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Pole, Presumptions and Penis

This is my February Blog Hop! Please do not fear the title!

Let me be the first to say that I’ve been guilty about questioning the role of men in pole fitness, this being when I first joined pole. A friend who knew I had started taking pole asked me “Are men able to take pole?” she asked me because one of her male friends had an interest in it. I stood there and pondered her question for a minute, reflecting on the current moves I knew, at this point in time I was in level 1 at a very inexperienced studio, and because of such I wasn’t as involved with pole as I am now. I thought of how we sat on the pole, crossed legs and all and wonder to myself “how would a man do that without squishing his… well you know… boys… “ I’m slightly ashamed that because of these thoughts at the time I said I didn’t think so. Little did I know there was a whole world of men who adored this sport as much as I do!

Personally I have yet to have a man in my class, and I haven’t seen one in our studio. But I do know that our studio at its second location has a male change room, so we must have some male students. I’ve never been one to be uncomfortable around men, I’m usually more comfortable around men. But to be honest, I’ve never really tried to do any sort of routines around men, let alone a routine with men.

In our current routine we do body rolls, grinding down the pole, sitting on the pole (I’m still wondering how they do that without … squishing… just an innocent curiosity) and I try to picture a man doing that, and while I know men who can be sexy like that, I have to admit, none of them are very interested in women. Mind you my best friend isn’t interested in men and she can still shake it like a pro! So again we reach the point of double standards!

Now there was a topic in this blog hop that I can’t seem to wrap my head around, “Have you ever danced as a male character or with male energy?” I sat here staring at that question for a couple of minutes, what exactly is male energy? At first I thought, dancing strong! But then I thought of some of these women I have seen doing their routines and they come off to me as incredibly strong. The power of their moves is something I can feel through my computer, and the strength it takes to preform them is something no one can deny. Then I thought, dancing…less sexy? But again that is something I’ve seen in performances, not that they’re less sexy, but that they are way more aimed towards gymnastics and a ballet style than “sexy”. So it’s not that there’s anything wrong with this questions, it’s just something in all honesty I just don’t understand.

I think something that has brought me closer in understanding this question is a routine done by two wonderful ladies from my studio. They do a doubles routine and one role is obviously supposed to be a more male role, just watch it for yourself, it’s amazing.

The only male pole dancer I’m really super familiar with is Steven Rechless, and I adore him! One reason I really respect him is because of the power he dances with. You can tell he really loves performing and really loves the sport. Another reason I really respect him is because of this one video where he was performing and he had a shoe mishap and like a pro he didn’t let it stop him, he continued his entire performance to the end and it was beautiful!

The one thing I do think, and I’m not really sure if it’s sexist, but regardless I believe that pole competition wise, men and women need to be judge differently. The reason I think this is because scientifically men just have more muscle than women and because of such are able to perform things differently. But it’s like competitions have different levels from amateur to pro because of different abilities, it’s the same with men, because we are built differently we have different strength and weaknesses. I may be wrong in thinking this, but this is just how I understand it, this is why women don’t play in the NHL, or why the Olympics has men’s gymnastics and women’s gymnastics. But I guess the opposite argument could be made about why there’s figure skating that has both men and women. I guess it gets a bit different when it’s doubles, because men become a support role. But as a singles I think men and women do need to be judged separately.

So personally my belief is that if men want to do something that is predominantly something women do, go for it. I also believe if women want to do something male dominant that they should also not hold back. I love seeing people break the social boundaries that our society places on us, that’s where real empowerment comes from, not from your parts but from your heart and your actions!

To check out the other wonderful blog hops for this topic click below!

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Pole intentions, not a bad thing, just takes work!

This is my January Blog Hop! I know I’m leaving it until the last minute, I do that a lot. I’m a procrastinator, which is something I definitely need to work on. But it’s funny, I procrastinate for a lot of things, but not school, for some reason school I’m on top of and ready to do, probably because it’s something I really enjoy doing, art! Anyways, back to the blog hop!

This month’s theme is Pole Intentions for 2014! I have a lot of intentions for this year, not to put a lot of pressure on you 2014 but you’re going to be a fantastic year. It has already started out pretty fantastic, my love just got a job in his intended career field and I’m so proud of him, he chased his dream and is now on the right road to achieve it. I can only hope to be half as ambitious as he is.

But what’s the difference between our New Year resolutions (which I do every year) and our intentions for the year? Well to me I think labeling them as resolutions puts a lot of pressure on you, it’s setting you up to fail, and while people can still recognize that they’re probably not going to complete all their resolutions, it doesn’t stop that feeling of failure sneaking up towards the end of the year. Intentions takes a little of that pressure off. I feel that if you have intentions you’re more likely to continue them throughout the year instead of the first couple of months and then completely forgetting about them.

My pole intentions are pretty simple, which makes them all the more likely to be successful. I want this year to be about confidence and patience, because both are which I need practice in. I can fake confidence no problem, I’ve been doing that for half my life, but this year I want to really feel confidence, and not just in pole, but in my everyday life. I’ve always thought “fake it until you make it” but let me tell you, I’ve been faking confidence for years and by the end of last year my confidence hit an all-time low. I became super judgemental of myself, looking at my reflection in the mirror as the voices in my head criticized me, and that’s not healthy, I know that, so faking it just isn’t working.

I’m really not sure where to begin to find my confidence but I feel that pole is definitely that helping hand. I’ve been at my home studio for nearly a year though and somehow my confidence still hit a low, but I feel like I took advantage of pole. Poling in my class was a competition to me, I’m a very competitive person, which is really not what pole is about at all. Well… not unless you’re in an actual competition! But pole class should not be about competing with those around you, it should be about growing at your own speed, pushing your limits and not judging yourself on what others can do better. During the last level is really when I realized that, and it was because I had my two ladies in my class. We all push each other, cheer each other on, we’re not concerned with how we look in the mirror. They can do moves that I can’t do and I can do moves that they can’t do, that’s the beauty of pole, something that may be so easy for someone can be extremely hard for someone else. I think that’s why you develop such a strong bond with each other, because no one feels left behind, we each have our own individual strengths and weaknesses.

I also need to learn patience though, I was extremely frustrated the first time we began to learn moves that I couldn’t nail right away. I wasn’t used to it. I also don’t have much patience outside of class, such as losing the weight I want to lose. I expect to lose it now when I know in the back of my head that it’s going to take some work and some time. I get from people that I shouldn’t be worried about my weight, that I should count myself lucky not to weigh as much as them. I just shake my head, it has nothing to do with you, or a comparison to you, it has to do with my own personal demons. How I think I should look, how I would be comfortable looking. Everyone knows I’m a mom (Endeavors of a Pole Mom, duh!) and that left me with the mom pouch, and as much as it was worth it to carry my child into this world, it doesn’t mean that I lose the right to be uncomfortable with it. It’s not going away as fast as I would hope and because I see myself every day I feel like it’s not going away at all. So I’ve made the decision to take pictures every month so I can visual see the change and hopefully that will help towards my patience. I find it kind of funny though, you need patience to learn patience, why can’t I learn it now! Ironic isn’t it!

If I had to choose a word to carry with me through all pole moments that have served and that will serve as inspiration it would be determination. You can never have too much determination! It’s what drives me to better myself, because I am very determined to be the best person I can be. And I don’t just mean in pole, I also mean in everyday life. When go on a YouTube video watching spree (Don’t deny it, we’ve all done it) and I see these amazing moves, a part of me is like my god I’m never going to be able to do that, while another part of me tells that voice to shut it because one day I will have the strength and flexibility to perform such amazing feats so long as I continue to hold onto that determination that drives me so hard.

But intentions are nothing but sweet words unless you have the motivation behind them. How are we to ever work on our intentions if we want the results now but no motivation in between? I’m here to tell you that you can’t, you won’t and you will fail. If your intentions has no spine, they won’t be able to stand up to the challenge. My motivation? Well my motivation has a name, and her name is Alice. My daughter is the reason I want to be healthier, and definitely one of the reasons I need more patience (She has my genes, I can only expect her to be a little demon like I was to my parents). But what if you don’t have a child? Be a better person for you, because I can guarantee you if you go through with your intentions you will never regret it, you’ll only regret it if you give up.

One thing that can help you, and push you and keep you going is a vision board, which is actually something I had prior to this blog hop, and I was so happy to see them mention it in their article. I’m an artistic person so I learn visually and vision boards (so long as you don’t accidently lose them. Guilty!) are an excellent way to keep you motivated. And I’ll be nice enough to share mine today, sometimes vision boards are personal but I feel like sharing your intentions are also a good way to keep going, it’s an affirmation in its own. Your vision board doesn’t stay the same throughout the year, you often add things in and take things away, but it’s always good to always keep it in mind.

VisionB

Until tomorrow mes amours!

Click HERE to view the list of the other blog hops for this wonderful month!