Sarah's Journey - Growth, Kindness, Passion and Lasting Friendships
This blog was written by one of our Hamilton studio members, Sarah ❤️️
There were four things that really motivated me to join a pole studio:
- I wanted to make friends
- I wanted to be strong
- I wanted to feel sexy
- I wanted to have fun
I was lucky enough to have got a taste of pole dancing during an open day down in Hamilton, and from the first trial session, I was hooked!
I was so excited to start... then life got crazy, as it does, so starting pole got put on the backburner for a while. I moved cities to follow a boyfriend and started a business: my schedule was getting crazier and crazier and I still felt something was missing. I wasn’t prioritising something only for myself and I'd started feeling lost.
I’m not sure what pushed me that extra step to go in for a consultation at Altitude, but I'm glad I did. I reached out to the Takapuna studio with my worries and was surrounded by their overwhelming support. I knew that with a group so kind and in my corner without even knowing me yet, this was a community I was made for!
If I’m totally honest: my first lesson was terrible. I felt unattractive, weak, and frustrated. But instead of that crushing my resolve, I only felt strengthened. I couldn’t stop until I was good; until I loved myself in the mirror ❤
Then life really hit the fan. My boyfriend and I broke up about a month into classes. The experience that I had created, the routine I had finally found breathing room in, suddenly disappeared. I was headed back home to Hamilton and losing out on friendships I knew I would’ve cherished.
I was coming home to my friends and family, which was a joy. Welcomed back with love and compassion. I now had a fully open schedule and the pole studio was just down the road. I was coming back to pole, and I had a lot of emotions to work through.
I pushed hard. Through personal frustrations, COVID lockdowns, and the grief of the ended relationship and yet, I was happier than ever. I had a place to turn up, a new family, and was growing the skills and confidence that I had been aching for.
A full circle seemed complete. From my first open day in Hamilton, my passion growing at Altitude in the Northshore, then coming home again, knowing I would never leave. Altitude taking the mantle once more. Poetic, because my journey had seemed so non-linear and yet somehow exactly as it needed to be.
An achievement I'm proud of is that I've taken on the role of a Pole Angel in the studio, acting as a mentor and a go-to for new students. I know first-hand how gut-wrenching and terrifying those first classes can be. Progress can seem slow, and the instructors seem untouchable at first. But I’m not deterred. In fact, I’m still at the lower levels in the studio after a year!
Growth, kindness, passion. These core values at Altitude are now core values in my way of approaching the world. I've also taken up long-distance running as a hobby. Training for things is hard, you have setbacks along the way, but success comes alongside preparing to slip up, caring for yourself, and knowing that those around you will also lift you up.