Written by Rhian Wilkinson
The first time I hung upside down from a pole it felt like the biggest achievement of my life. In fact, every time I nail a new trick I feel that way. A surge of adrenaline, a rush of pride.
I started taking pole classes with Floating Fitness in March of 2015. I'd taken a few classes in the past but nothing had ever stuck, until now. I would admit that I am a touch pole-obsessed now.
Since starting with Floating Fitness I've seen huge changes in myself. I'm not just fitter, I'm stronger, and I'm also more confident. I'm still not as thin as I'd like to be (who ever is?) but I've learnt to appreciate my body in a different way. I used to hate my muscley thighs, now I'm thankful for them, they keep me stuck to the pole!
It hasn't been a smooth road for me, I suffered a muscle spasm in my back after a session heavy on inverts. I learnt the hard way that I should have listened to my body and stretched more. That took me out for a month, unfortunately a much more permanent issue arose for me in November.
In November 2015 I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I spent a week in hospital, and learnt that for the rest of my life, everything will be harder. I can't eat without checking my blood sugar. I can't exercise without checking my blood sugar. I can't even sleep without checking my blood sugar. Losing the genetic lottery sucks.
However, having been diagnosed as a diabetic, after months of feeling unwell thanks to my dead pancreas, getting insulin in my system made me feel like a superhero. Having a autoimmune disease is lame, but having treatment makes a world of difference.
On my first class back after getting out of hospital I managed to get into a teddy, and even inverting felt more natural. No more dizzy spells or blurred vision definitely makes it easier to spin around a pole.
Committing myself to pole classes was a big deal for me, I'm not good at sticking to one thing and I get distracted easily. Veronica has taught me a lot about myself, my body, and my ability to enjoy exercising more than I ever thought possible.
Pole hasn't just given me a reason to love my body, it's healed me, time and time again. After a bad day there is nothing more cathartic than spinning, sweating and hanging upside down. The good ache you get after a successful pole lesson compares to nothing else.
All the bruises, bumps, and pole burn are more than equalled by the laughs, the smiles, and the joy that being on the pole brings me. Floating Fitness has helped me find confidence in my body and my strength - even if my pancreas doesn't work, at least the rest of me does!