Of slow going and pole dancing

Y’all, I am *so* sore.

I went to handstand class yesterday and I was easily the least advanced one there. The teacher was really encouraging and helpful. I managed to hold a handstand against the wall for about 30 seconds. Our “homework” is trying to beat that time by next week. I’ll need a spotter, but I’m going to give it an honest go. I’ll never progress if I don’t take some action toward trying. Going to class once a week and calling it good isn’t going to hack it. At least, not if I want to progress. I had some time to kill after class and the level 1 class was full, so I worked on my pullover a bit. A pullover is the basic mount into aerial hammock. You do a pull up, then flip yourself over landing at your hips or upper thighs in the sling on your stomach. I never got this the first time around and I was actually taught to climb to help build my strength. One of the guys there broke it down into segments and had me try to hold just the pull up position for 15 seconds. I made it to 14 and averaged about 10-12 seconds thereafter. He coached me on my technique, keeping my elbows tucked into my sides, and emphasized the progression is slow and requires patience (recurring theme, anyone? Maybe it’s time I started listening to it). Once I can consistently hold myself up for 25-30 seconds, then it’s on to flipping myself over. He’s really passionate about helping people get what’s arguably the hardest basic move. I’m always amazed at people who can do a pullover when the hammock is over their heads. I’ll get there and I need to stop saying “I’ll never do that” or “I can’t do that” because all that’s doing is limiting me. Incidentally, holding myself up also worked my upper abs a good bit. As in, it hurt to sit up without using my arms. He also gave me some tips about doing negative pull ups and how to not put weight on my legs or feet and keep it all (or mostly) in my arms. I’m giving myself today off to recover before contortion (taught by a woman who used to teach Russian gymnasts) & level 1 tomorrow night.

I talked to the trainer who does the acro classes and told him about my reservations going back to class. I’m worried if I have a seizure, I’ll hurt someone. He said that wouldn’t be an issue. He’s happy to spot me and it’s unlikely I would hurt anyone unless I forcibly threw them. Even then, he has a size advantage and could still catch them. That made me feel better. I’ve tried acro a few times and really liked it. It’s got a whole different vibe because it’s partner based. For someone with trust issues like me, it’s a practical way to learn how to trust myself and other people. He also does a conditioning class that I really want to try. I watched about half of it yesterday and he had a completely different approach than the other trainer who usually teaches it.

I signed up for the pole series yesterday and paid in advance for it. No excuses not to go now. They also offer an open practice every Sunday. I’ll try to go to that as consistently as possible. I perused the drop in classes to see what else they offer. There were a couple that piqued my interest. The slightly annoying thing is the classes aren’t consistent. A class will be at one time one week and then a totally different time the following week. On the one hand, that means I’ll have plenty of variety. On the other hand, I’ll have to check the schedule fairly closely to make sure I don’t double book myself. I also make sure I give myself at least one day off a week to recover. As my dad (the marathoner) likes to remind me, a rest day is just as important as a day you work out.

Speaking of my dad, when I was throwing my temper tantrum on Thursday about not being able to drive, he said “Maybe this is all a lesson in how to overcome adversity”. Cue surprised elephant noise. I’ll come out on the other side all the better for this (crappy) experience. I have to be creative in how I handle things. I’ve certainly overcome it in the past. It’s a choice. I can either throw a fit and whine about how much this sucks and I hate it. Or I can take a few deep breaths, put my brain to work, and figure out ways to deal with it as painlessly as possible. Just like in aerial work, it’s a hell of a lot easier if you remember to breathe.


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