Not much poling or great poling happened this week. I started a long term course of antibiotics which I am convinced has impacted my inner ear. As a result, doing anything on the spinning pole has been tough. Yesterday I thought I might vomit in class and my energy was just not there.
My class yesterday was in general mentally and physically tough. At one point, I would have paid my teacher to just let me sleep on the mats. The poles were slippery and everyone seemed a little sick.
Later in the day, I beat myself up about it and debated whether or not I should throw in some more practice. I want to get better! I felt like a complete failure in class and wanted to make it up. Unfortunately, this inner dialogue was the work of my evil perfectionist gremlin. This gremlin does not have my best interest in mind and has, in the past, caused a lot of overtraining and injury.
In college my little gremlin talked me into running 70 miles a week. 70 miles of running a week sucks and is a really quick way of breaking down your body. It also convinced me to run a marathon a day after food poisoning…also not a great idea.
Fortunately, after being a runner for 20 years and facing a lot of overtraining and evil perfectionist thoughts I have developed another inner guide who has led me away from this path. This inner guide has encouraged me to rest when I need to, take a break when I get frustrated, and to take things “day by day.” Rome was not built in a day. Pole dancers do not become amazing right away. Muscle does not form instantaneously. In other words “chill out.”
I think in any sport but especially with pole and running it is easy to feel that perfectionist drive to keep going, don’t take breaks, and don’t listen to your body. A lot of polers get injured and need surgery and I can see where it happens. There is so much to learn and conquer in this sport. It is also so physically demanding that hours of practice day in and day out are probably not good. Your body needs to rest and repair itself.
I recommend going with the loving approach. Allow yourself to have the bad days, take the breaks, and do something relaxing. It is okay and you will not lose your strength or fitness. If anything your body will thank you and replenish from the much needed rest. This is also great if you are mentally burnt out from your sport.
Resting allows you to come back energized, refreshed, and ready to tackle those new tricks. It also allows you to stay in the game for the long haul. I would rather take a long time to get good at pole so that I can do it in my 60s then get good quickly and need surgery.