Fed Up of Slow Progress and Tired of Struggling

by | Jul 31, 2019

Pole really is a journey. And like with most journeys it’s not always plain-sailing. There’re bumps in the road which force us to question ourselves and why we’re even putting ourselves through this.


I thought the first bump was the hardest but I’ve been reconsidering. 


The first bump is getting to the studio and trying pole for the first time. A MASSIVE HURDLE for so many. And I can tell you there are plenty of people who struggle even to get that far. It’s scary. Feeling so far out of your comfort zone. It’s genuinely an experience which brings up nerves and excitement, and sweaty palms – you know!


The next few bumps, come with the frustration of not getting all the pole tricks. You managed to get one or two (there or there-abouts is good enough!). And that one pole move you actually nailed and it looked so good.

But then there’s this move and that move, and let’s not forget that trick which feels so far out of reach and completely impossible.


And Sandra managed to pick it up first time!? Why doesn’t my body do that?!


I get it. I know the feeling. The frustration is real.

You shrug your shoulders. Feel deflated and move on. In next week’s class, you get asked to retry it. You just about resist rolling your eyes at the thought of trying it again. Take a big sigh. And give it another go.


Oh. Holy. Wow.

What has happened… I’m only in the MOVEEEEEE!!! Wooohooo!


It’s elating. You feel on top of the world. Invincible. Capable of anything.

Coming back to the move, is a test of your resilience. It’s challenging when you can’t do something. Especially when you can see others do it. And to keep at it anyway, is amazing. Truly.



And then there’s the worst bump of all.

You’ve been doing pole a while now. You have a healthy repertoire of moves under your belt. You happily spend time upside down. And then you think to yourself: my progress has slowed down. I’m not getting the tricks when I retry them a week later like before.


You feel deflated. Fed up of slow progress. Tired of struggling.

You’ve plateaued.


The next bunch of moves you’re trying are most probably more challenging and more demanding on your body. It’s no wonder you’re finding them trickier to get. These are moves that need lots of practice to get. Not just one, two or three attempts. Some of them require months of consistent training. Practicing the actual move, and also strengthening, stretching and increasing your fitness alongside.


I remember when I was training my Iron-X (think human flag in a star shape). I practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced. FOR MONTHS! I built up my strength and took my fitness to a whole new level. I made a specific plan – strengthening the exact muscles I needed to use and improving my flexibility in my middle split to help too.

It was very physically-demanding, as you’d expect. But the part I found most tough was the mental game. Even though I was putting in all this extra work, I wasn’t getting the results. I still couldn’t do the Iron-X. Even though I took tutorials, had private 1-2-1 sessions, spent hours every week building up strength, stretching, eating way too healthy. I was determind to get it, but it was starting to feel like a massive waste of time and energy, money and effort.

And then, one day. Months down the line from when I started. I did it. I held it for 3 seconds – the longest three seconds of my life!

I DID IT! Me! I was over the moon. Beyond ecstatic. I jumped up and down with excitement, cheered, whooped and did a celebratory dance. 

But boy, the run up to that move. It took so much commitment, consistent training, practice. Keeping myself positive that one day I would get it. It’ll just take a bit more (and a bit more and a bit more! :-D).

Did it take longer than I thought? You betta believe it.

Was it easy? No-way.

And I’ve never been more proud of a pole move in all my life. Because I knew how much I’d put into it.


So if you’re feeling fed up, frustrated, slow on progress. 

It’s probably because you’ve stepped up a level. It’s because you’ve entered a bigger game. It’s got nothing to do with you not being capable. It’s an invitation to grow.

And it is your choice. There are no right or wrong answers. And no judgement on what you choose.

Rise to it if you wish. You might think about coming to more classes per week to increase your fitness and get more pole-time in.
Or you might choose to enjoy where you are. Loving all the moves and tricks you can do, looking at how to combine and transition between them in different ways. This second option, you’ll still be moving forward. Maintaining your fitness and skills. You’ll still learn new moves but you can also enjoy mastering all the moves you can do. And at a less intense rate.

Above all, always remember to feel grateful for the fabulous way your body moves and all the things it can do. It really is a miracle we see and get to use and enjoy every day.

1 Comment

  1. Shalali

    A challenge for me is remembering all the moves/tricks I have learnt (including their names). Initially, I thought, a lesson per week is not THAT much and I could easily stay on top of all the pole jargon and new move sequences I had learnt by simply revising the videos I shot in lesson before the next week, but I was wrong. Time flies and because of daily routine, sometimes making time for even a 10sec video is hard…I now have a backlog of moves that I need to commit to memory. The frustrating thing is, my body CAN actually do those moves -just remembering them is the problem. We tend to think pole is mostly just body work and underestimate the mental work involved.