Feeling the Fear And Not Doing It Anymore

 
TropicalVertical Paid Member
So recently I have noticed that my tolerance for doing certain tricks has waned. I have become frightened. Things that used to make me a bit scared are too scary and I will not even try them any more. I have also stopped striving for certain fundamental advanced moves because I don't have a spotter, I am on a thin carpet on the concrete floor in an empty house and having had numerous falls I am becoming afraid of really seriously injuring myself.

I know that I am stronger than I was a year ago. I am also 10lb heavier as well as more muscular. And I spin much faster.

I use social media pole challenges to drive me out of my comfort zone and push my limits. But my dread of even attempting certain moves is growing and growing. I used to be able to do a shoulder mount to inverted thigh hold on fast spin. Ditto brass monkey . Ditto iguana Fang. Inpw they make me freak out. I will not even try Ayesha or Straight edge any more. I cannot afford to fail and get hurt.

Anyone else got this going on? Any recommendations or advice?
Jun 27, 2017
StrangeFox Paid Member
TropicalVertical, so sorry you're going through this. :( I love your videos and consider you very brave. I find with anything my level of fear is closely related to what is going on in my life. When things are going great I'm fearless and invincible (not always a good thing), but when I'm stressed out, or especially when I've got a lot of people depending on me, I tend to be less bold and more fearful. I have some theories about it, but I don't know whether they hold any water. One is that when I'm worn out by stress I can kind of sense that I'm not at my best and it's my body's way of telling me to slow down and be careful. Another is that when I've got someone depending on me I'm more fearful I'll suffer an accident and let the person who is depending on me down by being out of commission.

I recently started inverting and had no real fears about being upside down. I was unhooking arms and legs and just generally having a good time. Then I went out to dinner with a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer, and he admitted he's not seeing the results he'd hoped for with chemo. When he hugged me that night there was something really, really final about it and it kind of gave me a bit of a start. I got home and started poling, and when it came time for me to get upside down my heart was beating really fast and my whole body was sweaty. I got inverted but I didn't enjoy it. I felt totally insecure and unstable and I wanted down. It took a few days for me to return to normal, and it took me a little while to connect the dots. I think sometimes when we're faced with mortality in any form, whether it's our own or someone else's, we become hyper-aware of danger. I also think I might have been trying to suppress my fears about my friend and they came out while I was poling and totally confused me. I find pole can be really cathartic but sometimes emotion comes out and I have no idea what it's really connected to.

I once had a horrible day at work where I left feeling crushed and useless, and when I got to pole class I couldn't do a chair to backhook spin. After re-visiting it on the weekend when I felt much better I could do it no problem the first time I tried it. I can even track my abilities with my monthly cycle - they take a huge dip right before aunt flow visits. If you're stressed and run down or preoccupied by something else it's easy to lose confidence in yourself, so it might be that, too. In fact, it could be a combination of any of these. I'm finding so much of pole is psychological.

Just know that this will pass and you'll come out of it stronger. :) You're strong, and a kick-butt incredible dancer. With these types of things I always tell myself it's only temporary and that helps me ride out the bad times. I also find it helps to really analyze what's going on and get really into my own head. Usually if I get introspective enough I can figure it all out and rationalize it. Usually I run, or write, or listen to music to help myself get there. Happy poling, and I'm sending lots of hugs your way. :) Hope this passes soon, and sorry my reply is so long. This just really resonates with me so thanks for sharing you personal struggles.
Jun 27, 2017
AllysonKendal
Yeah... you know I feel like I'm dealing with the same thing. I had a pretty scary fall from up the studio pole last Oct and that got in my head. I think it's partially that... partially just general life stresses. I do really feel like the anxiety spills over into all areas of my life when it gets bad.

I've always kind of know what I wanted in life, what I was working for... and now I'm not feeling as focused and passionate about things. Im not sure if I need a shift, or if I'm just running away from things when they get hard. Tbd.

But anyway, I concur. Usually I can do something very very slowly until I feel better about it. But I avoid a lot of moves too. I used to love Russian paybacks and Brass bridges, but I had 2 people tell me how they fell badly from them and now they are in my head and they freak me out :/ even simple stuff on spin can freak me out. Invert to leg hang is A-ok. But invert to inverted crucifix can be freaky as hell.

I'm not so sure if it's going away, or if it'll get better, or if this is my new normal... as I get older my fears about most things seems to grow. Some of that may just be shaking off that immortal feeling of youth I was clinging to
Jun 27, 2017
Veena
What everyone is saying was true for me as well. After my dad died, then our member and my friend Layla died it scared me. I became aware of all kinds of danger and even lost the desire to learn new pole stuff. I'm saying, it's normal, you're not alone and it CAN get better! Not sure if this will help but here's an old scope on fear. [www.studioveena.com]
Jun 28, 2017
Veena
Oh..I should say the 30 day programs will help with fear, that was part of the reason for them. We drill things over and over and you become comfortable...and you always start with the easiest, most comfortable options!
Jun 28, 2017
LatinPoler Paid Member
Same here!! I'm quite overloaded at work with travels, etc. so I'm quite stressed out. Just yesterday, I wanted to do a cross knee release that I can do in my sleep in normal situations, but yesterday it felt a little scary the first time I tried. The Butterfly was my nemesis for months, I believe because I was pushed to try it for the first time in class when I was feeling tired and not willing to do complicated things (that's why I had signed up for a lower level class that day!), so it felt terrible and I carried the feeling over for months. Pole is demanding both physically and mentally, so I think it is normal that when we are going through tough times in our lives, we are more scared than normal. It is stress that we add on top of what we already have. I would say, listen to your body and do not do anything that does not feel OK. That day you may want to focus on floorwork, or spins, or transitions... we are not machines, we are human beings and we have good and less good days.
Jun 28, 2017
TropicalVertical Paid Member
Thank you all so very much everybody for your incredibly kind and wise words. I'm so sorry I am slow in responding to this discussion. I have been thinking a great deal about all that you have said so generously and thoughtfully. There is very much truth in what you say - I am certain of it. Certainly the feeling of invincibility fell away after the first serious fall.

That was well over a year ago, but it shocked me and the reverberations from it still go on. I crash out often but I know how to fall and I'm very rarely hurt. But as the spins for faster, the tricks harder, the sequences longer and the ascent higher - plus I added in habitually wearing high heels - none of it got any easier. And the floor is concrete - the pole is 9.5 feet - the carpet is very thin. It hurts to fall.

I think a lot of it comes down to doing all these pole/yoga challenges on social media and they becoming my main source of training and motivation . I can't get to a studio much, and the advancedclassrs are at an impossible time for me and have been so for three years so instagram community challenges became my online pole family support system.

Another stressor was that I was always feeling pushed for time. So I was not resting in between attempts to film everything I needed to get done to keep up.

Training when tired because there wasn't going to be another chance for days and days . Rushing through multiple trick combos because there wasn't really time to warm up - warm down -,stretch - flow - concentrate - research what I needed to do - and fit it all into an hour. Because I didn't want to let myself or anyone else down.

When I attend pole classes now - infrequently because I can't get to them often - I am amazed at how easy it is. I am used to training so much harder . For so much longer . Trying things over and over again .



And finally reminders of mortality. My early menopause, friends getting cancer, I no longer feel him immortal.
Jun 30, 2017
TropicalVertical Paid Member
That should read I no longer feel immortal!

Anyway thank you all again so very much. Certainly food for thought. I think I need to slow down a bit and not put so much pressure on myself. I wish I wasn't on my own all the time training.

Yesterday I did manage to get to an evening yoga arm balance and inversion workshop and it was so cool to be able to try out all these things that I have been doing alone and self-taught with a proper teacher and a group of fellow students. It felt much safer and more gentle.

I envy all the other pole dance students here who don't have a heavy Instagram presence and don't need one because they have a happy pole family support system and see each other regularly every week.
Jun 30, 2017
MdawWat
So I know I am late on this, but I had to give another shout out in the 'you are not alone in this camp.' For certain tricks the only thing that gets me out of it is having someone I trust around for me, and I am sorry that you haven't found someone to do that for you. Maybe travel or finding a gymnast you can convert would be options? ;-) If not, I have found that going into a practice session with the intent to focus on basics really helps me a lot. I feel strong and confident. Plus I build muscles that give me confidence to try something harder later. At the end of the day though, I will always be thankful for Veena for giving me permission to realize that I am in this for my enjoyment and not to be a professional athlete so it is okay that I not do certain tricks if they are not for me whatever the reason.
Jun 30, 2017
StrangeFox Paid Member
TropicalVertical, I hope you find time to get to a studio soon! Physically getting out can really help if you're feeling trapped in your own head. I know nothing beats interacting with a real life pole family but we're all here for you! *hugs* One thing to consider may be to get a good crash mat for when you're trying new moves. I have one and although it's virtually impossible to do any floor work or low flow with it, I do get it out when I try any risky new tricks.
Jul 1, 2017
AllysonKendal
Yeahhh Challenges can be really motivating, but also really draining. I did find that doing them helped me get on the pole, then once I was there I played with more moves... but I also kind of burnt out. But again, life stressors probably played a big role in that too. I keep wanting to participate in more challenges, then right before it starts I usually end up talking myself out of it.

I think instagram can put a lot of additional pressure on pole. Even just keeping up with my feed is exhausting. Generally I try not to take it too seriously... or it becomes an issue.
Jul 1, 2017
coolchange
This happened to me after a lifetime of horseback riding. I lost a friend to a freak horse accident, I lost both parents and had a cancer scare. I'm so nervous when I anymore that it's not fun right now?? A dear friend told me, "Don't let the Devil steal your joy!". So true, I hope it blows over for you. I think maybe we are all a little more careful and smarter as we age too ; ).
Jul 1, 2017
Pretty Pixie Previous Paid Member
Only just seeing this, but I definitely want to jump in to say again that you're not alone. This is my life right now. My one major fall/slip where I sprained my ankle was the catalyst to my fear. I was home alone and I had to crawl around to care for it myself until my family came home. I have since conquered that move, but my fearlessness from before the injury is gone. Way gone. Pole is scary. And that's ok. It makes me feel even more like superwoman when I've done a session, whether I just did basics or something more advanced. We're all super-people for doing this!!
I could honestly go on and on with many points you bring up because I'm right there with you, but long story short, fear can be a good thing sometimes and being cautious is just plain smart in this crazy pole life! Just remember those rest days and *try* not to let the pressure of challenges push you faster than you feel comfortable.
Jul 1, 2017
shelliebelly Paid Member
I can relate to this. I have fallen badly 3 times, once at the studio. I don't post on any social media sites, just Studio Veena. & very rarely. I pole because it is a great workout, relieves stress and makes me feel good!! I'm 53 yrs old and have been poling on & off since 2011. The moment it stops feeling that way, I step back and take a break. I pole at home 1-2 days and at studio 1-2 days. I have watched your videos and your a beautiful dancer, very strong and sexy. Maybe step away from social media pressures and take a break. Dance just for you and how it makes you feel:)
Jul 1, 2017
TropicalVertical Paid Member
Thanks again everybody so much for your kind words and thoughtful posts. I agree that social media challenges, whilst exciting, can' be a lot of pressure and yes, even keeping up with my feed is exhausting. I will be visiting family in England for three weeks in July and August so there will be an enforced break from pole and probably from social media as well and I am actually really looking forward to it.

I think Instagram challenges have pushed me very far with both pole and yoga-I have learned so much and I am proud of the fact that I taught myself these things, as I am not able to attend classes at my level at the studio because they happen when I have no childcare. But I've burned out several times.

I am trying to take more breaks now and doing shorter challenges and giving myself permission to not do moves or to do an easy option. If the challenge of the day is not right for me, or not right for me on that day that's ok.

I notice if I take 48 hours complete break from pole the next time I pole I'm much stronger and it is so much more enjoyable. The second day I'm not quite as strong - the third day it's uncomfortable - and on day 4 almost nothing works - and that is the day I usually get injured.

So I am learning to limit what I do and to supplement what I do with cross training and yoga which is more balancing as it works both sides.

Maybe I will just never ever be able to do certain moves because I am not willing to put the time in - the fear is too strong and the risks are too high and I'm actually not sufficiently motivated to push and push and push myself. I have never really wanted to do an Iron X or Fonji for example. There's no hunger for it. I like flexy flow on spin. I can continue to explore it without doing terrifying moves with a high risk of injury. I still need to stop beating myself up. Literally. There are days I am so badly bruised that I can't shave my legs or wear a bra.

I wonder why I drive myself so hard, but pole is my way of dealing with stress. When pole itself becomes stressful it gets messy.


Anyway thank you all again.

Jul 3, 2017
grayeyes Paid Member
Hey Tropical, as others have said you're not alone. I saw your most recent fall on IG and was worried as it looked like a hard fall. I have been off pole and all exercise for a month due to something going haywire in my back in a genie--I didn't even fall, just leaned down, something moved and I was done. I had trouble walking for two weeks because of the pain going into my leg. So scary--not that I wouldn't be able to pole but was suddenly worried I wouldn't be able to walk without pain. You and I are about the same age. We have to be careful though I don't think either of us are used to that or like the idea of limiting ourselves physically. I believe I am getting wiser with my choices and more careful but I don't like it. I rarely if ever do challenges because poling every day or even close to it just doesn't happen for me. I have only recently started going to a studio regularly and do enjoy it but, by and large I'm still poling alone at home too. I don't have any good advice but wanted you to know I'm right there with you. I'm trying to protect myself so that I can be active now and for many, many more years.
Jul 5, 2017
LatinPoler Paid Member
Grayeyes, Tropical, I hope you both are feeling better. I'm also in the same age range (I'm 44). When I started poling, I could not do two days in a row, even being fit, and I injured myself. Now it's OK as long as I alternate hard/easy days that don't stress the same part of the body all the time. Challenges are not always balanced in that sense, you may have 3 reverse grab days in a row, then 3 knee pit intensive moves in a row, etc. I try to prerecord and balance as much as possible, and take days off. I agree it can be hard, long challenges (14+days) especially.
About the studio vs. at home discussion, I personally feel the studio more challenging, in the sense that I've been pushed sometimes to do things I was not ready for, physically or mentally (I guess you've heard about my Butterfly story...). Or if my wrist was a little sore, that was a handstands day at the studio. I prefer poling at home because I'm in control. I still go to the studio now and them to build my foundation, also the variety keeps me motivated.
Jul 5, 2017
LatinPoler Paid Member
And by the way, I'll be travelling 10 days in July, focusing on hiking and other outdoor activities. I look forward to that break too!
Jul 5, 2017
TropicalVertical Paid Member
Gray eyes so sorry to hear about your injury. That is scary. You hit the nail on the head I think, when you said we don't like being suddenly limited either by injury or buy a body that is not the same as it was in terms of recovery time than it was in our 20s. It's very hard not to push and push and pull back gracefully from overdoing it ! I hope that your injury is resolved soon and you can find a way to practice what do you enjoy without pain
Jul 7, 2017
TropicalVertical Paid Member
Latin poler that is very good advice, and true about home poling giving you the power to control how you work out so you can choose to work Lower or upper body or just have an easier day as your body needs it. Thank you and I hope you totally enjoy your vacation !
Jul 7, 2017
 
dustbunny Paid Member
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