Shortly before I started Level 4 Progressive Series at Boulder Spirals, I dropped in on a class with Shawneen and got a little preview of what was to come. I was feeling totally exhausted and lame, and since I was one of two in an unusually small class, I asked her to give me and my fellow student an idea of what was to come.
Can you say intimidated?
The good news is that more than half-way into the series we have been working on most of the moves that I saw that fateful evening and so far it has gone okay. I mean, I haven’t sustained a spinal cord injury that has rendered me unable to use my arms. And here I am blogging! Yay me!
We’ve been doing sit-ups on the pole, outside leg hangs, inside leg hangs, flags, prepping for shoulder-mount inversions, the chopper (my personal favorite) and yesterday we tackled the Pole Cat. I gave it a quickie stab in Shawneen’s class and quickly categorized it as impossible. But really, if Jessica Biel can do it, why can’t I? After all, we are both from Boulder.
Like a bad experience from my past, I decided to shove it down deep into my subconscious and hope that Sasha would forget about it. So last night we are doing some ridiculous warm-up that included LOTS OF INVERSIONS and Sasha whips out her list of Things to Do and says, “Oh! Yikes.” or something like that, because I don’t think she actually uses the word “yikes” but the point is that I knew we had it coming.
“Okay everybody. Time to do the Pole Cat.”
HAHAHAHA! Sucks to be you!
She picks Shawneen to be her victim example and has her invert on the pole and then leisurely talks her through the move while the poor woman is upside-down and hanging by her shins. I get more than a little joy from this because she tortures instructs me in Spin Pole every Monday and it’s kinda fun to watch her suffer. After the demo we all attempt our version of the Pole Cat when Sasha yells, “STOP!” She puts Shawneen back on the pole and proceeds to change my life by giving some pithy instruction. “Ladies, you cannot push yourself up the pole with your arms! You must push yourself out from the pole and then use your hamstrings to pull your body up the pole. Your hamstrings are bigger, more powerful muscles!” And with that, I was able to do it. I did not nail the move, not by a longshot, but I could now see how it was done.