What Am I Doing Here?
With the beginning of a new term some of us have shifted class levels. In my personal journey, I made the jump from advanced to extreme. As you are reading this you may be thinking, “YAY JANELLE! GO YOU!” That is what I thought, until I had my first extreme class! I walked into the studio two weeks ago for my first class, I was giddy and nervous at the same time. Truly I didn’t know what to expect, but was confident in my abilities in pole.
Like any pole class we began with a warm up, from our warm up we moved into the day’s curriculum. We began with learning/reviewing Allegra. It was at that moment when the instructor demonstrated Allegra, that my mind went, “WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!?!??!” There was no possible way that I was going to be able to do that! I kept thinking, “You expect me to do what with my body?” In that moment, I felt like I was back in beginner class….. A fresh rush of terror ran through my body. I hadn’t had a feeling like that in a very, very, long time. I felt that I didn’t belong in extreme. The ladies that were in my class were so much better, so much stronger. Their every move seemed effortless.
As I walked out of class, I felt defeated and discouraged. I almost contacted Paula to inform her that I truly felt that extreme was not the appropriate class level for me. On my drive home, I began to reflect on how the class went. There were several women in my class who are amazing pole artists. Their grace and skills just blew me away. As I continued to think about my class, it occurred to me that it was only my first class and these ladies have been in extreme a lot longer than I.
It’s All About Growth
The more I continued to reflect on my first class, the more I began to forgive myself. I walked into extreme feeling and almost expecting it to come easy. HA! Funny right? Do things ever really come easy in any aerial sport? I had spent so much time in advanced that I had become comfortable. Granted, I am not perfect at every spin, transition, or invert, but I was with the same group of women, at the same time, on the same day for several terms. You begin to establish a sense of belonging and security.
Making the transition from advanced to extreme, blasted me way out of my comfort zone. I was with a whole new group of women, who are in true Aerial Dance fashion amazing, helpful, and some of the kindest people you will ever meet. With that being said, I was still intimidated by them. I was so intimated by them that I forgot that pole is a journey, not a race. These women have worked so hard to get to where they are. Their grace and pole skills did not just happen over night. Each of them is on their own journey to become the best pole artist that they can be. When week two rolled around and I was still a little nervous to attend class, but I told myself, “That it is only week two, you can do it!” My second class was a little less scary and I have the feeling that with each passing week, it will get better.
What Does Any of This Have to Do With YOU?
What I want you to take away from this blog, is that it is okay to be scared! It is okay to feel like you don’t belong at first! It is okay if you are not perfect! After three years with Aerial Dance, I STILL HAVE THESE FEELINGS! The beauty of this though is that at Aerial Dance you are not expected to be perfect at every moment in every class. You will struggle, it will be hard, but you will see growth! You will see change! You will become stronger, more graceful, you will succeed if you continue to try!
For those of you who share my similar feelings, don’t throw in the towel just yet! The instructors’ believe in you! I believe in you!