Dear Diary

A little while ago, I was feeling like I was in a bit of a rut, and I was asking a friend what she had been learning recently. To my surprise, she said she wrote down what she learned in class every day, and that she could email me the list!

What a great idea. I’ve started keeping track myself, and have found this to be an awesome tool. Whether a trick or combo is new to me or not, usually the teacher and my classmates can figure out a slight variation that is exciting or new– or even a variation that I’d meant to work on and just umm…. forgotten about. I have a terrible memory, so going back even a month or so in my pole journal reminds me of things that have slipped my mind. It makes me realize that even when I don’t feel like I’m learning much, that there was actually quite a lot!

This can also be a great way to keep track of tricks that are in progress that you are still working on. In my pole journal, I put a simple heading for the date and type of class I took (whether it be a hammock dancing class or an advanced pole class), along with the name of the teacher. Then, below that, I will simply list the things that we worked on. If you didn’t quite nail something, you could just put an empty checkbox next to that item to remind yourself to come back later and fill that checkbox in. You can underline or star something that felt great for you and that you want to remember to work into a freestyle later.

I also keep a separate list of tricks or combos that I thought of in my head, and want to try out. And another list of tricks that I’ve seen in other people’s videos, that I want to try! I have an Apple laptop, and you can hit Apple+Shift+4 to get a cursor. Then you can use the cursor to select a portion of the screen to save as an image. Because I’m a visual learner, I like to take screenshots of the key steps in a combo, and then put them together in a private blog so that I can see what the steps for a trick are without having to go to the video later.

How do you keep track of your progress? What does your “pole journal” look like?

Monday’s post: The Fall…