My Journey - Sheridan Seales
I found Altitude after considering how frustrated I was with paying for a gym I never went to. I hated cardio and I can confirm I have never seen anyone smile while running. It was time for a change. So there I was, in my pyjamas thinking hard and I eventually googled "fun forms of fitness" and stumbled across Altitude.
At first I laughed... I didn't even have so much as a dance background! I wasn't fit, I wasn't skinny, I wasn't flexible and I definitely wasn't outgoing.... but I booked in that very day. Telling myself I'm doing it for the laughs.
Showing up to my first class I was a nervous wreck and looking back now I applaud the teacher who took this class because I looked like a drowning man with my first climb and I'm pretty sure I accidentally kicked her when spinning too, yet I had the time of my life! What had started as a joke became something I was willing to keep coming back to, if only to say "I can pole dance" and whip out awesome stuff on a street-sign or something. I felt empowered, determined and I had new respect for those that managed to make it look so effortless.
I was hooked, I wanted to do that too!!
A couple of years have passed since then, but in that time: my Nana got to see my
first performance before she passed, I have competed in NZ Amateur Pole Performer and won the Auckland heat in the Beginners category, I have done a pole photoshoot underwater and had the photo feature in an Italian Magazine and top 10, I have done a lap dance workshop through Altitude, taken a posed Dragon Ball Z themed shot with Larry and I even have my splits now!!
....I have also fallen on my ass (and scared a teacher or two in the process), missed the pole completely, definitely inhaled air into lady areas, got my hand stuck under my leg only to hit myself and kicked a teacher or two by accident. So don't give up if your pole story doesn't look graceful or glamorous right away, sometimes its not meant to, that's where the best stories come from anyway!
I was also one of those who said "I'm not strong enough, not fit enough, have no background" or "don't have the body for it". I still hear people say that now and I'm pleased to say neither did I! I gained strength, I gained the ability to push on and I'm plus size and hella badass. So if I can do it you certainly can!
Altitude has definitely become my safe space to try and fail as many times as I need to until I achieve my goals.
Its my escape from the world of customer service (blergh) and I have more confidence/more respect for what my body can do. I feel I can be my dicky self without judgement which has definitely changed my life for the better too, you will probably hear me from a distance - I'm the loud one making the weird noises.
Even if you start for the laughs
Even if you start for the strength
Even if you start for the curiosity...
Breathe. You got this.