Started From the Bottom, Now I’m Here

Jun 7, 2015 by

06.07.2015 - I Said I’d Touch the Ceiling!

          While driving to pole earlier today, I was thinking about how I haven’t climbed to the ceiling yet. I’ve been making progress toward my invert lately, so I’ve been requesting to go upside down in every class, kind of neglecting my climb. Any time that I have climbed recently, it’s only been to warm up; and because it hasn’t been my focus, I haven’t been pushing myself to try to get to the top. The last time I really tried to touch the ceiling was almost four weeks ago, during a climbing clinic in which I repeatedly got really close until my palms began to sweat, causing me to psych myself out of my confidence in my grip and slide down just a couple pull-ups short of going all the way.

          Even while thinking on my way to the studio today that I should probably reinvest some effort into my climb, I shrugged off the thought in favour of practicing my invert. Both climbing and inverting take a big toll on the body, so I tend to focus more on one or the other. During the past couple weeks, I’ve been more motivated to get my invert than to get to the ceiling, because my fear of being upside down on the pole has decreased significantly as I’ve increased frequency of practice, and I want to nail it while I’m becoming less and less afraid.

          Today, I had a spin pole clinic and Jeanie beginner. I first tried spin pole the week before last and loved it. As the name suggests, a spin pole spins. I’m clarifying because I signed up for my first spin pole clinic thinking “spin pole clinic” just meant a class focusing solely on spins – as in spinning moves on a static pole. When I got there and realized that the poles would be spinning, I felt like a child about to go on the big-kid rides at Wonderland for the first time. Although I was lightheaded and nauseous by the end of the night, twirling on a spin pole made me feel like I was flying. I was excited to get back on one today.

          Spin pole clinics are open to various levels. This afternoon, while the advanced girls were practicing more complex moves, I decided to reattempt my climb on spin. Last time I tried climbing a spinning pole, I could only do one pull-up before the rotation threw me off. It’s a strange feeling to pull yourself up a pole that’s moving. At first, I couldn’t wrap my head around releasing and lifting my legs while in motion. It was the same deal today – until I somehow pulled myself up a second time as the pole spun. I don’t know if it was that I was focusing more on my body placement than on the rotation or if it was that I was in better control of the speed of the spin after working with it a little more, but I progressed. Satisfied with two spinning pull-ups, I slid the short distance back to the floor, and jumped up and down in pride when I got there.

          Then, during the break between spin pole and Jeanie beginner, I attempted another climb on spin. To my surprise, I made it up four pulls. But then, friends – but then – after Jeanie beginner, I put the pole back on spin. I got one of my friends to film. My goal was simply to repeat the four rotating pull-ups I had done an hour before. With my arms well worked from invert practice by this point and my suspicion that those four turning pull-ups were a one-time thing, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to reproduce them, but I wanted to try – you know, for Instagram. Unexpectedly, as per my “Oh my God, is this real life?” comment in the video below, I finally touched the ceiling! Yes, for the first time! Yes, without psyching myself out! Yes, miraculously while on a spin pole! Check it out! I’ve already watched the video a good 35 times, at least.


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