Why Taking a Break from Pole is Good for You

It’s me, I’m back!

This month has absolutely flown by.

As you all probably know by now, I took a break from Sass and Clacks to deal with moving house at the end of May. What you probably didn’t know is that midway through May, I left my job on mutual agreement with the company that I worked for.

It was all very sudden, but it gave me a real kick up the butt to start establishing my career as a freelance writer, work on my goals and devote more time to this blog.

Instead of my freelancing being a ‘one day, maybe’ goal, it’s now very real, which is both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Fortunately, now the move’s out the way and we’re (mostly) settled in our very first house, I now have more time to not only dedicate myself to you lovely folks, but also to training myself up and getting myself into the habit of being a more productive, adultier human being.

With all of this going off, I haven’t really found much time to make it to pole.

This is the fourth week I haven’t made it into the studio (although, touch wood, I should be able to make it back to class more regularly now).

At some point in every poler’s life, a break ends up happening, or has to happen – or like with me, is a combination of the two.

The Three Types of Pole Breaks

1. The Expected

You take time away from pole to deal with stuff going on in your personal life.

Maybe, like me, you’re moving house and need time to get established in a new area, a new home, with a new routine, before you can think about your training routine again. Whatever has made you take a break, good or bad, your life just becomes too busy to make it to the studio or by the time class comes around, you’re too tired to do anything but fall into bed.

Sometimes these kinds of breaks can last for only a week – say, if you’re going on holiday – but, when it comes to larger upsets in your routine like moving house, you’re off for a month or more before you even realise it.

2. The Unexpected

Something happens in your life that drags you away from your studio, for better or worse. You may have plans to go to class and fall ill, or have a family emergency that takes far greater priority than pole class.

This could be a one-off thing or, as tends to happen with me, an unexpected break ends up in 2-3 weeks away from the studio because I fall ill, then have a family event to go to, then fall ill again…

3. The Breathing Space

When I mentioned earlier about a combination of the two types, I mean an unexpected break that ends up giving you breathing space. You don’t intend to miss a class, but it ends up being exactly what you needed, in one way or another.

A Push to Train New Things

a muscular woman doing middle splits

Because I’ve not been at the office, getting to my studio hasn’t been as easy as it once was.

Instead of a 10-minute tram ride with free parking at the office, I now have a 40-minute drive into the city centre and the joys of having to use the nearest multi-storey car park.

As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly enticing when I have a comfy sofa, blankets and Netflix about 10 feet away from where I get my work done these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when I’m in class, and I still consider the studio my second home. But I am so, so lazy now when it comes to going anywhere over a 15-minute drive away unless I have no other choice but to go. Couple that with the fact that I’m still sorting the house, doing training and running Sass and Clacks, I pretty much still have a full time job – even if it isn’t paying (yet!). Just over an hour’s drive both ways is a LOT.

But I know that’s me being lazy too. After all, I used to drive 45-50 minutes to get to the office, and again to get back home.

So, in the meantime I’ve been training different things. I have a pretty modern Everyone Active gym a 15 minute drive from my house with free parking and a great selection of classes, so I’ve been doing Clubbercise and BodyBalance there.

Because it’s only 15 minutes away, it feels way more accessible to my lazy ass, and I’m losing far less of my time sat behind the wheel wondering why the hell Audi drivers refuse to use their DAMN INDICATORS, KAREN.

It’s a pretty solid way of cross training for pole, in all fairness, and it gives me less of an excuse to pass up on exercise entirely. And, through training new things, I’ve found a new love of expanding my horizons, training more regularly, and the high of coming home sweaty and desperate for a shower is quickly becoming my new normal.

Time for Self Care

afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and tea

I’ve mentioned a lot in previous blog posts about how important self care is to me in managing my mental health condition, aiding recovery and generally remaining an active human being.

Pole can often form part of my self care routine, particularly on the days where what I need is to get out of my regular environment, hang out with friends and do something that requires all of my body and mind to accomplish.

But, friends, pole is HARD.

When I’m lacking on energy or can’t face being around people, going to a pole class can be more of a hindrance to my recovery than a help. This, admittedly, is only about 10% of the time, but sometimes I just can’t make it to class – and that’s okay. I have to give myself a break, spend a night at home doing what I need to do in order to get back to working order, and carry on.

Sometimes we have tough weeks where it feels like everything is going wrong, and all we want to do is curl under the blankets with pizza, beer and Netflix. And sometimes, we can push through that. We can promise ourselves we’ll order takeout and get beer if we go to the class – but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.

And that’s okay.

A Change of Schedule

a week-to-view diary next to some flowers

In recent weeks I’ve gone from working a regular 9-5 job, 5 days a week in an office surrounded by some of my closest friends, where I had a regular timetable and knew where I’d be and when to…well, not having that.

The manager who now tells me what I have to do and when is now me. I’m at home alone for 8 hours a day while my partner’s at work. I have no-one telling me to be productive any more.

I’m having to adapt to being alone for 8 solid hours a day while scheduling my day to make sure I’m still working and work on my goals instead of binge-playing Stardew Valley and watching everything I want to on NowTV before my subscription ends.

You’d think I’d be itching to get out of the house, and you’d be partly right there.

But honestly? When it gets to the end of the day, I just want to hang out with my partner, play video games or go and chill in the bath with a book.

I’ve been away from pole for four weeks now, which will become five as I’m on holiday next week. I know in my heart I want to get back into a regular schedule, and kick my butt into going back to class despite the drive.

But despite my best intentions, I ended up not going to class this week because it felt like I HAD to go.

Instead of pole being a fun escape, it felt like another commitment I had to deal with on top of everything I was trying to get sorted with the house and with my career.

So I took a self care evening with beer, curry and Doctor Who, away from any of my responsibilities, and the next day I spent an hour watching pole dance videos.

Honestly, taking this break in my normal schedule has really helped me find my training motivation again. It really helped me think on why I love pole and want to train it, and I rediscovered the sense of excitement and joy behind my pole goals that I thought I’d lost.

The World isn’t Ending

Quote: "If you're tired, learn to rest, not to quit"

I think this is the biggest thing that we have to remember.

If we can’t make it to pole, it’s not the end of the world.

Sometimes, as polers, it can feel like our entire lives revolve around pole. We meet some of our closest friends through pole, find a sport and a way of life that can quite literally transform our lives, and find and create new opportunities for ourselves within the world of pole and aerial. Our classes are booked into our diaries in permanent ink, and we pass up on going out if it conflicts with our schedules.

With our commitment to pole cemented not just in our minds, but in our hearts, it can feel like missing even a single class can throw off your entire game.

We often talk about losing strength and flexibility over time, but I can guarantee you – this won’t happen if you miss one session.

If you miss a week, you’re not going to be back at square one.

Hell, I’ve missed a month of classes, and the only training I’ve had has been on the rare occasions I’ve found time to get to classes at the gym and hauling boxes, but my flexibility isn’t far off what it was. The only thing I feel like I’ve lost is my stamina.

If there’s one thing I want you to take from this entire ramble of a post, it’s this:

Taking a break from pole doesn’t make you any less of a poler.

Have you had to take a break from pole recently? Are you looking at getting back into pole after being away for a while?

Come say hi over on Facebook or Instagram!

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