I have some exciting news!
I have recently become an Athlete for activewear brand HustleCo, and recieved my first order today! As I live in Australia and the brand is based in the US, it took a couple of weeks to ship but, once I opened the package it was so worth the wait!
I ordered a cropped tee with the specific idea that I would be able to pole in it, as it would allow me to have the all important side and belly grip for upside down tricks such as the Ballerina and Crucifix holds. As I am currently training for a competition, I headed down to the studio this afternoon to try out my new tee and I wasn't disappointed.
I also took several shameless studio selfies (because, when you have the whole studio to yourself, why wouldn't you?) and even jumped up on the stage and looked out over my imaginary divas, projecting myself ten years into the future when I will be a pole instructor and there will be real students. #goals.
Hello imaginary divas! I will look down on students from this stage one day and remember how it felt to be in their shoes!
Above: shameless studio selfies in a rather fetching combination of a HSCO Cropped Tee, Natasha Leggings from Fandomanix, and Pleasers from Shoe Me Gorgeous Australia
But, as awesome as it is for me to be representing HSCO, it's actually awesome for you too. Why? Because the next time you want some quality workout gear, you can use the code barbelldancer and receive 30% off!
As I mentioned above, friends and followers in Australia will have a bit of a weight, but I promise you that the gear is so worth waiting for. It's comfortable, fits to size and there is a wide range, so whether you're after leggings or workout singlets, hoodies or shorts, HSCO has you covered.
Keep watching my Instagram, @barbelldancer, as you'll be seeing me in HSCO a lot in future, and I'm looking forward to sharing this new chapter with you.
P.S. There may be another exciting announcement coming very soon...
Ever heard the old saying 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy'? It means that, after having a single unpleasant experience, it can often be twice as hard to go back.
As some of you may be aware, I was injured after falling from a pole about seven weeks ago: I slipped while doing an inversion and landed on my head, before rolling onto my shoulder and somehow ending up curled around the pole on my side. I only fell from a height of roughly half-a-meter (i.e. 30cms) and I was lucky enough to escape serious injury. I had concussion the next day and issues with neck movement that persisted for several weeks (although I somehow still managed to pull off a spin grading without full neck movement!) but, on the whole, I was physically OK and have since fully recovered.
But, despite my physical recovery, there are some psychological bruises that are taking longer to heal.
Prior to my fall, I felt confident executing a front straddle, holding a ballerina, climbing to the top of the pole (between three and four meters), doing tricks such as a fairy, back straddle, side arch, diva, layout and even kitten kicks (hideously painful things!) as part of aerial combos. I could also, much to my honest delight, execute a single spider climb while straddling on my left/gumbie side.
Now, the moment someone says 'Go upside down' my standard response is 'Wait one minute, I'll just grab a mat', even for inversions that I know I can do confidently, such as upside down flips or ankle hook hangs. I can't spider climb anymore, as I tend to freeze as I go to move my hands, even if I do have a mat under the pole. I have to talk myself into a front straddle and have developed a bad habit of immediately hooking my knee even before I've fully finished the straddle, as otherwise I start to panic and end up clinging on with my legs and sliding down inch by inch in case I fall.
But even more frustrating is that I have to force myself to climb.
I love climbing. As much as it's a bitch on the top of your feet, the feeling of being up there is just indescribable. I can climb both spin and static poles and do spiral and straight climbs, but since my fall I try to avoid climbing, keeping all my tricks low and even refusing to do others that require some height.
I know it's all mental, that this is a barrier I need to push through, and I will say I have made progress. I climbed during freestyle on Saturday and executed an aerial layout (claps for me!) but it took a whole lot of talking to myself to get up and do it.
I have a competition coming up in 20 days, I only have half a routine and I'm afraid to invert and climb at the moment.
So if there is anyone out there who might have a trick or two to help combat that kind of fear I'm all ears, because, right now, the only thing that feels good is having my Pleasers firmly on the floor. I want to fly again, but fear is like having weights around my ankles.
In exciting news, I will be competing in my very first pole dancing competition in August. Pole Addiction is an in-house studio competition by Pole Divas, in which students compete in their studio. Once you put your name down you're in and it's a great way for those of us wanting to get into competition to get a taste in a friendly, familiar environment. I'm super pumped!
If anyone is local and is interested in attending and seeing myself and other amazing Divas perform, details are as follows:
Tickets: $15 per ticket, available to purchase in-studio at Pole Divas Caroline Springs
Location: Pole Divas Caroline Springs, 23/39 Eucumbene Drive, Ravenhall
Date: Sunday, 12 August 2018
Time: 3.00 - 6.30pm; doors open 2.45pm
And if you need a little incentive...
Song: 'Lightning' by Little Mix
Concept: How would electricity dance...?
If you're afraid to fall it means you're prepared to brave the heights from which you might fly.
Me With No Apologies.