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This week was rough for me. I was feeling burdened by life’s responsibilities as many of us often do. I was having a hard time concentrating on whatever task was at hand. My mind was stuck in the past, worrying about mistakes I had made and how a different approach may have led me down an easier path. I was also worrying about the future and things that hadn’t even happened yet. I was feeling helpless and lacking control over anything.

Then a beautiful thing happened. I took a pole class. It had been awhile since my last and during the warm-up I could feel I was rusty. My breathing became labored a little too easily. My splits were a few inches off from where they had been when I tried them last. But as my body began warming up, I stopped thinking about the past or the future and was completely focused on what I was doing in the present moment.

Somewhere in those 90 minutes, a switch was flipped. There is something about moving my body, climbing that pole and learning a new trick that makes me feel so alive. I feel free, like I’m flying. I feel strong and capable. No, I didn’t nail every move. I have burns and bruises that I can feel on my body as I write this. I don’t have control over everything but for some reason, when I pole I know it’s OK. I let go of the desire to have control and let things flow.

I think many pole dancers out there can relate to this feeling. It is different than most any other physical activity because not only are you expending energy, which releases endorphins, you are also creatively expressing yourself. One of my favorite dancers, Alethea Austin, once said in an interview, “a lot of pole dancing is getting over your fears and knowing that you are strong enough to hold yourself up there.” That is so true. It can be painful and it can be scary. But when you go for that risky drop and hit it with perfection, there is no greater feeling.

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