I hope this new year finds you well and ready to take on the decade. I also hope you are perusing this out of curiosity rather than being on the comeback road like me and a few other people I know. The only thing I want more than the trick I haven't been able to perform yet is the one I had and lost for whatever reason. I hate when I've lost a move I once was able to do. Sometimes it seems like it takes even longer to get one back than it did to be able to do the move in the first place.
Do you know what you get when you pray for patience? Something to wait for. You must have lots of patience when waiting to come back from time off. You cannot take a 6 month hiatus and think you're going to do whatever it was you were doing on the pole the day you stopped.
You likely won't.
Not unless you've been doing some off the chain cross training in your pole-absence.
It's January 1. I am mentally preparing to go workout not because of the date necessarily but because I have been trying to get back to my 3 days a week training for the entire year of 2019 with varying degrees of success.
But it's Wednesday and I did workout on Monday--the hard shit, too, so I'm proud yet wanting to continue this training.
For me it starts with telling myself I can always train tomorrow. I know damn well this week I cannot train tomorrow. So if I want to get my 3 day a week in I'm training today. But I wanna go hard.
And then I realize that while yes I have mostly avoided training the hard shit last year I can still do it but it's slipping away.
So I'm sitting here trying to psych myself up to do what I want to do with my workout and realizing that part of my problem is that my mind wants to do what I want for my workout but my body knows it might not be feeling up for it. But it might. So I battle in my mind. I know good and damn well I'm going to pole today/tonight. There is nothing on tv, nothing I am obligated to do, I already know what we're doing for dinner and there is no excuse not to pole. I have to stretch too, and since it helps to be as warm as possible and pole definitely gets me there, I am motivated to pole. However, I don't know that I'm motivated to do what's on the agenda for the pole session. So sometimes I'll argue in my head that I should wait until I'm feeling my best so I don't waste the workout time. It's a valid argument, once you work one muscle group it does need time to repair and rebuild it's strength.
Too often though it became an excuse--not to work and train less challenging things but to not train at all.
But it’s a new year and all that bullshit so I just got done one of the shortest intermediate sessions ever. Intermediate because I still did a few things you won’t see at the strip club but nothing too hard core because I’m tired still from Monday and my usual lack of sleep. Hopefully I’ll be able to hit it a little harder Friday.
I did however continue training my favorite move I put on a shelf to let my shoulder rest. As usual when I began I wondered if I would need a crash mat for this. I finally got comfortable with it again and started playing with the variations of the hold.
If you've been poling for any period of time you have probably taken time off due to life, pregnancy, or all too often injury. The length of time off will effect how long it takes to come back. Your level of recovery if the break was from injury, your age and the time you have to dedicate to training are all factors in how long it will take to get back to where you were before time off.
It is very likely you have lost strength, flexibility and most likely the knowledge of the technique it takes to pull off half these moves. I've had to watch videos of old footage just to figure out how to do poses I haven't done in a couple years. (Yeah, if you're healthy don't let it get that long focusing just on the stuff you think you lack, revisit the "easy" stuff regularly.) This is also why video taping every session from start to finish is a good idea. Even the sessions you train in class as much as you can (with respect to other's privacy) should be video taped.
We move in ways with pole that aren't usual for a fitness (or a strip club really!) atmosphere. Some of the things we do if not done with extreme caution can further exacerbate an already existing injury. You may not even realize the damage a simple body wave facing the pole can do if your hand is placed incorrectly.
Please don't expect to come back after 6 months of not doing a move and think you will just get it as beautifully as you could before. Even if you have been poling the whole time if you have not done certain moves they can be lost to you until you work to get them back. This is not an easy thing we are doing here. I think we forget, because we build up this amazing repertoire of moves and poses and slink and then try for even more challenging things, how hard it really is to twist your body around a metal pole. Do you think people can just jump into a leg hang? It took me 3 years on a pole until I could do a hip hold.
Depending on your level of activity in your time off it may feel like learning how to walk all over again. Be extremely nice to yourself on this journey. Do not expect too much from yourself or be disappointed when you try something you think you should have because you did before but don't at this time.
When starting back up again after time off go for what you can, celebrate what you get, and (keep) train(ing) for what you want--remember you still do one of the coolest things on earth for kicks.
Aviva has been instructing private clients and group classes for over 20 years. Her passion is pole dancing. Her focus is safe, effective training for the purpose of achieving your goal.