate class, I could hardly lift my own weight out of bed this morning. #success!




          “Can I see?” I reached my hand out, my legs still wrapped around the pole.

          The friend who had been taking pictures handed me my phone.

          “Ass looks good, stomach looks good, boobs look good,” I gave myself my own stamps of approval as I scanned through the photos. “We’re good, girl! Thanks!” I beamed as I hopped off the pole.

          Pole progress and skin exposure are clearly positively correlated. I went from leggings and a shirt in Level 1 to shorts and a shirt in Level 2 to shorts and a bra in Level 3. My goal: underwear.

Happiness Tip: Don’t hold yourself back.

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