Pole Geek – My New Obessesion, Pole Fitness

Posted on July 31, 2012

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So when I moved to San Francisco I wanted to explore new things! I look at Groupon a lot. It’s refreshing to finally live in a city that has Groupons. I really wanted to get in shape when I moved out here. It’s something I’ve struggled with since college. In high school I was really active then in college…. well yeah. I played pick up volleyball games at the rec for a little while during freshman year, mostly because my best friend and roommate is a fitness nut. I do love volleyball though. But let me explain, athletics has always been a struggle for me. The only things that came easily to me were powerlifting and I truly enjoyed that. But lifting free weights in college at the rec was intimidating. I tried doing cardio with my sorority sisters but my brain doesn’t adjust well to using machines. Briefly I started a hip hop class which was fun but I didn’t know anyone and… so I quit going. I’m not a very good finisher of things… I plead ADD brain. But I digress.

I had looked at various fitness options. Yoga for instance. I’ve always been intrigued by it, but I’ll be honest, it looks like a bunch of skinny bitches. Let me explain, I know they’re not bad people. But if you’re at all larger/curvy you know what I’m talking about. My best friend from high school is a skinny bitch. You can’t help but hate them a little. I wouldn’t really feel comfortable being a complete yoga newb around a bunch of skinny flexible people wearing spandex. I still hope to get over this irrational prejudice against yoga but in the meantime I kept looking.

Strong is the New Sexy! Photo compliments of Polecats Manila.

I had briefly heard about this new-fangle trend of pole dancing and dismissed it like everyone else. But I read about this studio on Yelp called Entangle and Sway. The way people described it was a lot like yoga. All new age-y and about getting in touch with your body/femininity while getting a great whole body work out. When a Groupon popped up for it, I knew it was fate and bought it. This was in April though…. It’s not July. I had until August to sign up and I waited a really long time. It was signing up for NerdFitness.com that kicked my butt in gear. I had already paid for the workshop I should freaking go. It has been a revelation. The owner of the studio’s story was a lot like mine. She was really active in high school, not so active in college and then worked at a desk where things kept going downhill from there. After she started doing pole dancing she lost 70 pounds! When she moved to San Francisco all the studios here focused more on tricks and not so much dance. So she started her own studio. The feeling of community there is amazing.

After 3 classes (2 more to go) I’m starting to feel like a part of the community. I’ve met some new people and gotten a great workout to boot! But not just that, I’ve started to like my body and feel confident. I still have a long way to go but this is something I’m going to stick with. Also, there are girls of all shapes and sizes! Plus, the studio only has one small mirror and is lit mostly with candles. During the teaching part when we learn new spins of course they turn the lights up. But it’s a safe space and I feel energized, renewed afterwards. I’m also rediscovering how much I love dance. Back in high school when I worked my ass off to get on the cheerleading squad it was still always a struggle for me. I’m not naturally coordinated but muscle memory and really hard work can compensate for a lot of that. But I never felt good at the dance portion. I loved doing stunts and was good at the jumps. But I never felt confident in my dancing. At pole class nothing is counted and we can go as slow as we want. It’s all about feeling the music and going on to the next move when you’re ready. It reminded me of how much I love music and maybe I’m not as good at dance as I want to be, but who cares if it makes me feel happy and free? There’s no judgement at pole class and everybody is super supportive! None of the instructors there have a background in exotic dancing. Yes, we’re encouraged to feel sexy and act sexy but in an empowering way. For ourselves, not for anyone else. So I’m officially a pole geek.

What are you passionate/geeky about that surprised you? Are you trying to get in shape but struggling to find something you enjoy? Share your thoughts!

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Posted in: Geek Out