Sunday, 24 February 2013

Pole update weeks 4 and 5

This weeks' pole class was fantastic, which was in start contrast to the week before. Week 4 we spent on the spin pole. Spin pole looks amazing - most of the performances you see are on spin pole - but it's very hard to do. It's a completely different set of muscles and thought processes, and there is centrifugal force to contend with. I walked our of the class feeling a bit shit. There was one move I just couldn't get, and I was not feeling at the top of my game.

Luckily, that changed this week. We learnt a bunch of new tricks and a lot of them were strength based, so I did pretty well.

Reverse chair - my favourite move, but you switch over so you're going in reverse.
Boomerang hold - we called it something lese. Pretty difficult to hold and killer on your upper thighs.
Backwards dizzy spin - we did pizza legs/wonder woman into backwards dizzy. Fun.
Hello boys! Our was slightly different - the plan is to open your legs wide (hence the name), so similar to boomerang hold above. Again, good upper thigh workout
Pizza legs/Wonder Woman

All images are from a nifty site,

In other news, I bought a chin up bar on Friday. Worth every cent of the princely $12 I paid. Looking forward to the gun show :-D

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Pole Update - week 3

Last week's pole session was pretty good. We learnt a lot of new moves but I left feeling like I could have done them better and with more finesse. I'm still good at the strength moves but not so much at the pretty moves. Anyway, practice makes perfect right?

In order for me to remember some if the moves (and give me a wonderful excuse to google pole dancing), here are some of the moves we learnt:

Advanced layback

Side Spiral

Side spiral

Inverted crucifix minus one leg

I've also realised that I am going to have to live with constant bruising. I saw this in Dakota Fox's Facebook page and swiped it. Have already bought some arnica ;)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Caving and kayaking

My brother have a tradition where we buy each other Red Balloon vouchers to do something active for Christmas and/or our birthdays. As both of our birthdays are around Christmas time, this invariably means that we're frantically trying to use them before they expire. This was one of those times.

I bought my brother a full day Caving and Kayaking adventure for two people which we used on the weekend. After an early start driving tyhrough torrential rain (never a good feeling when you're doing something outdoorsie) to pick my brother up and then head to Wonga Park for the kayaking, we arrived to shambles. The company organising it really weren't organised and it was a hit of a shambles. We eventually got going though, and found kayaking to be pleasant, if a little boring.

The rain had cleared up and we paddled along the river, surrounded by Aussie scenery and trees. We went through a couple of Stage 1 and 2 rapids, which really aren't rapids. Because it was the middle of summer the water level was low so we would constantly get snagged on rocks, and being a large inflatable two-person kayak meant that they would lodge themselves and stick there.

The highlight of the kayaking was getting tipped into the drink at a rapid which we approached from the wrong angle (we were a little rubbish).

Scenes like this always make me happy
After a really average and soggy lunch we drove to Yarra Junction for the caving section. Heading up to the caves through rainforest made me feel right at home. The earlier rain had made everything smell divine.

Kayak and Cave 3rd of February 2013_18
The group, a rag tag mix of Aussies, Canadians and Brits

We got suited up in helmets with head torches, our old clothes (they really should stress that more) and went into Britannia Caves. The caving system opened up a couple of years ago and is a great beginners cave. As someone who is mildly claustrophobic I can contest that it's good for beginners. Knowing that everyone else is able to get through, and people do every day (two groups a day) meant that I felt pretty comfortable doing it.

Kayak and Cave 3rd of February 2013_23
Coming out of the section of terror
The photo above is me coming out of a section where I almost panicked. To get through you need to submerge in water and make your way along until you reach the end - only a couple of metres. However, when you're covered in water with rock above you, it's pretty easy to get a little freaked out. The smile on my face above was a very relieved smile.

The final bit we did was named after 127 Hours, where you basically need to chimney yourself down more than 5mt to get to the bottom. I went last, and despite everyone who went before me doing it, man, it was a little scary. You need to use your arms and knees to brace yourself and just use that pressure to slooowly move down the rock. My brother called out "Just tense your bum and use your butt cheeks!", which strangely wasn't the first time he said that on the day, but that wasn't as easy as it sounded (also I didn't want to completely destroy my jeans...). I was again trying not to freak out which meant I was going really slowly, thus making it harder on my muscles to move down. When I started getting further my brother called out "Just slide", which I did, and it turns out I was closer to the ground than I thought.

Kayak and Cave 3rd of February 2013_20
Me with some caving peeps. The lady was hilarious
We ended up wet, filthy, covered in mud and silica (which isn't coming off my clothes after two washes), sore and very very bruised. It was awesome. I don't think I'd do it again in a hurry, but certainly as a once off I enjoyed it. And the instructors were pretty cool. All in all it was the highlight of the day.

We ended up in Warburton and I had the most amazing crack turkish bread. Seriously, I don't know what they put in the avocado dip but it was pretty much the best thing I have ever tasted. Good work cafe, good work.

As an aside, when i was contorting myself through the rocks I heard my bad knee crack a couple of times and it's been sore all week so no running. I'm hoping anti inflams and ice will help, but it's not looking good

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Pole update - week 2

We had a really good class last week. After having the last class cancelled due to hot weather, it was cold and rainy and good to be inside. We started the warm up which includes lots of fan kicks, which I'm rubbish at. I asked the teacher Ally to go through it with me, and since the rest of the class were also a bit rubbish we all went through it. So I think I can confidently say I know how to do fan kicks. Hopefully. 

It was straight into climbing the pole three times right to the top and then down but not touching the bottom. It was more tiring than expected. But then we got to do my favourite part of the night - inverted crucifix! 

It's pretty cool holding on with only your legs, although getting down or out of the move isn't very attractive - a painstaking slide into an awkward handstand or just down to the ground.

We also had a go on a spin pole, which was pretty full on - definitely a different set of muscles and doing everything. Our instructor said that at some point this term we are going to have a lesson purely on the spin pole. I foresee lots of awesome and injuries in my future :)

We also did a bit of sexy dancing to pad out the lesson. I think our instructor must despair of us because I certainly wasn't looking sexy, and sadly my classmates weren't either. But we can totally learn that, right. Right?

Good to know

A friend sent me this when I was having a hard day recently. Sometimes it's worth remembering.