"Did you ever do pole dancing again?" she asked. The answer is no, the only time I've been pole dancing was about six years ago now...but it made me think of the blog post I did about it, so I've dug that one out for this week's Retro Friday!
At the time I wrote this post I had reached my goal weight about three days earlier, so I was high as a kite and on top of the world. I remember that time in my life being bathed in a golden kind of glow, which is funny because at the same time some major rust in my first marriage had set in and it was only a matter of weeks before something terrible, irreversible, would happen and it would all be over.
It was the new found confidence, the joy and delight in a world that had suddenly opened up to me, and my new belief that life was an adventure that got me through that time. I said yes to everything. Invites I would have turned down twelve months previously, activities that the old me would have cringed at the thought of doing....I dived head first into it all. I felt invincible. I steam rolled over every obstacle in my way. For the first time in my life I did not doubt that I deserved to be happy. I had my low moments, but overall I don't look back at that time and remember pain. I remember sheer exhilaration, that my life was finally mine again.
Of course, you can only ride a wave for so long. A few things happened the following year that chipped away at my confidence and before I knew it I was in a bit of a heap. After all the monumental upheaval I'd been through, it took some surprisingly insignificant events to bring me crashing down. It took a year of counselling to get back on the straight and narrow, well as near to it as I wish to be ;)
While I wouldn't want to relive the year I had when I realised I wasn't as invincible as I thought I was, and that life at goal still required mindfulness, effort and hard work, I'm glad it happened. Because I struck back, as the title of this blog suggests. I clawed my way out of the hole and the old ways of thinking that I'd gone back to and reclaimed the happiness I had fought so hard for. I struck a far better balance between making myself happy and doing what I thought others expected or wanted. I developed a somewhat thicker skin, and became much better at recognising false friends when they crossed my path. My tolerance for other people's negativity went down to zero. Life regained its glow.
And I think my confidence and zest for life is far more concrete now, and means so much more, than it did six years ago. I had some wonderful times six years ago, when I desperately needed it, but it was all built on very shaky foundations. Sure, I was at goal, and exploring Melbourne and having a wonderful time, but what would happen when things, inevitably, hit a downward turn? Now, it takes a lot to throw me off course these days. I've learned a lot of life lessons these past few years and am so much better at seeing the bigger picture. I have my bad days, like everyone else does, but I manage them so much better. I don't try to press the pause button on my life any more, nor do I tell myself "I'll be happy when....". Every day, I wake up and just decide to be as happy as possible, in that moment.
So, 2006 Phil, newly at goal, had this to say: "before I used to feel like I was always a dollar short and a day late when it came to opportunities in life. Now I feel like there is nothing I can't do."
I smile at that, thinking of everything that she's going to learn in the next five years or so. But she's ready for it all. And no, there's nothing she can't do. I wish 2008 Phil had remembered that :)
28th April 2006
Last night, I did something I've never done before and never thought I'd do in a million years. Well, something Old Philippa would never have done in a million years. Let me give you a clue.....
(this is a scene from Da Kath and Kim Code)
Kim: It's sexy dancing with a pole!
Sharon: Well, that sounds a bit stupid, Kim!
Kim: Oh, stupid, is it?! So are the people on Big Brother stupid, Sharon? Because they all do pole dancing!
That's right, I did pole dancing!!
Check out my outfit! Both pieces are from Supre, both size M!! (including the hot pants!!) Classy, eh?! Admittedly they aren't the most flattering clothes I own - I can't really bend over in the pants! - but I had to look the part! A girl I work with teaches pole dancing on the side, with this company, and she asked me if I'd like to come along to one of her classes - I thought, "why not?". Apparently she's asked most of the girls from work to come along, and I was the first to take her up on the offer!
It was really fun! It was a bit different to what I imagined - I thought it would be just a lot of pelvic thrusts, wiggling the hips and acting like a stripper! It was actually very acrobatic - which I am not. Yes, I do yoga, but I'm not a gymnast, or a dancer, far from it! While my upper body strength has improved out of sight since this time last year, it wasn't up to scratch for a two hour pole dancing class! Supporting your body weight on a pole is a lot harder than it sounds.
I had a very large vodka and Diet Coke before the class, to try and loosen up a bit! Hence the silly look on my face in the above photo! What do you reckon - should this be my new profile photo?! LOL
There were quite a few ladies in the class, and they were all real pros!! I was quite in awe of how graceful they were. I learned some basic steps, and then I learned how to climb the pole and slide down it in a sexy way - didn't quite succeed!! I was really pleased that I could climb the pole though - I didn't think I could. We also learned moves called "the carousel", "the maypole" and "wonderwoman"!!!, none of which I mastered, but I had a go! And some moves didn't require a lot of flexibility and grace (luckily), some were just standing poses. I learned some really good moves with those! I had my hair out for some of the class, because it's supposed to be sexier! But I eventually had to put it back because it was getting in the way!
Ladies, if you ever get a chance to do a pole dancing class, give it a go! It was really fun, and a fantastic workout. It was a two hour class, and I was sweating madly only half an hour into it. My arms and legs felt like they'd really done something! I was warned that I would be incredibly sore, but I wasn't really.
This morning I woke up feeling very toned and tight, like there wasn't an ounce of fat on me, which is always a good way to feel!! I looked in the mirror and saw a few more ripples (of muscle, that is!) After a day at work I was rather achy though, and didn't feel up to a run tonight, so did some yoga instead. I would never have had the confidence to do something like this a year ago. Or even six months ago, when I was only half way to goal.
While pole dancing was fun, I don't think I'd do it as a regular thing, but it's something that I can say I've tried. I see everything as an opportunity to experience more out of life. I don't watch other people have fun any more - I get in there and have fun too! Before I used to feel like I was always a dollar short and a day late when it came to opportunities in life. Now I feel like there is nothing I can't do.
Have you ever tried pole dancing?
Do you remember a time in your life where you felt like there was nothing you couldn't do? Hopefully it's right now! :)