Archive | October, 2012

Fitness For Dummies

23 Oct

This is not even half of them

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.

“I created an alter ego of ‘I’m going to rip off someone’s limb and beat them with it!'”

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?

It’s a struggle

I’m just going to go ahead and throw this in here because I feel like it

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:

It’s what plants crave!

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!

And finally…

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 Science

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:

UGH

I grew two inches that day.

Well, it’s almost a Marion Amber!

Just pretend that leg is straight and voila!

All in all it was a good week.

Freakout Time

16 Oct

Believe it or not, this is called progress

Something very exciting happened the other day.  My studio unveiled the details for their annual competition being held in February, including a deadline for submission videos. I have just over two months to select a song and choreograph a routine! Ack! I also have just over two months to learn how to dance without looking like an injured donkey and learn the splits. Ack!

I am so unbelievably excited. Not because I want to win, but because I want the motivation to work extra hard and go through with performing. I really have zero expectations (I find that is the best course to protect self esteem). As long as I actually go through with it and not puss out I will be proud of myself.

This competition stated that they will be focusing on song selection (check), costumes (check), grace and flow (uhhhh…) and flexibility (fuck).

I know I don’t neeeeed to be able to do the splits in order to perform but really, it would help with making everything look pretty. There’s nothing uglier than a half open Jade and pointed toes will not fix this.
I will be limiting the number of “Flexy” moves and probably focus on strength moves. I know it’s hard to make them look pretty, but I am going to try. I don’t have much choice!

Here is a list of moves I would like to include:

Moves for Routine that I Already Do Well

Shoulder Mount

Extended Butterfly

EG Ayesha

Caterpillar Climb

Gemini/Scorpio Combo

Flatline

Cross Ankle Release

Brass Monkey

Handspring

Spinning Scorpio

CAR to Flag

Moves For Routine that Need Work

Superman into Dove

Bridge/Crescent

Cupid to Shoulder Mount

Iguana Mount Walkdown

Split Grip Ayesha

Knee Hold

Allegra

Marley

Sit Drop

Jenyne Tumble

…and probably more.

Before I worry about a costume I need to worry about cleaning everything up and chill out from learning new moves (ok, that’s not going to happen).

From now on my time will be spent doing combos, combos, combos.

And stretching. Any sadists out there want to give me a hand?

Humble Pie

12 Oct

Before I actually get started today I would like to address the issue of my sporadic postings. I realize that in the beginning I was planning on writing three times a week but that quickly turned into once every 4-9 days. So I apologize for the lack of consistency.

New goal? Once a week. Which day? Don’t know yet. Maybe Saturday? Is that a good blog reading day? Or does Monday sound like a Poletastic start to your week?

Ok, so my thumb is feeling pretty A-Ok right now. Still can’t make a tight fist, but since I have no plans of knocking anyone out I think I will be fine. Now, what happened to me was very, very minor. VERY minor. I have seen girls (including instructors) damage nerves in their neck, fracture wrists, dislocate knees, pull muscles to the point of semi-permanently losing their flexibility. One poor classmate is out of commission until she recovers from a fall from a Split Grip Ayesha that left her with a dislocated shoulder and stitches on her face. You think I was dramatic over an owie on my thumb? Wait until I actually get hurt! I will probably set up an online funding drive to help cope with the emotional damages from being forced off the pole for an undisclosed amount of time.

This is probably not too far off. All of the moves left for me to tackle either require crazy strength, crazy flexibility or crazy braveness.  Trust me, nothing humbles you more than being in a Master class. Not only does our teacher find new ways to torture us, but we’re encouraged to shout out the craziest move we can think of and have our teacher guide us through it.

“What about that move where you’re upside down and your arms are like this but your legs are like this?”

“And just straighten your legs! NBD”

Oh, Marion Amber? No prob! (hahahahahaha, like that was happening.) I actually got into the right position (ok, my teacher helped me lift my butt) but when it came time to extend my legs? Not happening. At all.

“And what about that move where your arm is in behind and you’re sort of floating?”

This is where a dance background would come in handy

Right.

Our teacher taught us the Ballerina last night and I had a really hard time with it. Just another one of those Harder Than It Looks moves. At first it seems like all you need to do is reach your arm around back and Ta-Daaaa!

One helpful tip is to try it from the floor. It’s easier to get into place to allow your body to get used to such an unnatural position.

Another helpful tip would be to actually take your stretching seriously for fuck’s sakes.

So onto a  move I got (pretty much) right away. After guiding my body through the motions a couple times my teacher stood back (at my insistence) and let me go for it!

Yeehaw!

Over the past few weeks I have been bombarded with moves that elude me. While it has lit a fire under my butt to get sweating and stretching it has also reminded me of how much work I have to do to get to the point of performing.

Here is a list of moves I am working on mastering:

The Hangman. Or the Not-So Unknown Move

Chopsticks

Genie

The Allegra

No Hands Superman

There’s probably more moves that I’m missing which is just a sign of how crazy my classes are these days.

And before I sign off until next time here is a video of me working on spinning mode. The more I try on spin and the more videos I watch of Australian pole spinners (the land of the 38mm Easy Peasy Poles), the more I am convinced I need a smaller pole. Have you ever tried doing a spin on a spinning 50mm pole? No? Just try it!

I guarantee you will be convinced that someone stole your arm muscles. Why is it soooo haaaaard? And one armed spins? PFFFFTTTTT!!!!!

I expect to find a shiny, Titanium Gold 45mm pole affixed with a big honkin’ red ribbon on Christmas Morning.

Who needs thumbs?

1 Oct

Couldn’t pole for shit this week so here’s a vanity shot

My thumb is still not 100%. I went to class this week anyways and ignored the pain, even though our moves of the week were “Hand Moves”. I’m not sure of their names but they all required a grip of steel. I couldn’t master anything, but this made me happy as I’ll have to work my butt off in order to taste the sweetness that is success. When will that be? Who knows! But not this week.

 

My teacher and I got onto the topic of impressive moves and how the Pole World and the Rest Of The World have different ideas of what’s considered difficult.

When I first saw someone do the Split Grip Ayesha I was all, “Pffft…pice of cake!”

When I first saw someone do the Scorpio I was all, “Holy shit!”

The general public views “Leg Moves” as if we took an anti-gravity pill to explain our ability to dangle. What they don’t see is the way our skin sticks to the pole. But we all know that once you get past the sensation of your skin being ripped to shreds the leg moves are actually quite easy.

Maybe it’s because we have two hands on the pole, but for some reason pulling off moves like this

My teacher in action. Still don’t know the name of the move so I couldn’t find another pic

brings a bit of a “Ho-Hum” response. But lemme tell ya….this is NOT an easy move. And the Pole World knows this.

 

And I know this.

 

Hopefully my thumb feels better soon because I am unable to open a beer right now, so my life is pretty much in shambles.

Lean Fit and Healthy Forever

One Guys Journey to Fitness

Pole Product Reviews

Quality Pole Fitness Product Reviews

eat clean dance dirty

tasty tips & tales of a pole dancer

poledancecompetition

Dance. Train. Compete.

The Ottawa Doggie Club

We have started a facebook group to organize doggie play groups in Ottawa and surrounding areas. The group grew to about 70 member's in less then a week. So us and the members decided why not start trying to raise money for dog rescue organizations and charities. We are waiting for the nice weather to come so we can start our play dates :) Feel free to join our facebook group where we will be posting outings and charity and fundraising events on behalf of some of the rescues :)

Always twirling towards freedom

The X-Pole Blog

Leaders in Pole Fitness

rorieboat.wordpress.com/

DESIGN. CALLIGRAPHY. CHRISTIANITY.

folly in little city

a story about pole dancing, modern femininity and fancy lingerie

the pole place

exploring the art of pole dancing

ginadances

My love affair with the pole

Bon Bon Life

choosing to live a good good life

What Moves Us

Shockra Studio. New York City Dancing.

Poleista.co.uk

pole & aerial fitness, dance, art

Confessions of a Pole-oholic

Always twirling towards freedom

United Pole Artists

Always twirling towards freedom

I Love Pole Dancing, Me

Slightly altered from Friedrich Nietzsche's original thought, but i'm sure he wouldn't mind: “We should consider every day lost on which we have not pole danced at least once.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche/ Laura Gardner

2 Left Forks

Your tummy will thank you!

Ladies Who Pole

Four ladies. Four pole dancing adventures

Mizlizzle's Got Moves

The diary of an amateur pole dancer