am nearly three months into my Pole and Aerial journey. So far, it’s been an amazing and incredibly rewarding experience. My health, physical and mental, has improved dramatically. I am eating much more healthily and sleeping better too. I feel energised and better able to focus at work, so the benefits of this little experiment far outweigh any fears I may have had before it started.
Week Eleven – Pole
After the usual warm up with Hannah, we started out with a spin sequence as a recap of what we have done in previous sessions.
This included Step Around, Back Step and Cradle Spin. I’m really starting to feel comfortable with these now, along with the other spins we have learnt to date.
I also managed to do a climb to the top of the tallest pole in the studio! It was hard going, but I was determined to get to the top of the pole this week and lo and behold, I did! I was so pleased with myself, now I just need to work on the form and make it look good.
A lot of people have spoken to me about the dreaded Shoulder Mount since I started this journey. Well, this was the week for our introduction to it.
I positioned myself on the pole as Hannah had shown us and held my breath waiting for the pain to hit, but it never came!?! We were practicing Shoulder Mount Arch specifically, which is a little kinder on the shoulder as far as I understand it, but this seemed a lot easier and less painful that I could have imagined. Hannah was very surprised at my progress out of the gate with this one, which made me feel very proud of myself.
We finished of the session by revisiting our Inside Leg Hang. Inverting on to the pole and then positioning my legs was fine, it was when I put some actual weight on my hold that the pain arrived; it felt like a branding iron was being applied to my inner thigh and I’m not too shy to admit, I shouted an expletive I don’t care to repeat (it involved implying that the pole has intercourse with its mother, make of that what you will).
Honestly, my thighs were still burning a whole day later! Here’s a short video of me half-way achieving it:
Another great session this week, which has boosted my confidence on the pole another level.
Week Eleven – Aerial Hoop
The usual warm up resumed with Ellie resumed this week, sans the abs challenge from the last couple of weeks (my core was grateful!).
Front Balance was the first order of business this week. We practiced two different entries into this, a Backwards Invert and a Side Transition.
For me, the Backwards Invert went really well and I was pleased that I managed to get it in just one or two tires. The Side Transition was another story. Each time I tried to do this, I seemed to roll over my hand (painfully), maybe I wasn’t paying attention to Ellie when she was demonstrating this particular thing, but I’ll have to wait until week twelve before I can try again, as I’m on vacation from this Tuesday, so will miss out on my usual class this Wednesday.
We also tried Hip Holds. These proved to be a bit painful for me when transitioning into them, due to being a guy. Something else to work on in the next session too.
In preparation for Upside Down Man In The Moon, we revisited the standard Man In The Moon first. Ellie made the transition from standard to upside down look very simple, but when it came time for me to try, the hand positioning and movement proved a little difficult to grasp and unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to nail this move.
Finally, just for fun, we revisited some of our favourite moves we have learnt to date and I chose to have another go at Pencil Hold on the bottom bar of the hoop. It didn’t feel as smooth as the previous times I had done it, but it was something.
Joey heads up the UK and European marketing efforts for X-POLE (www.x-pole.co.uk). He is a career marketer, with previous experience at some of the biggest global brands and award winning marketing agencies. His expertise stretches across creative strategy, digital marketing, public relations and marketing communications.