I bruise easily. But in the pole world, that’s not necessarily a bad thing…
I remember my very first pole bruise. It had found me after many failed attempts at mounting the pole in my first beginner class. It was big. And sore. And ugly. My poor inner thigh looked like it had been used as a punching bag for a team of angry boxers. I was so embarrassed. Surely I had done something wrong?
Week after week those pole bruises found me, from my hips to my feet, my thighs to my arms. Over the years that followed I became used to my bruises. They were a part of me. There was the big “I bashed the pole” bruise that resembled somewhat of a big, dark puddle. The “I chinese-burned the pole” bruise that looked like a new breed of red freckle, which had started a mini infestation. The “I didn’t want to fall and die” bruise that resembled a paint brush stroke across my leg. And then of course the “I have NFI how that happened” bruise – commonly found on a body part that was never intended to touch the pole, and often leaves you wondering if you do in fact sleep walk.
As my pole journey continued into teaching and I became less self conscious about my bruises, a strange thing started happening… fellow teachers and students begun complimenting my bruises. “OMG! Is that from pole?”.. “Yeah”, I’d say.
“Woah, what were you trying to do?”
“Uhhh I can’t really remember”
“Well, it must’ve been really hard?!!”
Most of the time it wasn’t. Usually, I would be practicing an outside leg hang on my non-preferred side and my poor virgin skin behind that knee just couldn’t handle the friction… but hey, if it looked like I was trying to do a Russian layback then that was OK with me!
You see, sometimes it really doesn’t matter what you do but how hard your bruises make it look. In most cases however, the bigger the bruise, the more kick ass the trick. It’s the silent language between us Polers, “Oh god, it’s no hands Jade week, check out her stomach!”… Kind of like the Morse code of the pole world and no matter how long you’ve been poling for, you never seem to get “better” at avoiding the bruises.
So tell us… are Pole bruises bragging rights?