When and where did my pole journey begin?  2007 in Sydney Australia at Studio Verve. (Side note: this amazing studio just won the International Pole Sports Federation’s for best pole sports studio!!!!)  It was the week before my birthday and I was feeling restless.  I was in Sydney as a PhD student researching injury prevention for musicians; my research was taking a decidedly “fitness” turn as proper body weight exercise and functional strength training were becoming apparent as a major factor in decreasing injury.  I was researching types of functional exercises when I was told to look into Pole Dancing.  As a girl from Wisconsin, I had never heard of Pole Dancing other than in the context of stripping.  So like most people, I made an uneducated stupid comment, likely along the lines of “I’m looking to get strong not get dollar bills.”  But since I was feeling homesick around my birthday and feeling like I was getting old and boring, I figured this was the perfect excuse to try something.  No one here knew me.  I never needed to tell anyone about my experience.  So I signed myself for my first pole class the week of my birthday in July 2007.
I was SO NERVOUS going to the studio.  It took me 70 minutes to get there by walking, ferry, and train.  I had never been in the central part of Sydney, I had never used that train station.  I walked up the street so slowly so I could walk right by if I decided to chicken out.  There was a very nondescript door I almost missed.  I decided why not, I like adventure, and opened it.  It opened to a single flight of stairs.  I put one foot in front of the other, totally terrified and crazy excited. The space through the top door was inviting, the woman behind the desk, Jen, said hi and gave me a form and I sat on the couch.  I filled out my form and started making small talk to the woman next to me.  (Little did I know that this woman, Kelly, would become a great friend who I am still in contact with!)  We were both nervous and excited.  Then our instructor collected us.  Our instructor was Phoebe.  She was gorgeous.  But in a girl next door way.  She had the most beautiful style and a healthy but not intimidating body.  But man could she move!  Her grace and control were incredible.  I immediately had a “pole-crush” on her and wanted to be her!
The class FLEW by.  It was one of the fastest hours of my life.  I laughed at myself.  I learned.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  I was good at something; epic-ly horrible at others.  But I did it.  And I left proud of myself for doing it.  So I went back the next week and signed up for a 6 week course.  And that was the start of my incredible journey.