Okay so I have the best piece of advice for you when it comes to pole. You already know it, and it’s really obvious, so please carry on reading once I’ve told you.
I was at a workshop with Zoraya Judd a few weeks ago and one of the things she told us was ‘Don’t Let Go.’
So there you have it. A really obvious piece of advice that we all know and live by.
…or do we?
Don’t Let Go
So we all had a little laugh when we heard this. ‘Of course I’m not going to let go’ I told myself. I thought about it a little more and then realised how much sense it actually made.
For so many people, letting go is the issue. We slip and fall, not necessarily because the grip is bad, but because we let go. There’s a number of reasons that I think we actually just let go of the pole.
1. Fear Of The Pain
Of course this one is real – we all have had pole burn at one time or another. I was teaching a Cross Knee Release in this evening’s class and I quite often say to people that it’s going to hurt. We know it’s going to hurt, so we have to take a deep breath and get through it. Each time we do it, it gets less and less painful until the pain is gone. The only real danger is if you are one of those people (and there are a few) who just let go as soon as the pain strikes. There’s two types of people with moves like this – ones that hold through the pain, and the ones that let go.
Let me tell you this. If you are in the middle of a move that burns, you might as well carry on with it. If you don’t, you will only have to try it again on skin that is already tender, which makes it even more painful. If you carry on with the move, it might be painful but you will certainly get closer. And one step closer to nailing the move, is one step closer to the pain being gone.
Also, if you just let go, you have the additional pain of the drop to worry about, and no one wants that!
2. Slipping Or Sliding
I was in a different workshop a few weeks ago (but can’t remember who I was with at that point!) when I was slipping out of a new move. The instructor came over to help me. I was at the point where I was about to slide out of the move and wanted to come down. The instructor wouldn’t let me, and helped me carry on to finish the move properely.
Afterwards she asked why I wanted to come down.
When you are sliding you lose a lot of confidence. It is our body’s way of protecting itself – come out before you fall out. As long as you can get down safely, then yes, if you feel you are losing your grip, you should come down.
If you feel like you are sliding and want to let go – don’t. You may want to regrip a hand or a leg by taking it off, but the problem is that if you take off a supporting limb when you are already sliding, it’s only going to get worse.
Sometimes it is best just to slide slowly and confidently to the floor and get up, injury free to try again.
This one doesn’t happen as often, but we’ve probably all seen it. This one’s more common when you think you have a move and really quickly take your hands off to see if you can hold it. It’s great if you can, but bad news if you can’t!
I’ve seen it a few times when people are trying a Crucifix Stand and want to let go to see if they can hold it. This one’s not usually too dangerous but does result in people grabbing back on super quick before they fall down. I’ve also seen it in a Forward Crucifix Stand. Now this one’s much more painful if you just let go, as you end up sliding down the pole and burning the skin near your armpit – and no one wants that.
How Bad Is It To Let Go?
Of course you need to let go to get some moves, or trust yourself in that move. Here I’m talking about the unsafe just letting go for the sake of it.
It is super hard to spot someone if they just let go. If you are doing a move and want to take your hands off, that’s a lot different to the ‘I can’t do this, I’ll let go’ approach. If someone falls in a predictable way, it’s relatively easy to spot. If you let go mid attempt for no reason, it’s harder to spot as we can’t see it coming. Not impossible of course, just more difficult.
So there we have it. The most obvious piece of pole advice going – but it’s an important one. Have a quick think – have you ever just let go? You could have had something in your eye, or forget what’s holding you up and let go (it happens), you could even be trying to protect yourself from a wardrobe malfunction.
It’s easier to do than you think! Let us know if you have done it! 😀