We’ve all had those days. You go into training excited, with a list of poses, transitions, and spins to practice, but you finish feeling crushed. Maybe you couldn’t stop slipping or were too sticky or couldn’t nail that move no matter what you tried. Maybe a transition you envisioned perfectly in your head doesn’t work the way you thought it would or you have to adjust your competition routine to fit your costume. You might be tired, sick, or worrying about the other responsibilities on your to-do list. It’s at times like this when I worry that I wasted my time training because I’m not good anyway. In order to provide inspiration to anyone who has had a tough day of training, I’ve compiled a list of all the good things that come out of a bad practice.

  1. You become a little bit stronger, flexier, better. Even if you feel the whole training session was a bust, the stress put on your body while training still gives you the advantage of being a little stronger, more flexible, or your skin more conditioned. Progress was still made!
  2. You realize how much you love pole. Whatever it is that got you into pole in the first place – the dance, the athletics, the sensuality, the community – you realize that all the good is worth one bad day.
  3. You build bridges with your support network. It may be your partner who you go home and talk to, your long-distance best friend, your pole sisters, your parents, or your pets. Whoever it is, you know you can talk to them for reassurance and comfort.
  4. You reflect on how far you’ve come. There was a time when you thought you could never invert or you were terrified of a layback. There was probably even a time when you couldn’t sit on the pole without serious pain. Now on your bad days you can easily perform moves you couldn’t fathom when you started or even a year ago.
  5. You become a better dancer. If you must change a routine due to a costume incompatibility or an impossible combo, you use your creativity to devise something even better, more fluid, and more impressive. 
  6. Your next training session leaves you even more energized. A good training session after a bad one is unbeatable. Those glowing feelings of accomplishment, of being on top of the world or feeling like Athena herself, are multiplied when you finish your next great practice. 

Next time you’re bummed after a poor practice, remember these six great things that came from your session!