Mel's Journey - finding the person she really is.
Updated: Jun 16
This blog was written by one of our Altitude Drury students, Mel. Read below on how she not only found pole but found herself.
Pole has been an incredible journey for me. If someone told me a year ago what I would have the confidence, freedom, determination and trust in myself to do - I wouldn’t believe them.
I dropped by the Altitude Drury studio a week after the opening. I'd heard rumblings on social media about a new studio opening near me, did my homework and planned to meet Alex one day after work. I came off the motorway at Drury, tempted to turn right at the intersection taking me back to the comforts of home!
The whole way was an internal battle. I was consumed with thoughts like "what if I can't do anything, what if I don't have the right body shape, what if I'm not strong enough". Coming down the off ramp I thought "f*ck it", swung a left and did the scary thing anyway.
That day I decided to show up for myself. That part was the hardest; showing up to classes was easy, the initial signing up, committing, and literally forcing myself to walk through those studio doors and change my life was the true challenge. Leaving the comfort zone was and continues to be the challenge. Every single day I'm thankful I had the opportunity and the means to make this choice. Alex, Ashlee and Emma create a safe space for me and everyone who comes to pole to try, fail, relearn, unlearn, try again, fail again, and we all celebrate our successes, together.
After I registered at Altitude Drury in April 2019, I think I came to a class the very next day. My first ever class was beginner spin. We did a simple chair move and the freedom that I felt after my feet left the floor - even if for a split second - was indescribable. I was hooked, immediately. Don’t get me wrong - I was still a terrified little beginner. I was pre-beginner. It was daunting watching other people who had prior experience to pole dancing, had already been to a few classes or were just naturally stronger climb to the top of our poles with ease and fall into spin moves effortlessly! Instead of lingering on negative thoughts about my own abilities, I chose to let this inspire me. I wanted to do what they could do. I threw myself (literally and figuratively) into beginner spin pole classes and I think that’s all I did for a good few weeks. Eventually I became stronger and learnt how to cope with the dizziness, I discovered stretch and flex classes and my flexibility improved too. I got student of the month for August and I felt important and seen. Not only was I seeing my progress, but it was recognised throughout the studio and in the monthly newsletter! I'd never felt that included at a gym or even part of a sports team.
I had been a regular at the studio for months when I decided to ask one of my infamous burning questions... “do you start at beginner spin, then move to intermediate then level 1, 2 and 3?”
I’m not sure how I arrived at this conclusion, logic clearly failed me here, but I am glad I asked. After my little discovery that I could do spin and static classes I started attending Level 1 on a habitual basis. Having been a frequent spin class student I had a reasonable amount of strength to be able to move through level one moves at a good pace. My favourites are genie, star gazer and vixen! It wasn’t long after this when I bundled up the courage to attend an exotic flow class and this was the deal maker. It was all over after that! I started attending flow weekly - immediately addicted.
I have made amazing progress in stretch and flex classes, when I started I couldn’t get off the floor to do a bridge and I’m so proud of what I can achieve now. I’m working hard on getting my splits and eventually I want to bridge against a wall. I'm now attending pre-intermediate spin (which still kicks my ass every week!) and by June I want to have moved up to level two static. Most of all I have overcome my irrational fear of heights and I can climb to the top of the pole without thinking about it. I thought I was going to be afraid of heights forever. I’ve been terrified of flying in a plane, going up the sky tower, I even got vertigo climbing up a ladder. It’s second nature now.
I have changed a lot since I started pole dancing and now my life revolves around this little hobby I’ve discovered that makes me so happy. I am constantly motivated by my progress and I never expected to be a strong and flexible as I am now – it is so rewarding. Don’t get me wrong I have my bad days, sometimes bad weeks. Even when when I feel like giving up I remind myself of how far I’ve come, how far I have yet to go and how important it is to give it everything I’ve got, focus on me and never give up!
Photo credit - Scott Doar Pet Photography