So lately I’ve been on a huge kick writing about pole injury because:
- I freaking miss it, so I want to talk about it
- I hope other injured peeps can relate to some of the mixed feelings I’ve had about starting pole back up
Between the last time and most recent time I poled has been about 7 months. That amount of time allows for a tons of potential change. For instance, your body can lose those hard-earned pole muscles, you can lose interest or confidence, and the pole world can progress incredibly fast without you.
Just this past week I was feeling pretty low in terms of emotional expression through dance, so I basically said “screw the injury” and went to an open pole session at a studio here in Denver.
Up until this point I had been doing some serious mental preparation regarding my transition back into pole. I knew I would lose some ability, but the reality is, I thought open pole would have gone MUCH better. In other words, it really did not do well. I was super, super humbled.
Here’s what I remembered about pole: #triggered
- I remembered that pole freaking HURTS. You have to welcome back the bruises & blisters. You also remember that inner thigh pain is really freaking real.
- Grip strength is crucial. My grip strength was a fraction of what it was, even though I stayed active during my recovery period.
- Pole flexibility is different from floor/yoga/dance flexibility. I was still bendy in most ways, but not in the pole way. There’s really something different about manipulating your body around a metal rod, ha.
- Most everything you see on Instagram still seems like it’d be easy-peasy, but hell to the no. Most definitely not. It takes re-watching the video ten million times, slowing it down, and having others help break it down to realize how it’s done.
- You forget how fast spin pole is, and you have to figure out spin pole speed control all over again.
To be honest,
going back to the studio was extremely intimidating. Pole is one of those sports that evolves at lightning speed. You leave for two seconds, and there are two million new moves and transitions you’ve never seen before.
I mean, especially since polers come from all sorts of backgrounds, there are constantly new moves, inspirations and influences within the community. And the really scary thing? Dancers/athletes are constantly raising the bar for a new standard of “good”.
Oh, and one last intimidation factor of going to the studio is Instagram – a platform for comparison and self doubt.
Injury setbacks are always a hard pill to swallow, and having to go back to square 1 at the studio can really be a massive turn off. I mean, you could very well have the muscle memory to do everything, but you would have to rebuild the physical strength, mental strength, and pain tolerance to get back to where you were. Also, patience.
Can’t expect to continue off exactly where you left off, am I right?
Anyways, there are a billion reasons to start your training again, as well as completely avoiding it after injury, so that makes me wonder: if it’s a hobby that keeps you in shape, why wouldn’t you do it again? If it’s a creative and emotional outlet, why wouldn’t you want that again?
Sure, It would take a bit of time and effort to get back to where you once were, but one of the best things about pole, is probably the journey itself. Tell me if I’m wrong, but hitting those tiny progress milestones is pretty freaking satisfying.
Reasons not to start back up
There are dozens of excuses as to why someone wouldn’t resume their pole training, but here a few I think would be applicable to many:
Well first, I believe it’s completely valid to avoid pole if you want to minimize risk for re-injury. Seriously, you had just spent time and money ($$$!) babying your body back to health – why ruin it? Pole has the potential for causing extreme wear and tear on your body. Let’s not forget how you got injured in the first place.
Second, if you’re totally ready to try new forms of workouts, then I hear you. It’s not to say you don’t appreciate the artistry and athleticism involved in pole anymore, but it is to say that you’re content with your past pole life, and you are now all ready to experience something new.
Third, you feel really out of shape and have slight body issues. This is me, to a tee. Not even going to pretend it’s not true. I definitely feel a little out of shape compared to what I used to be. And despite the pole community being pretty nonjudgmental, it can be a big enough reason not to start again.
And last but not least…you really just do not feel a connection to pole anymore. It’s can be sad thinking about it, but it’s as simple as that.
Ultimately, it’s up to you, duh
If you do decide to start pole up again, I feel you – it’ll hurts a lil’ bit, and it’ll be a lil discouraging. Nothing about the transition will be easy, but it has the ability to be refreshing. Try not to compare yourself to past you OR to your peers.
However, if you decide NOT to touch a pole ever again, or at least for a good while, I also feel you. When I went to open pole I actually RE-INJURED my shoulder, so the risk sometimes is not worth it. The only upside about re-injuring myself was having the ability to dance out some feels and to get into the zone again. Call me crazy, call me psycho, but there’s really nothing quite like moving to the music and letting each note take over your body.
Anyways, if you’re at the crossroads trying to decide whether or not to start pole dancing again, I hope this post was helpful hearing about someone else’s experience. Please reach out if you have any comments, concerns, questions, or just want to say hi!