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Starting Thursday my life is changing.  How’s that for dramatic?!

Okay, that was overdone, but it felt fun!  It’s really one of those pole-life changes that could be big or small depending on what you do with it.

My studio doesn’t have structured levels.  Some classes have the same people in them all the time and you progress together at the general pace of the whole class.  Some classes are mixed-level and the instructors split time helping each person on their own things. It’s all very organic depending on people’s schedules and interests.

Months ago, when I became overwhelmed with the speed of progression in my class and how I was struggling to keep up I decided to switch things up.  I changed from a strong intermediate class which was approaching advanced (in my mind) to a beginner-type class and did everything on my non-dominant side.  It was the perfect change of focus and skill but I missed my old classmates very much – we’d become very close.  (We did still have at-home pole parties so that was good.)

Well, after several months of staying at a beginner level I’ve decided it’s time to put on my big girl panties and rejoin my friends in the more advanced class.  They’ve spent a lot of time on reviewing good technique so although they’re ahead of me, it’s not like they’re so far ahead that I could never catch up (I do have a pole at home so I could work at it).  But – here’s the interesting thing.  I’m starting to believe I don’t HAVE to catch up.  The instructor and the girls won’t mind if I work on less advanced things than they are.  Most of the class is focused on dance/movement rather than tricks anyway, so it’s not like the whole class time would be split.

The problem is remembering that I don’t have to be the same as them, or “as good” as them, or anything other than exactly what I am.  I have a terrible habit of pushing myself past what’s healthy. Aerial Amy wrote a fabulous blog post that resonated with me:

You may not fit in at your studio, you may not fit in at your class, but being different—while difficult—means that you should never compromise who you are, because what you have is special and unique. By honoring our differences, we elevate and expand what is possible. You can pole dance to become exactly like someone else, but then you will never be happy. You can never dance like anyone else as well as you can dance like yourself.

She is one of the most insightful and inspiring people I know and this couldn’t be timed more perfectly for my life.  I start playing with the big girls in a couple days and I’m going to do my damnedest to have fun with it and just enjoy our time together while we inspire each other.

I wish you all peace and happiness in 2013!  May your pole life be filled with thrilling adventures and deep contentment!