We’re often warned not to fall into the comparison trap. Everyone’s journey is different after all, so focus on your own. You see how far you have come and can be proud of that. However, what happens when you fall into that trap of comparing yourself to your previous self?

Life is full of ups and downs. We’ve all had those moments where we feel we went backwards. Life got busy, you suffered a loss or health issues arose, that prevented you from being able to show up for yourself. When we finally slow down and come back into balance we’re hit with shame and guilt for letting it go on for so long. That frustration only grows stronger when you realize you can’t do what you once could.

Ten months into my pole journey I was ecstatic. I was growing stronger each day, pulling off moves I never thought I could do. The studio was my happy place. My place for motivation and connection. After I had my surgery, I was excited to get back there. I missed the challenges, the friendships, the encouragement, and the success. That was until I was hit head on with the struggles I would face.

I was fully prepared that physically I would not be able to do certain moves right away. However, it never occurred to me that I would struggle doing the most basic movements. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to start where I left off, but I wasn’t even capable of doing the things I could do when I first started. Comparing myself to where I once was became mentally draining. The place for my happiness and motivation became full of frustration and struggles. When you know what you’re capable of, and mentally you are fine, it becomes frustrating when your body can’t keep up. Eventually it took a toll mentally and I wanted to give up completely.

After overcoming my struggles of comparing myself, there’s one major piece of advice I have to offer: Give yourself grace. Appreciate and accept that you are where you are at. It doesn’t matter if you had a setback or why. What matters is that you keep trying. I struggled while I was still healing, then suddenly I was right back where I left off. It didn’t take me that long to get there, it happened much faster, I just had to trust I could do it.

Whether you’re coming back to Aerial Dance or have never taken a class before, there are always classes being offered and a community ready to cheer you on. Why not try Intro to Pole or Intro to Aerial?