Today’s pain is tomorrow’s strength (aka GET THEE TO THE STUDIO)

So, a very wise person once told me to keep working through shitty times. “The pain will pass and all that will be left is awesomeness,” she said. (Lookin’ at you Tee!!!!)

Damn it all if she wasn’t right.

Look, it’s really hard to keep going with a goal that’s vague, and big, and distant when you feel crappy.

The good news is, you don’t have to be Jenyne Butterfly right now–right now, you just need to work on your leg hangs and knee holds for an hour, stretch out, and make something to eat with plenty of protein. 

(That’s the pep talk I give myself every time I just wanted to skip practice and watch Netflix  with a big bowl of I Wanna Die. (I mean not literally, but you get the idea)).

Each day for the past couple of awful, awful weeks, I found a different reason to do the same dang thing: get my buns in the studio.

I needed to be social: WENT TO THE STUDIO. I felt like crying: WENT TO THE STUDIO. I didn’t really have the energy to work out but maybe I could at least stretch…: WENT TO THE STUDIO. I felt fat: WENT TO THE STUDIO. I felt fit: WENT TO THE STUDIO IN SOMETHING TIGHT. You get the idea.

I’m still not Jen Butterfly. But a funny thing happened–while I was using pole just to get through a rough life patch, the consistency paid off in a lot of tiny ways.

You have to look closely, but, take these two pictures, for instance.

Just fyi, I reversed this photo for an easier comparison!
Just fyi, I reversed this photo for an easier comparison!

The first is from last summer, the second is from a couple of days ago. 

Mind you, I’ve only been consistently stretching (the way every poler is supposed to, hello, slacker) for a couple of weeks.

But the difference in hip flexibility is there. Again, it’s subtle, but damn, there’s a difference! And I wasn’t even trying that hard!

I’m also noticing in a lot of pictures that my extensions look GOOD. This is a small thing, compared to how much more impressive it is to be learning new tricks–but regularly stretching and working on fundamentals has gotten me better form, which makes all the old boring stuff look newly awesome.

And, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I was recently watching a documentary about ballerinas, and, as I am prone to doing, started dancing around my house while brushing my teeth. It was at this point that I discovered I can lift my leg straight out at hip level, sweep it around, and arc it behind me in one grand, controlled motion. LIKE A F***ING BALLERINA.


I tried it on the other side and was successful again. (?!!!???)

Then I tried grabbing an ankle and lifting my foot behind me to head level like a figure skater, which was less pretty, but POSSIBLE. Again, other side, also successful.

So my question is: when did all these changes happen?

My question is not, however: how did these changes happen.

Because I already know: I WENT TO THE STUDIO. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So, what changes have you noticed in your body since you started pole? Any abilities you start to lose if you slack off?

I recently found that when I sit indian style, my knees fall flat to the side without my pushing down on them with elbows. Weird, and cool.

Anyway, tell me. And happy hump day!



  1. Cathy! I am so glad something I said helped you out. I have shitty days, but that is usually when I get the most things accomplished!

  2. The changes I have noticed since I’ve forced myself to start putting in work….
    Increased back flexibility!
    My left leg is doing amazing things!
    Completing aerial combos with greater ease 😀

    • LOL my left leg is my good leg as well! right leg: we need to have a talk. ps. I could not BELIEVE your side-leg game in Ru’s class Tuesday, that ish was cray. what is your secret???

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