I am one of these stupid people who fully believes that there is secretly an easy way to get fit and healthy. I do not go for the whole ‘beauty is pain’ or ‘embrace the burn’ nonsense that so many six pack having super humans profess through out of breath gasps of apparent happiness. I have spent many an extended Google search trying to discover the effortless way to a rockin’ bod.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I am not desperate enough to buy weird vibrating pads to stick on your least favourite lumps or stupid enough to believe that a really expensive diet pill, made mainly of caffeine, will solve all body woes. I do realise to get fit I literally have to exercise; the problem is that I find this hard due to the little voice in my brain. I am one of those people who has no drive; if it doesn’t feel good anymore I will stop and that is that. I will happily go for a jog, even in freezing cold weather, and be having a great time blasting Dj Casper’s ‘Casper Slide’, being one with nature and bus stops and stupid pedestrians that won’t get out of the way.
However, the minute it feels a bit hard, the moment my brain thinks “No, I don’t like it anymore”, I will stop. This could happen at any time, from three miles down the road to five minutes into my jog. And, of course, I have to stop because I believe my brain, I believe that I am completely unable to go on or I will die. This sort of trust in my brain’s judgement is probably not very useful in situations such as this, when I am trying to push myself through a small amount of discomfort. But this can be very useful in other situations, for instance if an acquaintance was trying to convince me to get a tattoo on my face.
So, I have been in search for an exercise activity that will make me healthy but that doesn’t make my brain have a crisis of confidence. After much research (one quick Google search) I found my answer. Or an answer that seemed to be the answer to the question I had been searching, which was ‘FUN. EXERCISE. DUBLIN.’ Pole fitness! It was perfect, and a beautiful, brave friend agreed to come with me. This was extra perfect since I have always ventured into the world of extracurricular activities alone, which can be daunting and possibly dangerous if the activity happens to be night time forest orienteering or something similar.
When my beautiful friend and I arrived at the venue we found that the earlier class had already been booked up and we joined a queue of a few other girls trying to decide whether to wait until the later 8pm class. My friend and I discussed the possibility of waiting until the next term in March to start, since 8pm seems a really late time to wait until every week. Suddenly, the instructor burst through the classroom double doors, wielding application forms and pens in her tight grasp. She was dressed in a tiny lycra t-shirt and shorts that I can only describe as pants, with her god-like, pole fitness honed body fully on display to all us mere mortals. There was no going back now. Even if we had to wait until 11pm, the pant shorts had spoken, and I handed over my €65.
In the hour that we waited for the full class to be over we made friends with a really nice girl, which was lovely. Making new friends in the world is nice enough itself but making friends with people before they see you collapse into a pile of self-hate after attempting three push-ups is very useful as it makes you feel much less of a tool. It doesn’t help you look less of a tool, but by some miraculous miracle there were no mirrors in the classroom. The last sight I ever want to look upon is the sight my own reflection as I hurl myself around a pole open mouthed and red faced, resembling ice-cream melting down a metal bar on the bus. And on top of everything, it was fun, actual real fun. Not even pretend exercise fun, so much fun that when I was in physical pain, which I was from almost the first minute, my brain ignored it. Success!
After a single class I have learned one spin and have decided that pole dancing is now going to be my new career. In a few months I am going to enter competitions and displays and basically climb any pole I see, ever. Maybe I will combine this talent with my stand-up act: five minutes of self-deprecating humour followed by five minutes of mind boggling pole acrobatics, it’s a winning combination! I’m not going to go so far as to say that I’ll drop out of college to pursue this new dream, but who knows how good I’ll be after my second class.