Big changes at home recently. We found a buyer for our entire record stock and have been busy packing them up. Have you ever carried a box of records up a flight of stairs? Have you ever done it 300 times?
Pat has learned that a happy wife (life partner) equals a happy life (synonym for life that rhymes with life partner?), and after dealing with a moody life partner the last time he surrounded my pole with records, this time he made sure to make pole space a top priority! Not that I was exactly dying to whip out a handspring after all that lifting, but it’s nice to know my practice time isn’t hindered by heavy boxes.
I took a long soak in the tub that night while reading my back ordered copy of Vertical Art & Fitness magazine and fell deeper in pole lust with their cover girl, Zoraya Judd.
She gave a great interview that offered insight into her ambitious and driven workout routine that allowed her to accelerate at such a fast pace. Her husband supported her from the beginning by designing her workouts (including lots of time at the gym), cooking her properly balanced meals and managing all of her performances. Oh, and being a swell dad to their two kids.
Some of my favorite quotes:
On enrolling in a men’s class for her first pole dancing lessons –
“…Usually people think it would be gay men on the pole, but it wasn’t. There were a lot of rock climbers and stonemasons…the way in which they controlled their bodies on the pole, it made their lines so amazing…it was just so intriguing to watch.”
“So instantly I was like, oh my gosh, I want to be a male pole dancer!”
On Personal Style –
“I’m still uncomfortable with the floor work, but I’m getting more comfortable in my skin. I think that, because I had no dance or gymnastics background, those types of body movements felt really awkward.”
“On the floor it’s more primal, hunter…I wouldn’t say gymnastics because I’m not flexible at all!” (I almost died reading that)
And to top it all off, she offers a multi-day “camp” at her house to allow you to live the Zoraya Judd Lifestyle. While pole dancing for five hours you are being fed nutritious meals by her husband, followed by two hours at the gym, followed by sessions with her personal flexibility coaches and massage therapists. And when you find time you can high five her kids and cuddle her snake.
While this sounds very inspiring, the only thought running through my head right now is, “HOW?”
Not, “How do you find time?” but “HOW DOES YOUR BODY LET YOU DO THIS?”
I train hard two, maybe three times a week (including class) and I still feel like I’m in a constant state of muscle recovery. And these are one hour sessions! With lots of water breaks! Or…not enough water breaks?
This whole “fitness thing” is still very new to me. I signed up for pole dancing as a way to escape the winter blues. It was either this or an art class, so the fitness aspect was not a huge draw. At first I could only practice once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. During that time I could be found on the couch or working hard at trying not to grimace whenever I needed to lift my arms or carry something heavier than 5 pounds.
With a lot of (internet) research I slowly learned new tips:
Stay Hydrated/Drink Electrolytes
This should be a pretty big DUH, but when I first drank a sports drink during a workout I noticed a HUGE difference in my recovery time. Like, “Oh! Those brightly colored sugar water drinks that fill up every convenience store’s fridges actually have a purpose!”
I know the sugar is a no-no though, and the “sugar free” versions are just as bad, if not worse. I’ll take a spoonful (or 17) of sugar over a spoonful of aspartame, thanks. I looked into Smartwater but research (again, of the internet kind) told me that Gatorade does a better job of replacing electrolytes.
I think my biggest problem is staying properly hydrated the rest of the time. Repairing muscles is a big job that usually takes a couple days, and if your body isn’t running like a well oiled (hydrated) machine your recovery time is compromised. Again, all you fitness aficionados are probably slamming your heads against your keyboards right now.
Do you have a hard time drinking enough water despite knowing this? Do what I do, and remind yourself that no moisturizer on the market will do as good a job hydrating your skin like staying properly hydrated on the inside. It really is the fountain of youth.
Proper Warmup/Cool Down with Proper Stretching
Most of my past minor injuries stem from the same thing: Trying moves without being properly warmed up. It usually happens when a friend is over and wants to see something cool. Do you know what’s not cool? Going, “Ok, no prob. Just wait until I put my sweatsuit on and do 75 jumping jacks.”
Even one handspring supported by cold muscles can put you out for a day or three. It’s not worth it!
After your workout make sure to do some simple spins instead of stopping entirely to stretch. Not stretching is not an option. Just trust me on this.
Eat, Eat and Eat Some More
After class all I’m thinking about is McDonald’s. If you know me you’re probably asking, “When are you not thinking about McDonald’s?” and I say, “Touché.”
Should I care more about what I’m putting in my body? If you’re a nutritionist/person who cares about health you probably want to reach through the computer screen and smack me, and smack me good.
Now, I love food. And I love convenience. And I’m not afraid of things that ooze sugar. I would eat a poutine with a cupcake on top! But what I don’t do is keep track of what I’m eating or actually consider the effects of my lopsided personal food pyramid.
I listen to my body and never let myself go hungry but I obviously need to step it up in the quality department. Nevertheless, here is a list of my favourite post workout foods that are on the healthy side:
- Cottage cheese
- Bacon and Eggs
- Vector cereal (I said on the healthy side, not entirely healthy)
- McDonald’s McChicken (I don’t even care, it’s my favourite thing ever. Judge me!)
And that’s all I can think of right now. That’s pretty bad. More research is needed!
Roll it Out
I can’t praise foam rollers enough! At first glance you’re all, “Why yes, I want to hand over $40 for this over sized pool noodle.”
But when you roll out your back and are serenaded by the sound of your body mimicking a bowl of Rice Krispies followed by standing up and twisting your body in disbelief, you become overwhelmed with this sensation of everything feeling SO GOOD. Whenever I use it I am brought back to that episode of the Simpsons where Homer turns his trash can into a successful Chiropractic business.
It’s really hard to believe, but I have felt better at the hands of my foam roller than any massage therapist. Maybe I need to see a better masseuse? Or maybe I’ll just stick with my foam roller and spend the money on more Lululemon shorts.
Ok, all that aside, I still need to find a way to train harder and more often from now to video submission time. So for now I’ll focus on drinking more water and start eating quinoa or something.
Onto a progress report! Not surprisingly, my combos don’t look remarkably better so I will not be posting any videos of them until they do. For now, here is a video of my Iron X attempts
One day you will be mine!!!
Also conquered this week:
I grew two inches that day.
Just pretend that leg is straight and voila!
All in all it was a good week.