I’ve now been dancing at Aerial Dance for just over four years, as long as you don’t count my time off. Four years! It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long! There’s been ups and downs, but through it all, I’ve had a supportive team of pole friends and awesome instructors encouraging me to keep pushing on. Without that support and encouragement, I can’t say that I would have made it this far!
I don’t have as much time as I would like to dedicate to my favorite sport, so I’ve settled myself into A1/A2 classes for a few terms. I’ve noticed that after being an Advanced student for this extended period of time, my inverts no longer knock my socks off. They have become a “fact of life,” so to speak. I have been putting my rear over my head for the past 3 years, so I am no longer impressed with my own ability to do so. Since my own feats don’t impress me, I don’t post pictures of them anymore. I usually get done with class and think, “I did nothing impressive today. I’ve done nothing worth posting.”
One day, I asked my instructor to film me doing a Butterfly to Flatline combo. I am not good at dates, but I venture to say that I’ve been capable of both of these moves, in sequence or not, for somewhere around 2 years. They are second nature to me and they no longer impress me. Despite that, I’ve never posted that combo to my social media pages, so I thought I’d give it a try. Here’s the video:

I was not prepared for the feedback that I got from my Facebook and Instagram friends! They thought it was great, and I had a few congratulations on my ability to perform it. For some reason, I never expected that! So I started posting more pole things again. I posted the double elbow spin, and that got a lot of positive feedback too! Here’s that video:

I’ll get to the point.
WE. ARE. AWESOME. I think that we have a tendency to forget that the longer we are involved in this amazing sport. As Beginner and Intermediate students, were were so excited to learn inverts and we posted pictures of all of them, as soon as we were cleared to do them on our own! Don’t you remember that excitement? You would nail a leg hang that day and walk out feeling like a million bucks. You got your first aerial invert? You left the studio walking on clouds!
If you’re like me, and have lost your ability to be impressed with yourself, it’s time to change your perspective. Remember, on good days and bad, that what you are doing is NOT easy, and that you’ve come a long way already. If you can invert, that’s AMAZING. Other than your pole friends and community, do you know anyone else that can do that, in as many ways as you can? I don’t!
You, my friend, are a boss. You have trained your body to do amazing feats of strength and grace, and you’re learning more every time you get on the pole. You are so impressive, and I’m so proud of you. Don’t forget to be impressed with yourself and proud of what you’ve accomplished. Don’t be afraid to share/post your “old” skills as often as you share your new ones–they’re all pretty impressive! 🙂