Inadequacy. Whether about looks or personality the feeling is common to many.
For some women it takes a step beyond that. “Being thin” becomes the answer to all problems: “why am I not popular/funny/smart?” comes down to “I’m not thin enough.”
We’re bombarded with lies every day, telling us we’re not thin enough or that we should get rid of our nonexistent wrinkles or at least prevent those coming with age – ugh, AGE! – which teaches us to look discriminately at ourselves.
After high school was over I, as many other Danes, took a sabbatical. Instead of working or traveling I focused on writing. I spent a LOT of time with myself and a handful of close friends.
My solitude forced me to deal with these issues.
I started longing to meet new people and looked for opportunities to fill my everyday life. One day, an opportunity found me.
I was doing crossfit with a woman named Maren, whom I learned did pole dancing, and my excitement could not be contained. Perhaps a bit scared she gave me her card and I dragged one of my friends to a trial class.
We got hooked immediately.
Before going on I need to point out three things:
Dancing requires coordination, of which I have none.
Pole tricks require you to be upside down, which is incredibly uncomfortable.
To stick to that pole you must be dressed … skimpily. Otherwise you’ll fall down (unless you have MASSIVE HULK STRENGTH!)
Yet something about pole made me excited and we continued coming back to it.
It took me three times to consistently be able to get upside down on the pole.
After two months or so I was capable of doing the angel and scorpion.
After three months I could sit in it.
After five months I was finally able to do straddle.
Two months ago I did Superman for the first time.
And this Saturday I did shouldermount!
I was a slow learner but by sticking to regular training I progressed steadily. The trainers helped me through hard tricks and my friend’s excellence pushed me to do my best.
When I got up in straddle for the first time, when I sat, when I could climb …
It felt awesome. Not just because my body had built up real strength and I could do something I wasn’t capable of before but because I had overcome a barrier.
It’s healthy for us to try new things.
Overcoming fears makes us stronger.
What made me the strongest was stripping down to shorts and a sports bra in front of all those girls before getting on the pole with fat sticking out where it usually doesn’t.
There are mirrors in such a place. I tried to concentrate on looking for form but you can’t help glancing over.
Something happened as I looked into the mirror.
For each time I went to the studio I grew more aware of the girls around me and the fact that they weren’t “perfect” either. A few were thin, strong girls who might as well be in some movie, but most had fat here or there and especially on the stomach. Yet they looked healthy and were strong, flexible and hilarious to be around.
I can’t begin to tell you how much we laugh in the studio. It’s my fun-time period, stress-relief from chemical engineering. Since doing pole exercise has become a joy to me, a time when I can play.
I discovered feminine beauty through pole fitness. Looking and being with regular women in such a bare form, without accessories, makeup or jewelry, you get to appreciate each other in a different way. There’s no barriers, only the pole and the tricks you want to share.
But even more important is the fact that there’s a room in which it’s okay to do your best and still fail. A place where a bunch of women can finally, ironically enough, focus on something other than body image, diet or inadequacy.
This post is a part of the girl boner blog fest.