I dare you to cry.

I cried on the way to pole class yesterday.

I cried crazy, crazy stress tears.

There’s nothing serious going on, just a rough project at work involving a skill that feels obtuse and unwieldy to me, and makes me feel like a helpless idiot. Which, PS, is the easiest way to make me cry. (The repressed memories of trying to learn fractions is flooding back.  Sobbing over my math homework at the dining room table… ugh).

I mean, I know a little HTML (just as I would say I know a little french), but this project, in which I must code, is akin to being given a book in French and instructed to only choose only very specific excerpts of it (in French) and replace them with other very specific excerpts in (French), which I can only do by consulting my French-to-English dictionary every 15 seconds while trying not to forget what I was doing. And also, if I mess up a single backslash, the book doesn’t work, and the whole thing becomes a sidebar. In German.

There’s really not point to telling you any of this, except for the following takeaways–and kind of as response to Kim’s piece about pushing yourself to the point of throwing up, which I have never done because EWWWWW WHYYYYY:

1. It’s good to practice commitment.

Commitment means sometimes doing things you don’t feel like doing, or despite a poor physical or emotional state. I don’t recommend working out when you’re sick, or even ignoring your feelings; I definitely adjusted expectations for my performance in class, because I knew I was feeling crappy. But I went to class. And I ended up having a blast. (But even if I didn’t, I would still tell you to go, because polers pole. They pole, because that’s what they do. Poling for a poler is not a special occasion thing, or something to be done only when you’re in a great mood).

2. Taking it easy can be more effective, motivation-wise, than believing you have to always kill yourself

So sometimes you have to negotiate with yourself. “I’m tired, I’m hungry, I don’t feeeeeel like it”<——says your brain. This is when you have to put on your executive branch hat and start bribing (I’ve been watching House of Cards, can you tell?). What needs to be done for poling to happen?

For me yesterday, I needed to leave work a few minutes early, take a long walk, and call my dad and cry. I also permitted myself a large Powerade, and told myself I just had to get THROUGH the class–I didn’t have to necessarily achieve anything.

3. ….because once you start, you’ll probably go hard anyway

10 minutes into class I was like LOL I love this, why was I going to skip? WHEEE.

4. Classes are expensive, which can weirdly be a good thing

I mean, if the class had cost 5 bucks, I probably would have wussed out and gone home. But 1.5 hour classes at my studio are $40 a pop. Granted, I blew my last paycheck on a package so it’s a bit less, but, it still would have been a substantial loss. Cheapness: the great motivator.

5. Going to your damn class can actually be a form of self care

I was probably just going to go home and heat up frozen french fries for dinner because WAAAAH, it’s hard to do life.

Instead, through making the simple decision to JUST GO TO MY DAMN CLASS, I got some exercise, learned a new routine, socialized/laughed/smiled, and had a lovely stretch. The difference in outcomes would have been something like “becoming a crumpled ball of carb-induced depression” vs. “feeling like a person, and, oh snap, a grown up, even though it was a bad day.” It’s a good feeling. It sets the ball rolling on all kinds of other positive life choices.

SO ANYWAY.

What do you guys do on off days? Where do you draw the line on allowing yourself to skip a class? Have you ever pushed yourself to the point of throwing up while working out?

Funny story–I once was considering going to a flexibility class that was a bit late on a Friday night. To kill time after work, I went to happy hour with a couple of colleagues, still not sure whether I would actually go or not (I hadn’t signed up). Two beers in, I decided that, with a little over an hour before the class would start, damn it, I was going to that class! Hooray for alcohol-induced resolve.

I made it through about 45 minutes (of a hellish 1.5 hours) before an extended downward dog sequence had me feel seriously green. I ducked out of class for a few minutes until I felt better. And yeah, happy ending, I did feel better: I ended up going back in and finishing…. but not before reading–WITH INTENSE SHAME–a sign on the door that explicitly said, “NO ALCOHOL BEFORE CLASS.”

Whoops.

Yeah, that was the last time I ever did that. I was nowhere near drunk that day, but having experienced the dehydrated and general woozy feelings, I can safely say that having any alcohol flowing through your veins for exercise is a terrible idea. It also feels very unpleasant. Just saying.

Happy (sober) twirls!!

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