Natalie’s Story; Becoming Empowered, Sensual and Strong
This blog was written by one of our Altitude Pole Palmerston North students, Natalie. Read below on how she has become empowered, sensual and strong through the love of pole dance.
I started pole back in May 2021 after wanting to try it out for a while. I had recently gone through a lot of life changes including a painful marital separation. Pole gave me a way to reconnect with myself.
My first class was impossible! I remember Rosie (she's awesome!) teaching us how to do a front hook spin. I couldn't even convince myself to leave the ground?! I couldn't stick to the pole and I came away bruised and battered. It was the hardest workout I'd ever done - and I've ran marathons, climbed mountains and basically pushed myself to the limit multiple times! I was like “how do people make this look so easy/impressive”?! I was determined to get better at it.
As I kept going, and turning up in less and less clothing while being surrounded by such an inclusive crowd, it made me feel empowered, sensual and strong. I was hooked 😊
I think for me it's about the fact that I can be totally myself when I'm doing pole. It engages my mind and body 100%. The strength I'm developing both physically and psychologically is also a big plus - it's humbling being literally brought to your knees by something; noticing progress over time and nailing the things I couldn't do a few months before. It gives me such a buzz.
The inclusive community of people I've met since starting have kept me coming back - I've always felt like a bit of an oddball and a loner but at pole I feel accepted, and this also from a positive body image perspective too.
Pole is a little different, a little risqué and left field - that's why it attracted me. I also loved that it gave me the opportunity to learn how to dance which I'd never really done before - that's fantastic! I may be a bit of an uncoordinated animal, but I'm getting better (slowly! 😂)
What has really challenged me is having to stare at myself half naked in a mirror for an hour surrounded by other people in equally scanty clothing while attempting not to fall on my ass/head! Initially I found this incredibly intimidating - let's get realistic, I'm a 37 year old (recently divorced) mother of 2 and I was surrounded by (in the most part) incredibly fit and attractive 20-somethings. Some days I just wanted to hide. Who was I kidding, trying to be slinky on a pole? Was I crazy?! Despite my best efforts at being body positive I have struggled throughout life to ever really fully get there. I'm a GP by profession and I talk to people every day about positive self image and esteem, but it's easier said than done, right?
Now I can look at myself without flinching, without sucking in or comparing how I look to everyone else. I've noticed how everyone has a different shape, each with their own benefits and limitations. I can now let myself be and concentrate on what my body can do, not what it looks like, which is how it should be.
The advice I’d have for anyone thinking of joining Altitude? DO IT! 😁 It'll change your life. Wear your bruises like badges of honour, and know that it won't always be this slippery/sweaty/painful!
Time for you to join the fun? Sign up here!