And one time, at pole camp (pt. 2)


My second morning of the Vertical Fusion Pole Retreat started with paddle board yoga. I’ve done it once before in Mexico with Cushie and our instruction consisted of the guy handing us our gear and pointing us at the ocean.

The rental was for two hours but after about 15 minutes of trying not to wipe out, we returned the boards and enjoyed $27 margaritas by the pool. Not 27 dollar’s worth of margaritas, margaritas that were $27 each. We didn’t know they were $27 until it was time to check out. Ouch.


This time was immensely more fun. And cheaper.

We call it Wet, Hot Yoga


Vertical Fusion takes over!

This time around we went out with a great paddle board outfit that provided ample instruction and guidance. Plus, the boards weren’t all weird. They were nice enough to let us screw around on the boards until the next group showed up.

As I stated last night, I had $5 for anyone who was willing to try “advanced” yoga moves on the water but I ended up saving my money because almost everyone was game. Everyone but me.

Diane is always game!

The board instruction and yoga class worked everyone (but me) up to a level of comfort that they were willing to try the impossible. It was hot enough that the inevitable dip in the lake didn’t seem so bad.

Shé attempts the Dancer pose.

Shé attempts the Dancer pose.

Lemony bought a disposable waterproof camera for me to take pictures with but I am a free-spirit. I cannot be constrained by the limits of film. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I ONLY HAVE 27 IMAGES?! So about five seconds into the yoga class I burned through all the exposures.






Nailed it!

I (sort of) finished the class and then high-tailed it for the shore and my beloved digital camera, where I can shoot with wild abandon. This happened after I got the holy shit scared out of me when I rounded a bend to see scuba divers emerge from the murky depths.

It was like this.

It was like this.

They showed up after we put in so I had no idea they were there. It reminded me of when I was diving in Mexico and was approached by a tourist submarine. All I knew was that something very large was coming straight at me and I was 50 feet under water. I about shit a brick. Like today, I almost pooped.

I have about 14 versions of this photo. I was never meant for film.

I have about 14 versions of this photo. I was never meant for film.

I stood knee-deep in the water and took pictures of the ladies attempt daring feats of yoga, including some pretty impossible partner work that, if you didn’t know what was going on in the photos, you might think that Lemony and Diane are extra cozy these days.

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I wondered out loud if it would be possible to mount a pole to a paddle board. Shé said, “Yah. It’s called a sailboat.” Right. I knew that.

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I coined a new term, too. I call it The Rotisserie Chicken, an intermediate pose that gets you into a headstand.

The Rotisserie Chicken

The Rotisserie Chicken

As an aside, lots of people brought their dogs to the lake to do a little swimming. I watched in amusement as a woman walked her ENORMOUS dog around the lake on a leash. I don’t know what it was, but it was brown and shaggy and at least as tall as Blue but way beefier.

A person approached with her off-leash dog and the big dog lady warned, “Please keep your dog back, he will freak out. The smaller ones always do.” but the other woman kept walking towards her until her dog … wait for it … totally freaked out.

Fortunately the big dog was super mellow about it. He just stood there wagging his tail while the other dog completely flipped out. People, what part of Please Stay Back don’t you understand? I wish Blue was that mellow about it. Maybe one day.

Anyway, paddle board yoga was really fun and something I was so glad to do. Plus, I firmly believe that team building exercises are about being humiliated together and laughing about it, hence the bonding.

I felt extra bonded to Lemony when she drove back to the condo in her towel.


We went back for snacks and a nap and then forged into the next activity: The Photo Shoot. I’ve seen personal growth processes take many forms but never in lingerie and on a pole. The emotional journey was similar but the scenery was much better.

Best Personal Growth Retreat ever!

Best Personal Growth Retreat ever! Isn’t she amazing?

I insisted on doing my photos outside because I’m vain and don’t think my skin can withstand harsh flash lighting. Diane brought her own portable rig which was immensely easier to carry than the X-Stage but it looked really sketchy.

It consisted of a pole on a tiny base (a tennis ball often suffices) and the top is anchored by three chords that are attached to people wearing climbing harnesses. I kept saying unencouraging things like, “So, you say you’ve used this before?” and “These cords sure are skinny,” and “How come that screw is all bent? Is it supposed to look like that?”

Circus time!

Circus time!

Fortunately for me, Jenny is a climber and could tie proper knots otherwise I might have said fuckit.

But I got up on it and experienced a trust exercise like no other, my neck was literally in the anchor-people’s hands. Diane has the photos from that so I’ll have to post them later.

Just a sample of Diane's photos

Just a sample of Diane’s photos

We ended the evening with dinner and a little hot tubbing. Lemony and I enjoyed having one to ourselves until a whole butt-load of people showed up and one guy and his son started fiddling around with the lift that lowers people into water. What could possibly go wrong? We got out of there.

After spending an hour watching youtube videos of hot male pole dancers, I turned in.

I woke up the next morning with a vague recollection of having a nightmare and waking up. I asked Jenny, my long-suffering roommate) if I cried out in my sleep. She was like, “Yah. You were screaming your head off.”

She was able to put together what happened. She got tangled up in her comforter and sat up to get resituated. She raised her arms high above her head and I must have heard her, opened my eyes to see someone looming above me. My Nook was plugged in on the table and glowing and it kind of looked like a face watching us.

Anyway, I started screaming and she started screaming I managed to go right back to sleep but she was awake for the rest of the night. Sorry Jenny, I promise to make a giant tub of tzatziki for you.

6 thoughts on “And one time, at pole camp (pt. 2)

    • Glad you liked it! FYI, the Nemo thing is EXACTLY what flashed through my mind when the sub came at me. I thought it was a whale. I HOPED it was a whale.

    • It seems like you stay in it a long time when trying to balance on the board. Longer than usual and plenty of time to think up fun new names.

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