Archive | January 2014

Front Splits Friday & Video – Week 1! Hooray!

It’s Friday! Rejoice! Today is Front Splits Friday, week 1! Here’s what my splits are at for week 1, both sides, right and left!

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I meant to take this picture after my work out last night but completely forgot because I was doing the video as well. We all know how much better your muscles stretch after a workout, but I had no choice but to take it this morning (after a quick cardio warm up, because you never want to stretch cold muscles.) So my splits can go a little bit more than this, but I needed a picture for my blog this morning. I may stick an update tonight after my work out, compare the difference between properly warmed up muscles and quickly warmed up muscles.

Don’t forget to share your front splits with me!

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Now here is the end of the week video blog! It’s my first video blog ever so be nice! I don’t normally talk to a camera so it’s going to take some getting used to.

Sorry for all the “uh’s” and “um’s”, I’ll try and work on that next week, I just kind of winged this one.

But it was really funny when I saw PDBloggers Facebook post, I started reading it and I was like that sounds so familiar, I kept reading and I was like “ohhhhh that’s me!”

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So how cool is that! Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Until Monday mes amours!

The Journey to Pole that Ended in a Ditch

So I had an eventful night, I had been so excited to go to pole all day, unfortunately for my friend and I, we weren’t going to make it there last night.

She too had been very excited to go to pole because it was her last class before her vacation in which she will miss two other classes. We were driving there and it was snowing, the roads were messy on this one stretch in between two large fields. Her car began to pull to the right a bit and our tires left the tracks left by cars before us. As soon as our wheels hit the fresh snow she lost control. We swerved to the left then back to the right so hard that it spun the car around and we wound up backwards in the ditch at the side of the road.

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It was a pretty hard impact, well at least it felt like it. No air bags were deployed, it did whip us around pretty bad. But luckily she has a tiny car because it was no match for the snow bank at the side. I fear if we were a bigger car, like my van, we probably would have wound up on our side. Although with the angle we were at it was pretty much the side anyways.

I am irked very much by the person behind us though! If I had been driving behind someone who spun out like that, the first thing I’d do is pull over and make sure people were okay. But no, that person just drove on by. I’ve been behind an accident before where someone rear ended someone, and I didn’t feel the need to stop then, just cautiously go around them. But if someone were to spin out in front of me into a ditch, I would immediately pull over to check on them.

Luckily someone coming the opposite way stopped and checked on us, he tried to see if we could push out, but it was impossible, the tires just spun on the snow like it was ice. After realizing that wasn’t possible I let him go on his way because it was just a matter of calling a tow truck then.

The first place we called told us we’d be waiting 2-3 hours, my friend and I were both like “to hell with that!” so we called the next place, 20-30 minutes, much better. In that time multiple people stopped to check on us, it made me realize how many caring people there are in this world. It was freezing out, they had no obligation to stop like the person who saw us crash should have, but they did. One woman even came out of her car with a hair dye cap on, because she was worried about us. It was very touching that people put themselves aside to care for others.

It was about a 40 min wait for the tow truck, during the time we laughed and joked and even played a fun game on her cell phone.

I accidentally sent my mom a very cryptic text just before my phone died, I’m the worst daughter ever!

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Yup that’s what I sent her before my phone died, the last thing I sent her was ‘die’, Because I’m smart… but I did manage to call my boyfriend before it died so she called him and he explained. So it wasn’t the worst but I can only imagine the panic she was in because her daughter was just in an accident, I’m sure I’d be flipping too if it was my daughter.

Tow finally pulled us out and I waited in the car while my friend went and paid him. When we finally started to go, it was already 9:30, we had officially missed pole. That was officially the first class I’ve missed, and I’m telling you, nothing can keep me from pole, other than obviously a ditch we can’t get out of!

When we started to drive home, we were going about 40 because we were still shaken up. But of course that wasn’t the end of our scare for the night, literally less than a minute after we started driving again a coyote ran right in front of us across the road, must have been only a couple meters away. I proceed to yell “ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME!” Like we hadn’t had enough scare for the night. We needed one last one for the road! Fantastic!

As unlucky as it was to wind up in the ditch, in reality we are pretty damn lucky. We are lucky that there was no oncoming traffic because we swerved right into the opposite lane before spinning back into ours. We are also lucky that the snow bank stopped us from flipping. We are lucky that the car still ran because it was damn cold last night, especially in the middle of a field. We’re lucky we had cellphones, even though mine died. We’re lucky that we crashed with each other and not alone and we’re definitely lucky it wasn’t more serious.

And I have to say, my friend is lucky she crashed with me because when my adrenaline starts I make jokes and just be generally silly, I don’t panic, I don’t stress out, so I think that helped her a lot. But I was lucky that I crashed with her because if it wasn’t her I probably would have panicked and stressed, but I knew I couldn’t because that would make the situation worse for her and that was the last thing I wanted to do.

All in all, although I’m upset about missing pole after being excited about it all day, I still consider myself lucky that it wasn’t worse than getting stuck in a ditch. If I had to get stuck in a ditch with someone I’m glad it was my best friend.

Watch for my post tomorrow, it’s week 1 of Front Splits Friday! It’ll be our starting pictures to compare our progress to weeks from now! I think we’ll compare every 4 weeks, and hopefully we’ll get them down in no time!

Don’t forget to check out my new official Facebook page to get all your updates from my blog, pole videos, pole humor and just general pole fun! Click HERE 

Are you up for the Challenge?

Good morning beautiful people! I don’t know about you but dear god I’m tired. I wish I could take some pictures in Pilates to show you guys how hard it gets but the teacher is such a hard ass (with a hard ass, seriously you should see this woman’s butt) that there wouldn’t be time to take pictures. It’s only an hour class but I’m telling you it’s the fastest hour ever because you’re working so hard and consistently doing something.

Pole goes by fast because it is fun for me, I wish it was longer, I love it. But Pilates goes by fast just because it is non-stop, and I’m not hurting now, but I have to give it until like 3 to see just how sore I really am since it’s a night time class. We worked our abs really hard but I’d like to think my abs are already pretty strong, but covered in a layer of fat, they’re pretty much hiding!

Alright people a new thing I’m trying out starting this Friday, not only will Friday be video day but it’ll also be stretch day. I am challenging all of you to get your front splits with me! Front Split Friday, yup, I know, I’m a genius, you don’t have to tell me! It’ll keep going until I get my front splits down, posting updates every Friday, and I would love to see all your progress as well!

Every Friday tweet me or instagram me your progress photos!

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Easy right? WRONG! This is going to take some dedication, do you have it in you to keep at this for weeks? But I believe in you, and I believe in me too! This is something I really want and need to get down if I want to get some more advanced moves. This is something that I will work at every day, because in reality it only takes like 15 minutes a day, and I think I can give up 15 minutes to my flexibility. But remember, never stretch cold muscles! So try jogging in place to your favorite song and when it hits the chorus you hike up those knees and do some high knees until the chorus ends.

Every Wednesday I’ll give you the stretch of the week. But first lets start you off with some basic stretches. Click HERE to go to my blog post about increasing your lower flexibility.

And the new stretch of the week is…. The Hip Flexor Stretch

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I love this stretch, it feels great on my legs, especially after flipping upside down so much and relying on my legs to keep me there.

So I’ve been going on a sushi making spree lately, well… attempt, lets just call it an attempt. I didn’t have the proper “equipment” to make actual maki, and by that I mean my bamboo mat snapped, and I had no knifes sharp enough to slice through seaweed, yea you heard me right! My knives can cut through chicken, through steak, but god forbid they cut through a tiny thin piece of seaweed!

I wound up giving up on the maki and making some hand rolls.

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But I also invested in a new bamboo mat, as well as a new sushi knife meant for slicing sashimi so I figure it has to be able to slice through the seaweed! I will be trying it out tonight! I’ll let you know, sushi so darn delicious.

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Well, until Friday mes amours! Get started on those stretches! Say it with me…

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Parties, Olympics and…Lemons?

Hope you had a wonderful weekend my lovely blog readers! I had a very busy weekend, wasn’t able to pole at all. It’s my daughters 4th birthday tomorrow and with such a large family she had a birthday party both Saturday and Sunday, and today she’s bringing cupcakes to preschool and tomorrow is her actual birthday so we’re doing activities then as well. It’s the first child/grandchild syndrome, she’s spoiled to all hell!

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Saturday I was so tired after setting up the party, having the party and then cleaning up after the party that I was just too exhausted to pole, and in bed by 7:30. Sunday night I went to my mom’s for the party but I was feeling ill most of the time so when we got home at 6 I was in bed out of fear of missing pilates and pole. So now I’m downing cold FX like it’s the holy grail of medicine! I have yet to miss a pole class since level 1 so I don’t plan on starting now!

So excited news in the pole world, Olga Trifonova, an 11 year old Russian Pole Dancer who won a Russian Talent show will be performing at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympics. She is an amazing talented young lady, with unbelievable skills.

This’ll be a big step in the direction of getting pole dancing into the Olympics. Apparently before a sport is accepted in the committee showcases it to see how people react to it. In my opinion this’ll open a lot of people’s eyes to the fact that pole dancing doesn’t have to be sexual, and often times is not. It’s an art, and an incredible display of gymnastics. I full heartedly believe that after this pole dancing will be on its way to being accepted into the Olympics. And while I feel like I’ll be too old to compete and not at the level that some of these people are at, maybe it’s something my daughter could one day compete in. I would be proud to watch her compete in pole dancing.

It’s about time people separated it from its erotic counterpart of stripping in clubs. So I don’t know about you but I’ll be glued to the T.V this February 7th to watch pole dancing pretty much make its debut into the everyday world of people who had no idea it could be such hard work and beauty.

Hopefully I’m able to get back into pole tonight, I find myself getting an itch for pole if I haven’t done it in a couple of days. I look at my pole and whimper because all I want to do is practice my routine and moves.

Today I’m going to leave you with a delicious new recipe I’ve learned over the weekend.

Slim Lemon Squares

Makes: 16 servings

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions
1. Coat an 8-x-8-x-2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray; set pan aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoons sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Pat mixture onto the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in the same bowl, combine egg and egg white. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add remaining sugar and flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, and baking powder. Beat on medium 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour mixture over baked layer in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until edges are light brown and center is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
4. Sift powdered sugar over top. Cut into 16 bars. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 bar): 100 calories, 1g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fat (2g saturated), 0g fiber

 

Keep an eye out Wednesday for my next blog post! Remember this week I’ve gone down to 3 posting a week, taking it for a test drive, come September I’ll be down to 1 a week due to school.

Until Wednesday mes amours!

But I don’t wanna! Hrmph!

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Rest days! For some people they’re like “YAY! I get to do nothing!” Those people are usually the people who work, and I don’t blame them. But I’m a full time mommy at the moment so my job is to take care of the little one and the house, so I really enjoy my “me” time which is pretty much spending a couple hours practicing pole. So when it comes to rest days I sit down on my couch to catch up on some T.V that I’ve missed, but my pole is right there… right beside me… calling me, beckoning me to come and take a spin.

It’s like it’s taunting me! “Come on Elise, you know you want to flip upside down on me, I know you want to spin around me, just do it!” Meanwhile my body is like that other little voice on my shoulder going “No! Don’t do it, we hurt, we’re sore, we need rest”. It’s very conflicting! But my mom always tells me how important it is to have rest days when you work out. She taught me that rest days are just as important as exercising. So I dove into some research to find out just why rest is so important!

When we work out we put great strain on our muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons and joints. As you do something like say lifting weights, you’re tearing muscles, and if you don’t give your body the time to rest and repair the tearing then you risk getting some pretty nasty injuries. Or if you jog, that puts a lot of pressure on your joints and bones from the hard impact of your feet hitting the ground, you definitely need your rest days because you risk bone spurs, shin splints, muscle tears, tendon shearing and so much more.

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Now pole specific you are often working on your core and building muscles by lifting your own body weight. Not to mention the flexibility training that is done, and as we stretch we create tiny tears that need time to heal. If you don’t give them that opportunity then you too will be at risk of injuring yourself, compromising your flexibility and sending it into a regression.

I also just started taking Pilates, which apparently is way more difficult than I thought! I couldn’t take my rest day on Wednesday because I had pole that night even though my abs and legs were killing me. So Thursday became my rest day which I’m pretty sure it will be from now on. I still feel like I got hit by a truck but I’m definitely not as sore as I was yesterday.

You also have to listen to your body, but at the same time don’t make up excuses. Like my thighs are still killing me from stretching so I know tonight I will only be doing light stretching on them so that they don’t get stiff, but I won’t be stretching them hard so that the tears can recover. But my abs are feeling better today which means I’ll work on my core again because that is something that I definitely need work on since so many pole moves require core strength.

So remember ladies and gents, rest days are very important, they allow your body to heal, even if they are incredibly boring sometimes.

I’m also going to be trying something new next week, end of the week videos! I want to use my camera more so this’ll give me an excuse to do so! I will also be changing up my posting schedule, starting next week I’ll be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Until next week mes amours! Have a fantastic weekend and pole hard!

Spinning pole = Exorcist! Lets fix this!

I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck! We had our actual pilates teacher on Tuesday and let me tell you, she is damn serious! At one point my head wasn’t down far enough so she came over and without a word just shoved it down. She’s like boot camp serious and I love it, it’s exactly what I need, it pushes me further. Only issue is that this class is the day before pole, so when it came to pole Wednesday night, my abs were like “no way man!” but my mind was like “shut up body, we’re doing this and you’re going to like it!”

The warm up was killer, it focuses a lot at the beginning on your core. But once we started the routine my body just seemed to forget about its aches and pains! Pole is magical in that way, at least for me it is. Doesn’t matter if I’m stressed out, tired, sore or other, when I’m doing pole that’s where my mind and body is at that moment. I said it the other day, Pole is good for the soul!

Last night I managed to get a really awkward move down called cupids bow and arrow. And I say it’s awkward because of how you get into it, I can’t even really explain it, all I can say is I spent 5 minutes waving my arms around trying to find the pole before my teacher came over and helped me out. I think it’s a beautiful hold, I really like it. I also got another one but didn’t manage to get a picture of it so I’ll have to try to get that picture next week!

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Yesterday before class started, the pole girls and I were sitting in the change room waiting for the group before us to be over, they’re a level 1 class, and a girl came out early. She wasn’t feeling very well, and asked us if when we were in the first level if we ever got over the dizziness. And while I wasn’t sure about the other two girls I know for me at least it took a while. I would have to sit off to the side after doing the routine a couple of times because I would be totally nauseous.

I’m not good with carnival rides, or even car rides for that matter. If I’m not in the front seat, I’m nauseous. It all changed for me after pregnancy, I used to be able to handle it no problem but something about pregnancy changed it for me. So can you imagine me on spinny pole? I feel like I’m going to wind up coming up with a new move called the exorcist where I grip onto the pole for dear life while spinning and throwing up everywhere!

I actually got some help from my aunt with this problem because she had a similar problem, and now I am going to share these exercises with you!

You have to do them every day to be really effective, but I did them a couple times a week and it still helped me. These are done very slowly if you do them too fast they will make your dizziness and sickness worse. You might feel a bit woozy the first couple of times, but once your vestibular system gets used to it, your brain will follow.

It is very important for all of these exercises that you move your head and eyes very slowly.

Exercise 1 – Gaze stabilization Side to Side DO THIS VERY SLOWLY Hold your thumb out in front of your face arm fully extended Focus on your thumb – Never take your eyes of your thumb Very slowly turn your head to the right but keep your eyes focused on your thumb and then turn your head very slowly back to center keeping your eyes focused on your thumb. Repeat this 2-3 times. Do the same for the left side, and be sure to keep your eyes on your thumb at all times.

Exercise 2 – Gaze stabilization Diagonal Hold your thumb out in front of your face arm fully extended Focus on your thumb – Never take your eyes of your thumb Same exercise as above but this time you will move your head on a diagonal from center to top right then back to center (your eyes will be looking down to the left if you are looking up to the right). Do not strain your eyes only do what feels comfortable. Do this very slowly. Repeat 2-3 times You will repeat the same exercise for all 4 corners, so you will be doing center to upper right and back to center, center to lower left and back to center, center to upper left and back to center, and center to lower right and back to center.

Exercise 3 – Gaze Stabilization Up and Down Hold your thumb out in front of your face arm fully extended Focus on your thumb – Never take your eyes of your thumb Same exercise as above but this time you will move your head up and down from center Do not strain your eyes only do what feels comfortable. Do this very slowly. Repeat 2-3 times. You will repeat the same exercise for both up and down, so you will be doing center and look up – when your head moves up your eyes should be looking down focusing on your thumb. Then you will do center and look down – when your head moves down your eyes should be looking up focusing on your thumb.

Exercise 4 – VOR Cancellation This is the exercise helps your eyes and vestibular system to focus properly when the position of your head or body moves suddenly (spinning, getting up quickly, like roller coasters or Pole Spinning Hold your thumb out in front of your face arm fully extended Focus on your thumb – Never take your eyes off your thumb Sit in a chair that can spin 360 degrees. Spin the chair slowly around 360 to the right first and repeat spinning 360 to the left. Lift your feet off the floor when you do this – your eyes are never taken off your thumb so you will be spinning in the chair with your arm extended and you focusing on your thumb. Right before you come back to your starting point put your feet to the floor and stop your chair suddenly. Your eyes and head will never move, they should always be focused on your thumb. People with dizziness issues often a misfire between what the eyes are doing and what the brain thinks they are doing. The eyes don’t get the message from the brain to catch up to the motion fast enough which causes nausea motion sickness feeling. Repeat 2x each direction. You will feel really dizzy the first couple of times you do this, but once your brain is retrained to match what your eyes are doing, you will be able to do this easily.

Do all 4 exercises twice per day (should only take you 3-5 mins max to do all 4 exercises). Don’t do any more than twice a day.

They feel odd to do at first but you get used to them. But to be honest it helped out, but majority of me not feeling so nauseous came from continuing pole. Practice, practice, practice, I found my body eventually just got used to it, but these exercises definitely helped. So try them out and see if they help you!

Do you have any tips or tricks to help you from becoming motion sick? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to learn some new tricks to help me out.

Stage Names, your alter Ego!

Jenyen Butterfly and Felix Cane, if you’re immersed in the pole world like I am these names should sound familiar. They’re stage names of two of the top pole dancers, and that’s what I want to talk about today, stage names.

What is a stage name?

A stage name is an alternative name chosen by someone for professional purposes, well that’s the traditional meaning of stage name, often used by actors and writers (pen names). The pole dance world has also taken a shine to stage names for performances and fan pages.

Why choose a stage name?

Well there are many reasons to choose a stage name. One reason being that it could help you break out of your shell, you may be shy, but your alter ego Lyla Vaunburen (sounds like a burlesque name but just work with me here!) is a strong, sexy, confident woman ready to own that pole! There’s also the reason of privacy, depending on why you have stage name, you may preform or you may just be a tad bit paranoid! Stage names keep your real name a secret. As much as I hate to admit it some places will judge you for pole fitness. I heard a story of a teacher being fired when the faculty found out she did pole fitness, now legally you can’t do that, but it’s not like people can’t find or even make up some sort of excuse to fire you. It’s sad, but it happens.

I embrace pole, I’m not in a position to lose a job over it though. But I am a mom, and I know that people my look down on me for enjoying pole fitness and having a young daughter. People don’t understand that pole fitness does not mean I am a stripper. No offence to strippers but if you have kids (and a good chunk of them do) then you should know how looked down on you are.

If someone were to ask me if I’d let my daughter do pole fitness my answer is a simple “yes”. Of course I would, the only thing I would keep her away from is the routines that are meant really for people who are (and this is my opinion) 18 years and older. I’ve had 16 year olds in my class before, and they were perfectly nice and friendly but when we got into the routines I was like WOAH! Okay… no 16 year old should be doing moves like this! But maybe I’m a bit of a prude because of my opinion but I wouldn’t want my daughter doing these routines until she was at least a legal adult. But hey, if my daughter wants to learn pole I will gladly teach her, it is a great way to work out and work on your flexibility.

Alright back to stage names!

How do I choose a stage name?

Here’s the fun part, choosing a stage name, and by fun I mean painstakingly annoying to do. My brother can vouch for this, not that he has a pole stage name, but for any game he’s playing it usually takes him about an hour just to come up with a name. There are many ways to approach this, you could choose things that mean something from you, like animals, or an actor/actress. Maybe the street you grew up on, or a pet you had. Maybe a combination of a couple of them, like a pet name and street. Now, some of these may sound absolutely ridiculous, such as Angelina Hanbury, sounds … weird. Personally my stage name will always be Pandora or Pandora Sin, it has been my gamer name since I was about 14 and it has always stuck, I’m used to being called Pandora, or Panda as short. I’ve also always felt connected with that Greek mythology story of Pandora, I loved her innocent curiosity that led to disastrous consequences.

So that’s it that’s all, honestly I would recommend a stage name, they’re fun and they just make you feel empowered. So come up with your own names and let me know in the comments below, I’d be really interested in hearing them! Until tomorrow mes amours!

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