Yes, it’s true; I am a pole dancing mama. But let’s get one thing straight before I continue -- I do it for pleasure, not for profit. I don’t sneak out after I put my boys to bed and work in a dark bar to pay the bills. I have new respect for the girls who do, but it’s not for me. No, I’ve joined the latest fitness trend, and I stomp around in my living room, imagining that I resemble a brunette Pamela Anderson minus the big lips, big hair, and, well, big everything. So, not quite like Pam at all.
In fact, as I pull my rather out of shape body up the pole, I realize that I’m not like any celebrity that may be a fan of pole dancing – celebrities which include Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, and Sheila Kelly, who started her own pole studio. Ever since I was kicked out of tap dancing at the age of seven, I haven’t acquired much grace – not that tap dancing was doing much for it in the first place – and it shows. I’ve always been more into the triathlon sports, although I never put them together to actually do a triathlon, so the whole idea of moving to a rhythm other than my breathing is rather new.
It would be misleading to suggest that I am athletic; I’m not. Not since my second son was born and the days seemed to have less and less minutes in them – to the point that I’ve stopped changing out of my pajamas in the morning because it seems like I need to put them right back on for bed mere moments later. While not terribly active, I did manage to lose some of the 50 pounds that I gained in my second pregnancy, although not nearly as much on the day I gave birth as I had convinced myself that I would. I guess 35 pounds of fluids was a little unrealistic to hope for.
In order to get rid of the remaining 39 pounds, I needed something that I could do at home and a little miracle thrown in wouldn’t hurt at all either. Without ever trying pole dancing at a fitness studio, or even swinging around a stop sign once or twice, I decided to buy a pole and see what would happen. If any fitness activity could put the yummy back into this mummy, I was convinced it had to be pole dancing.
Dreaming of being a natural who didn’t get baffled by left hand/right foot/clockwise spin commands, I was more than a little disappointed. What the books don’t tell you and the videos don’t show -- apart from how confusing it is -- is that pole dancing hurts. If you are fully covered when you pole dance, which is how I started, you can’t hold on. If you try it while just wearing your workout gear, which I finally did with the curtains shut tight, your skin is guaranteed to pinch as you spin around. And the squeaking sound of flesh on pole is also a bit painful to hear. After the pinching comes the bruising, making me look like a battered wife – except who ever heard of armpit, ankle, and palm bruises? Then there are the aches from muscles that have never been worked this hard before. This pole should have come with a disclaimer.
While pole dancing usually evokes a rather sensual image, it’s hard to believe it actually is. My bruised and aching body spins around, landing with great galumphing stomps and then just standing there, completely dizzy, as I try to regain my balance. It goes without saying that the size of my posterior, as it spins around, cannot be considered terribly appealing either.
But after a couple of weeks, I’m starting to notice something. My lips don’t look bee stung and my legs still don’t look like they go all the way up. No, it’s nothing that extreme. I just happen to occasionally catch myself moving to the beat of the music that I have blaring, which masks the sound of my rather inelegant landings. Once my dancing alter ego – Sweet Danger – showed up when I was waiting to pick up my son from the school bus and said, “Hey, sexy,” to the tall dad with the rough around the edges look. Fortunately, I managed to stop Sweet Danger before she invited him over to see us on the pole. Also every so often, if the lighting is just right, I sometimes even concede that I don’t look too bad in some of the clothes that I’m now squeezing back into.
It looks like my secret, unspoken dream of dancing in front of a crowd is going to remain unfulfilled for the time being, but I am making progress. I can do the “corkscrew” and the “front back hook". I can almost go upside down. I’m not quite a yummy mummy, but I’ve learned that the average male is as much of a perfectionist as I am, anyway. Here’s something else that I found out along the way -- pole dancing is as close to flying as I’ll ever get, and I don’t care who’s watching.
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