Guest Blog by Erin Mathew- PSO Unicorn for Rising Goddess Fitness
Competing within the pole community is a fantastic opportunity to push yourself as an artist, performer and athlete. It takes time, money, dedication, and will. The ultimate goal for many that choose to compete is, let’s face it, to place. It is incredibly uplifting to be able to bring home a medal as a tangible reminder of all the hard work that was put into making a performance stand out and shine. While placing is a wonderful goal to work towards, it’s also easy to forget the amazing accomplishments you have already achieved. You made it to the stage and performed. You had your moment.
I started competing 2.5 years ago at CPC in 2016 and since then I have done 8 competitions total. I have only placed in 2 of them, but that doesn’t mean that the other ones were not valuable or incredibly positive experiences. No matter what the outcome, each routine has been a reminder of how far I have come and a surprising realization of my own potential. Some of the competitions have been fun and exciting, and others pushed me close to a breaking point. To everyone that has an event coming up in the near future and to those that have competed in the past, these are a couple of encouraging things I would like you to consider as you reflect on your experience.
You have found something you love and you stuck with it.
How many times have you heard fellow pole performers say that they were first introduced to pole at a bachelorette party or tried a class on a whim for a more exciting form of fitness or artistic expression? For every one of those performers who got hooked and never stopped there are likely dozens of others who tried it once and never returned. For you, this has become a significant part of your life and it’s awesome that you committed to growing your skills.
You made a commitment to progressing further than you imagined.
Even the simplest routine takes a huge amount of stamina and strength. Over the months or years that you have taken pole classes or learned at home, you were always pushing toward that new spin or trick that you didn’t get the first time around. When it finally clicked and you accomplished it, you felt elated, and you continue to feel that sense of joy every time you unlock something new.
You took the dive and entered a competition.
One day you decided you were ready to show the world your amazing physical accomplishments. You did your research into levels, styles and categories and finally hit the submit button and made the obligatory Facebook post to announce your impending performance. You may have also felt some immediate regret when the reality of it set in.
You made it through the gauntlet of prep leading up to the event.
Once the initial excitement of entering wore off, you likely felt the immediate stress of starting to put everything together. You put in the extra hours stringing together combos and choreography. You ordered multiple options for a costume until you found just the right one and likely covered it in crystals or embellishments. Maybe you were faced with hurdles with work, family or school that could have been reason enough to drop out, but instead you powered through. When the schedule was released for your division, you might have had a moment of panic and immediately tried to size up your competition and had a crisis of whether or not you belonged.
You did a thing and took a bow.
The day of the competition you checked and double checked that you had everything you needed before heading to the venue. You arrived early to test the poles and worried that the spin pole was too fast. You did your hair and makeup just perfect. Maybe you had a last minute costume emergency but you figured it out. You started to warm up alongside the others within your division and tried your best to remain calm. You patiently waited until it was your turn to take the stage. Finally, your name was called and you came face to face with a bright stage light and a pitch black auditorium. The music started, and you gave it your all until the very last note. You exited the stage and breathed the most enormous sigh of relief.
At every turn of this progression, there were reasons to quit, reasons to think you didn’t belong, and mental barriers that could have ended your journey, but you refused to surrender. When you think critically into everything you had to overcome to make it to the stage, worrying about whether it earned you a medal is a minor element in the grand scheme of things. No matter the outcome of each competition, don’t ever forget that merely getting there and following through is a monumental accomplishment.