Trust Exercises Are For Wimps

I’m still buzzing from last night’s class where I got to do my first inversion. Sasha kind of sprang it on us after a very quick moving class where we reviewed curriculum and learned a nifty little combination of Girl-On-Top + Grounded Back Hook + Basic Front Hook + Outside Back Hook + 14 foot climb. I’ve watched many advanced classes while stretching so I know that these types of combinations are par for the course as I progress through the levels. I have to admit that I stood there holding onto my pole like a dunce the first time around, but I eventually got it. That’s my thing. I am rather slow to learn but once I figure it out, it clicks. I also recognize the building blocks of choreography which I’m going to need.

We also worked on a Dead Seated Climb whereupon you pole up to an oh-so-casual looking seated position and then pull up again and again. Jesus, my hands are sweating just writing about it. That’s going to be my stage name, Sweaty Palms Palmer.

The fun really started when Sasha casually walked over to the end of the room where the crash-pad has been living undisturbed. Okay ladies and uh …. ladies ….. it’s time to do a Crossed Knee Release. Stacey was volunteered to demonstrate, having done it before and I watched in terror as she climbed about seven feet, crossed her legs and then let go into a lovely hang (as pictured but without holding the pole). Sasha was there to spot her and they both made it look easy. I subscribe to the rip-off-the-bandaid school of thought when it comes to scary things so I wanted to go first. Everyone else looked relieved.

I climbed the pole and got into what I thought was the right position but something felt very wrong when I went to release. To put it indelicately, my crotch wasn’t on the pole and it felt like the skin of my thighs was being pulled off. I dismounted and tried again. Now Sasha is a crazy strong woman but she is smaller than me and I really like her so I didn’t want to crush her to death. I held on with my strong arm, leaned back and let go … for a split second. Sasha was right there but given the position I was in, I couldn’t see her. Have you ever done a ropes course? Or trust exercises? Well I have and you know what? They are for pussies. This was way scarier, at least for me.

I lowered myself off the pole in a hot second and I could feel my body jumping with adrenalin. I made these stupid squeaking sounds as I walked away, shaking it off. Everyone in the room cheered for me, as they did for everyone when they did the release, and it felt so good. This felt like a true milestone for all of us. I’ve watched women do this move over and over again and I never quite appreciated how hard it is. But this I know, in a month it will feel safe and comfortable, or at least I hope so. For now, Holy Burning Thighs Batman, that was killer!


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