For those of you who saw my latest instagram post, you’ll know that this blog relates directly to it, but I’mma go in more detail. And if you read that instagram post, you’ll remember how I discussed writing myself off this weekend. Writing myself off for not feeling good enough, strong enough, fit enough – all the negative things bundled into one “you can’t do this anymore!” emotion.Never Give Up

With the upcoming Pole Convention in Vegas that many of us are attending, I feel that this post is especially important. Ya’ll are probably in workshops that sound like a blast such as “deadlifts with 60 year old Greta Pontarelli” I mean, she’s 60 – if she can do it, I probably can… right?

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. Literally. 

So what sparked all of this inside of me? Well let me tell you, it isn’t a one-time feeling that drifts by… it’s every time I take another instructors’ class, or when a Pole Star comes in to town.
Pole stars always make me nervous. I’m picking this stranger up from the airport, and I barely even know what they look like. Not only that, but what do they eat?!
If you know me well, you know that I don’t have the most nutritious or balanced diet. Therefore, whenever a pole star comes in to town, we stop at the grocery store so that we can pick up what their athletic diet might entail. And let me tell you, it’s all the things that I never eat. Sam star this weekend? Yeah, girl got excited about Avacado. Like… as excited as I do when it’s Pizza Hut night at our house. What I would give to look at Avacado as lovingly as I do a pepperoni pizza….

The next morning rolled around and I made us a healthy breakfast of eggs and coffee. As I lazily plunked myself down on the couch to drink my coffee, Sam was working out her morning crunchiness by doing Handstands next to the kitchen. Yep, handstands – no biggie or anything. Hours later, her workshops started, and my confidence plummeted. She would do a move with SUCH simplicity and strength, that it almost looked easy for anyone to do! Such was not the case when it came to actually trying it. And then for her third workshop of the day – heels… YES, I’ve got this, I can do some cool stuff in heels. Wrong again! I didn’t check myself, and therefore, I wrecked myself.

And there it was. Instead of being proud of myself for the one new trick that I learned and decently nailed, I was upset at myself for all of the ones that I didn’t get. I wrote myself off.
I thought “ugh… must have been nice to have taken gymnastics or dance as a child. I didn’t get that opportunity, and now I’m just a clumsy adult because of it.”
My negative thinking spiralled into many more “what’s the point?”(s)
What’s the point of training anymore? What’s the point of even eating healthy? What’s the point of trying?

You see my friends, there is danger in comparison.

I went back to the studio on Monday, and worked on some choreography and conditioning…. and I felt GREAT.
And it all hit me – I love this. I don’t do this because I’m the best at it.
I don’t do this because I can be a travelling pole star, teaching my acrobatic calisthenic skills to the world – I do it because I have found JOY in it.
I do it because I used to look at some of the moves that I do now, and think “I could never do that”… and now I’M DOING THEM
I do it because other people who see what I do say “I could never do that,” and my heart just YEARNS for them, and I think “if only you tried!” If only you didn’t write yourself off like that, because you’re really missing out!

Trying is better than giving up. It’s better than comparing, and it’s better than writing yourself off altogether.
Maybe in years from now I will be able to do all of the things that I learned in last weekends’ workshop. You can bet I’ll be working on them, and the satisfaction of getting them will be that much sweeter.

So from here on out, I say congratulations to the many pole stars who have dedicated their time to complete athleticism. They dedicate their diets, training, and lifestyles to it completely. They didn’t just half-ass walk into it and nail every move. So then why did I compare myself to them? How can I, someone who doesn’t dedicate my diet, or train 20+ hours every week, compare myself to them? They’ve trained hard for what they’ve earned, and that’s a simple fact.

Take it easy on yourself. Outside of pole, you have a whole wonderful life. Maybe you have children, maybe you go to school – your time is diverted elsewhere.
And when you come to class? You rock it.

And that is why I love all of my baddass students at Aradia. You’ve already done SO much more than everyone else. You’re in a baddass sport that many people immediately write themselves off from ever even attempting.

I hope that when you’re in your Vegas workshop, talking yourself down from not being able to deadlift into a handstand – just remember where you’re coming from. Think of my voice whispering in your ear saying “you’re actually amazing, and lots of people look up to you for the incredible things you already can do.”

The danger in comparison my friends, is the risk of writing yourself off, and never seeing what you’re fully capable of.