The moment I accepted my life was a beautiful, chaotic, sometimes a little-messy-but-always-entertaining circus was the moment I felt a true release.

There's no sense in fighting the madness, but I've picked up a few tricks to keep the show going along the way.

I hope they work as well for you as they have [and still do] for me.

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Pole Dancer Down.

Cat’s out of the bag, kiddos, this girl is a pole dancer and I have been for the past 8 months.  Before your mind starts going crazy, I’m most likely not the type of pole dancer you immediately think of.  I take pole dancing fitness classes at a studio right down the street from my house.

And you want to know something? I absolutely love it!

This isn’t my first venture into the world of pole dancing.  About 7 years ago I organized a bachelorette party where I took the bride and another bridesmaid for a private lesson.  [The bride was furious and didn’t speak to me for the first hour, but eventually she came around. 😉 ]  I had so much fun in those 2 hours we spent during the private lesson, but I was too shy to ever actually sign up for classes on my own.  Until I turned 30.  A voucher came up on Living Social so I went for it.  5 weeks and I was hooked.  I took a break for a few months, moved to the opposite side of town, and then found myself itching to get started again.  That’s how I landed at my current studio, Amorous Dance Pole and Fitness.

I’ve been training at Amorous for the past 7 months and I could not be more fortunate to have found an extended family in the amazing women who teach and take classes there.  There’s been so many lessons I’ve learned at the studio, and I’ll get into them as we go along, but for this post I’m focusing on the lesson I’m currently learning….and it has to do with the pulled muscle in my back that is driving me bananas at this very moment.

I started the new year having been promoted to Level 3 (there’s 7 levels in total) and for the first time I was learning how to go inverted!  Talk about a whole new set of muscles that I hadn’t used since I was probably 12 years old learning how to do a round-off back layout in gymnastics. Apparently I was a little over-zealous as in week 4, when I was doing a hold called The Gemini and felt the most intense strain / pull in my back, underneath my right shoulder blade.  What’s a gemini you ask?  It’s this:


image source

Essentially there’s 3 points of contact between your body and the pole: your leg, your side (just below your ribs), and your arm.  You can watch a video of it here. <– Don’t worry, it’s clean.  So you can see there was a lot going on and unfortunately it was too much strain on my back having learned inversions just 4 weeks prior.

This particular pull is fairly common in the pole dancing world.  It happened on February 2nd and I’m still in deep recovery mode with it.  (Word on the street is I can estimate at least 6 weeks on it.)  You’d be surprised how the little things catch the pain – putting sheets on the bed, chatarunga during yoga, sneezing! – each time it’s like Woah, pump the breaks, jb! So.frustrating.

I talked to the studio owner and we adjusted my classes to keep me active but still allow my back time to heal.  I can pretty much do everything except going inverted at this point, but I still find myself getting wicked frustrated with my healing body not being able to keep up with others in my class.  Has this happened to you before, too??  I’ve had issues with this ever since I was 10.  I didn’t care if I was hurt, I wasn’t going any less intense working out or performing.  (Seriously, I tried out for the dance team once with an insanely sprained ankle.)  It’s so difficult for me to allow my body the rest that it needs to heal itself and even at 31, I’m apparently still learning this lesson.

This injury is putting me way in check. I haven’t had something take me out of the game in years and that’s through training in krav maga, MMA fighting, kickboxing, AND 3 half marathons. Low and behold it was the pole that took me down.  Oh, the pole and all of it’s life lessons!  I’m constantly reminded of something a yoga teacher used to say years ago when I took her class downtown – Practice in the body you have today.  Learn, know and accept your limits.  Tomorrow is a new practice.  And although last Tuesday I left class and cried frustrated tears in my car, this Tuesday I left class proud of what I had accomplished, even though I still couldn’t keep up with everything.  A huge thank you to my awesome teacher, Rachel, who talked me through my frustration last week after class.  (You’ll hear about her again in a future post as I always seem to end up in her class during the most difficult of times!)

My back is on the mend and as with any injury, time and rest will allow it to heal – no matter how much healthy encouragement I try to give it.  This pole dancer may be down, but she’s definitely not out.

Until next time…..learn, know and accept your limits.


jennie b

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