I started pole fitness as a way to scratch an itch, as the saying goes. I had always danced socially since I was child and later danced with performing groups. (Dancing was kind of a requirement in my family since every party always has music playing and music was part of the fabric of the house when cleaning on Saturday mornings.) As a child, I had been the one who could be found climbing up trees and clambering all over the playground equipment even if it wasn’t supposed to all be climbable. Sometimes, I even got stuck in those same trees or got yelled at for walking on top of the monkey bars.
The strength involved with pole fitness was what attracted me to it. I never really was one for lifting weights, but as a dancer I always knew how much I could lift in people. The calisthenic aspect of the activity fascinated me. I watched pole dancers and fitness experts on YouTube and the calisthenics feat of Barstarzz guys and more.
Having a dance and martial arts background, I wanted take what I already knew about movement and learn to move like the pole and bar athletes I saw online. I knew that no exercise is effortless, but I was surprised at how different this form of physical fitness was. After that first time, my muscles ached for days, but I wanted to do more.
I was aware of how my body should move and was able to apply some of my knowledge to being able to move around on the pole, but I quickly learned that, like any form of dance, raw strength and power can quickly translate to bruises and strains from moving to quickly.
Other than my own determination and the 5 class package I’d purchased, what kept me coming back was that my instructors and classmates didn’t judge me for being a man doing pole fitness. I was just another student, dancer, and athlete. I was taught how to do moves safely and how to condition my body to be able to do more on the pole. My instructors pushed me to try things I had seen, but was never quite sure I could do like the move I had ached to try, but had been smart enough to know I needed some coaching with: the Iron X.
Working on my Iron X, today. Just need to learn to get comfortable & straighten my arms more now that I know I can get it. #polefitness @polefly #relaxation #exercise #fitness #fun #manicmonday #goals
A video posted by José Feliciano (@felicianojrf) on
In going to pole fitness classes, I’ve found that it’s a community. Even when I had to take a break in preparation for the arrival of Alexander and because of deadlines at work, it was like I hadn’t left. My primary instructor remembered right where I had left off and started my new training based on what I’d last practiced and what I felt strong enough to do. It’s that sense of community, support, and physical mastering of pole fitness that keeps me coming back and finding the space to make room for more of this new activity.
I look forward to seeing more of what I can do.