Tonight I had my first pole dance fitness class. Roland signed me up through a daily coupon deal: $75 for 10 classes. When I got the email with the offer, I’d forwarded it to him because he and I had discussed many times the possibility of me taking a class. He replied to the email asking me if I would really go if he purchased it for me. My response was that I would definitely go if it was his money spent, that I had no problem wasting my money by never going, but I would feel the pressure not to waste his money. See, a while back I purchased one of these deals for 10 Zumba classes. I went to the first one and never went back.
The class was supposed to be only a 45 minute beginners’ class. However, out of about 12 or 13 women, only 4 or 5 of us were true first-timers. Everyone else had been at least a few times to this class or another one elsewhere and there were at least 2 or 3 women from the advanced class. I was the heaviest one there, but there were a couple of others who were definitely not thin.
I was excited by the thought of the class, but very nervous. I am extremely out of shape. In fact, I have honestly never been in shape my whole life. As a child I was often sick due to asthma and allergies. I had pneumonia and bronchitis more times than I could count. When other children were outside playing, I was inside reading a book. Even as I got older and better, my mother kept me from really doing a lot of things. She even made me drop out of marching band due to my asthma! So I never developed any sort of healthy exercise habits. This has plagued me in my adult life, especially now.
We began the class with some very light, quick aerobic exercises and stretches, just enough to get the blood flowing. Some hip wiggling and booty shaking. Then we began the pole exercises, starting with the basics. Honestly, though, I don’t remember any of them, because I couldn’t do most of them. I have no upper body strength at all and poor coordination and balance. But most of all, I have almost no confidence in my ability to do any of these things.
Thinking about this after the class made me want to cry. I’ve learned something about myself tonight. I don’t like to do things that shake my confidence. Overall, I am a very confident person. Sometimes overly so. I almost don’t know any of my limitations and feel like I can do anything I set my mind to do. Where my confidence might lack, my brazen (and often reckless) chutzpah will get me through. However, in this class, those things count for almost nothing. They got me there, but that’s as far as they go.
I’m not usually someone who gives into fear, but I had a lot of fear tonight. Not even necessarily fear of embarrassing myself. I felt mostly safe in the environment and everyone seemed really supportive. But I was afraid of injuring myself. So I held back in really trying to most of the later exercises. The other more advanced women were very encouraging to me, saying that it would get easier, that I would be able to do it. But I don’t know that I truly believe that.
Another thing is that I don’t think I do very well in these mixed skill level classes. This is truthfully what kept me from going back to the Zumba class. I am very uncoordinated and clumsy. I can’t even do the Electric Slide, one of the simplest line dances there is! It is very difficult for me to learn basic steps from just watching an instructor do it once or twice, especially when on the third try, we’re supposed to be doing it with her. These classes are so fast-paced that by the time I might get the hang of it, they are moving on to the next thing. I need someone to kind of hold my hand and walk me through it step-by-step. That’s how my confidence builds. I don’t want to trip over my own feet.
So I sit here, worried and very discouraged. I really want to be able to do this. And I don’t want to disappoint Roland. I don’t want to disappoint myself. I will keep going for all 10 of the classes. Hopefully, I will get the hang of it. Everyone assures me that it’s true.