Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chinese Pole!

A curious thing happened last week. I took Sara over to SANCA to drop her off at her German wheel class, and somehow I ended up enrolling in a Chinese pole class! I've curious about learning pole for years, and out of the blue this opportunity fell into place.

Pole is super hard, and super tiring. After my first class, I was sore for two days afterward, and by the end of each two-hour class, I can barely move. So much of it demands musculature that I don't have yet, or body awareness to use the muscles I do have in just the right way. The class is small (just 6 of us), and we rotate turns on the pole frequently so we don't tire out too fast (and because we only have one pole to use...). But by then end, we are all worn out. Yesterday's class was especially tiring, as three of out six were missing, giving the rest of us twice as much time on the pole.

I am reminded of how I felt when I first learned aerial silks.hen I am on the ground, waiting to take my turn, I don't feel tired or weak, but as soon as I get up in the air all of my muscles turn to jelly and I can't hold whatever position I'm working on for more than a few seconds. It's been years since I've felt this way, and it's refreshing study something at a complete beginner level. I know that the muscles will come with time, so I try to focus more on the proper technique. 

And the technique is what it's all about. My instructor Nick is great at pointing out all the little things that help. So much of circus is about tiny little positions adjustments that have a huge impact, and Nick is great at highlighting these. Whether it's twisting your foot just so to maximize grip on the pole, or shifting weight in a way that doesn't seem to help now, but will open up new tricks as strength builds. On top of that, he seems to be actively improving his pedagogy, asking why one explanation or drill seems to work over some other. Having been in a coaching position myself, I understand how little tweaks in how you teach something, or even how you word your explanation can make a difference.

Two weeks in, with nine left to go, I am loving this class. Can't wait for the next one!