I’m part of several pole dance groups on Facebook. One of them recently hosted a “Transformation Tuesday,” where members posted pictures of their pole befores and afters. Some of those posts have really stayed with me — I was struck by how many people posted disclaimers along with their transformation images or posts.
Without naming any names, and without referring to any specific situations, I wanted to write a little about what was in my heart as I read through the various posts.
Still feeling hesitant to share your transformation because you’re afraid it’s not big or grandiose enough? Let the following graphic (BTW, infographics are tough to create, my hat’s off to those who do them on a regular basis!) be your guide. We each have a reason we started training on the pole, and it transforms each of us in a different way.
- Please don’t apologize for your “before.” Look, what’s done is done. Your “before” is yours to own. What really matters is your now. Before I found pole dancing I was unfit but emotionally I was happy. Now that I’ve found pole dancing I’m fit … and guess what, I’m still emotionally happy (we all have our days but thankfully mine err far to the side of “no complaints”). Apologizing for my “before” isn’t going to change the fact that I was overweight and out of shape. For some of my fellow polers it’s the opposite — they may struggle to put on weight or keep weight. For them, gaining a pound of muscle mass is a huge positive step. And still other polers may have been physically fit but were dreadfully unhappy. Say it with me: what matters is my NOW.
- Please don’t apologize for your “during/after,” either. Several posts were distinctly apologetic; posters expressed concerns that their transformations weren’t as dramatic as some of those from other posters. Maybe you were aready in decent shape when you started. Maybe your muscles were already fairly well defined. The fact that you didn’t lose 125 pounds doesn’t make your transformation any less significant. And if your after doesn’t include biceps that could stop traffic? Doesn’t matter. Really, it doesn’t. Can you see the change? Can you feel the change?
- Sometimes the biggest transformations are on the inside. No one will ever see what pole dancing did for my heart and my soul, but I can assure you it changed me completely. I will never, ever forget the day someone told me I carried myself like a dancer. ME. A dancer. The transformation is what you make of it. If your biggest transformation involves an emotional six-pack, wear it PROUDLY.
- It doesn’t matter what level you’re at. Transformation is transformation. I don’t care if you’re noticing definition in your shoulders after two months of climbing and spinning, or if your lats are finally taking off after three years of training inverted work. So no apologies about “well, I’m not at the level of most of you, but I’m really excited about . . .” It’s OK to be excited for the victories you’ve gotten as a result of pole. They are not small if they matter to you! Heck, we’re all excited for you. You don’t need to put in any disclaimers on our accounts.
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