It’s the time of year chatter begins again in the pole community of the things they want to achieve in the year to come.
For some, this has been a simple cheerful declaration that they’re going to take the plunge into trying aerial dance for the first time – to those folks, welcome to our crazy community!
For others, it might be a bit more specific, like finally achieving that elusive flat Jade, having the courage to sign up for a competition, or a commitment to go to more classes.
Goals are funny things. Some require more time and patience that others, where as some require just to look at yourself in the mirror and realise how beautiful and powerful you truly are. There are goals for life and goals for pole and they often bleed together, overlapping in the craziest ways. For instance, I took the plunge this year to go back to therapy for her anxiety and depression, and since then I found the confidence to perform in our studio’s Christmas Showcase. Classique style. In front of my boyfriend’s parents.
Seriously. Therapy and medication helped me learn the self confidence I needed. Or simply, I just stopped giving a fuck and learned to let go of other people’s expectations of me. (They loved it, by the way. They were surprised, sure, but they loved it and were super proud that I had the guts to get up on stage and dance with such confidence in my first showcase performance)
Yeah, sometimes big changes in your life can have the weirdest knock-on effects.
My pole goals are quite general but I’m at a stage with pole where I’m still very new and I’m still figuring out what things I want to achieve with pole. Primarily, this year I want to work on building up a good foundation of strength and flexibility through a combination of pole classes, bodyweight work and yoga/flex sessions to help me tackle new moves and combinations a little easier, and make the things I do know look even better.
The main thing I want to achieve this year is some solid progress towards inverting. I know it’ll take time for me and I don’t expect by the end of the year I’ll be able to fully invert, but I want to at least be able to do a headstand against the pole or, even better, an unsupported shoulder stand. I feel that focusing on these progression points will help keep me motivated, and will help me progress towards that solid strength foundation so I’m in a good place to practice inverting on the pole properly in 2020. But, if I get there by the end of the year, that’s a win!
Generally the moves I’d like to nail this year are Superman, Cross Knee Release and Seductress, and I want to work on getting some more variations of Layout and Skater down. Mostly these are shapes that make me feel beautiful and strong, and I want to have some great poses ready for next year’s showcase and my next photoshoot. I also want to play around more with spinning pole so I can get used to the momentum – and also because it’s super fun to play around and see what cool shapes you can make. There’s also something about spinning pole that brings out my inner diva.
I’m also planning on working on my flexibility more this year, with an aim to either have my front/middle splits or be damn close by the end of the year. Honestly though, any additional flexibility I get from this training will help me to no end with pole, so not having my splits by the end of the year isn’t a real biggie. I get super impressed with myself when I can do something flexy that I didn’t think I could do (because I still think my body has all the flexibility of a Tory MP discussing Brexit) so this is, admittedly about feeding my ego.
Non Pole Goals
I’ve had a lot going off in my personal life in 2018 which means I haven’t been able to write for Sass and Clacks as much as I’d like. I’m always working towards the goal of posting something once a week, but as I’m a writer as my day job, it’s not always realistic for me to expect I’ll want to come home and carry on writing. Still, I want to work on the habit of spending time each weekend working on the blog and getting some fantastic content ready for you all, because sometimes I just need to kick my brain in gear and get shit done. I’ve also got a ton of things I want to write about that aren’t necessarily pole related, I’ve just got to think about the best ways to write about them.
There’s a lot of personal development I want to work on next year, most of which I don’t really want to talk about publicly. A lot of it is building on what I did during my time at therapy this year, and helping build my mental resilience. My antidepressant medication is due to be reviewed in May, and honestly I’d like to see if I can come off them. I don’t expect I will be able to – I missed a dose the week before Christmas, and it messed me up – but I want to make sure I have the best possible foundation to cope when I do come off my medication.
Saying that, I’m not too bothered if I have to stay on them long term. I get no side effects from my meds, and generally they keep me very stable. I still have my bad days, sure, but they’re more like a day once a month, rather than whole weeks at a time. Mentally I do have a bit of fuzziness with them which is difficult to describe, as sometimes my emotions can feel a little blunted, but I can actually feel happy and excited these days. Even just having the greater range of emotions provided by my medication has helped me to no end this year. I don’t consider it a failure if I have to stay on them long term. It’ll just be how it is.