From the Vault: In my Bag

This blog was originally posted on April 22, 2011…

The other day, a friend of mine posted the contents of her bag and the responses were super fun (and funny) to read. Rubber chickens, ukeleles, and pepper spray were included in people’s responses. I thought it could be interesting to see what we all carry around in our pole bags =)

For pole, I carry a First in Flight bag from LuluLemon:

It has a TON of pockets. In every pocket is a little divider and it’s a godsend for keeping all my crud organized. I didn’t take a picture of my bag, but hung on my bag I keep a little roll of plain old black electrical tape. If you ever get an almost-raw spot on your leg or foot from climbing, wrapping around that part with a few passes of electrical tape will keep the pole from abrading your skin further– plus, it peels off without taking any skin with it, AND it has a slightly rubberized surface so that you don’t slip off the pole. Perfecto! So now, on to the stuff I keep IN the bag:

  1. Black ribbed over-the-knee legwarmers. Indispensable for warming up in a cold room, and keeping my legs warm during class. The description on the site says they’re thigh-high but my thighs are bigger around than a ballerina’s, I guess, so I like to scrunch these to just above the knee =)
  2. Bad Kitty Pole Fit Brazil scrunch butt shorts. These make my butt look like two delicious apples and I have about 4 pairs of them. They have enough crotch panel coverage that I never have to worry about my bits getting exposed and they stay in place really well.
  3. Nalgene water bottle (similar here). NYC has great tap water and I don’t mind filling a bottle up from the bathroom sink when I’m teaching and thirsty! I like to carry this around so I don’t keep buying bottles of water all the time… when I’m movin’ and shakin’ for 20 hours a week I end up drinking a LOT of water!
  4. Athletic tape. I use this to wrap my wrists every single time I pole to give them some extra support and hopefully prevent dislocation of bones from happening again!
  5. GorillaPod Tripod for video camera. This thing has little swively sections to adjust each leg individually so that you can literally set it up on any kind of surface. Awesome.
  6. Vado HD video camera. I love how convenient this camera is to use. It holds a charge forever so I can slip it in my bag and leave it there till I have a freestyle/video opportunity. It’s smaller than my blackberry and lighter, and it has a spot on the bottom to accept a tripod mount.
  7. DynaFlex Wrist exerciser: I bought this to work on strengthening my wrists and forearms and increasing my range of motion on my injured wrist. It’s also great for increasing grip strength. It’s a ton of fun to use! You wind it up and then tip it from side to side over and over again, and an internal gyroscope inside rotates and throws its weight around so that you have to really work to hold on to it.
  8. LuLuLemon Eagle cropped top (sold out in stores but you can check eBay here). No joke, this is the most flattering sports bra I have ever owned. LuLu is a crazy addiction that all of my pole friends in NYC have–we all go at least a couple times a month and if one person comes in with a new cute Lulu top, it spurs immediate visits from everyone else. Lulu introduces super cute clothes and then when they’re sold out, they’re gone… forever. So when I find a style I really like, I hoard. I bought 6 of this tank when it came out and I almost wish I had gotten more… They wash extremely well, wick sweat amazingly, and are just really cute.
  9. Ipod Touch 64gb and headphones. Can’t live without it. I have apps on it to keep track of who is in my classes and what I teach and plan to teach, as well as my pole journal and a checklist I keep to remind myself of tricks in progress that need polishing. I read Kindle books on it and of course, am completely addicted to playing words with friends (a Scrabble imitation). And who can forget the 64 gigs of music that fill it to the brim? I keep playlists for mood, warmup for class, and my own freestyles.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I was done? You underestimate my talent at carrying way more stuff than I actually need… Here’s the other half =)

  1. Dew Point Pole, in Ultra. I try to keep an assortment of grip aids in my bag especially for students that may be having slippy, dry, or sweaty days. A lot of times people get too serious about the “no lotion” rule and show up ashy as all get out, which is just as bad… this can be a critical item to keep handy!
  2. Liquid Grip. This is a new grip product that I’m test driving right now. It seems to be pretty sweat-resistant and provides really long-lasting grip… will update more soon =)
  3. Dry Hands. The classic.
  4. Grrrip. Some students prefer this over dry hands so I carry both.
  5. Cropped Puma sweatpants. I effin love these things. Super comfy but they don’t drag on the dirty NYC streets and they hit just below the knee so they are still stylin and warm. And if you get down on your knees to do some impromptu floorwork (who doesn’t?) these are thick and fluffy and keep those knees from getting black and blue.
  6. Ellie 609 Chrome in Gold. They’re a little beat up, and I’ve stretched the fronts so that my toes get the dreaded stripper-toe-overhang a tad bit, but I love them and they’re my absolute go-to shoes.
  7. Neutrogena on-the-go Cleansing Wipes. If you can’t shower right away and you’re feeling not-so-fresh, a swipe of these really help to keep your pores from getting clogged up and broken out. Also, they smell surprisingly sweet and yummy.
  8. Hardcore super sticky fabric bandaids. Every once in a while, when it’s very warm and moist in the studio, I get super stickage of skin onto pole and rip open my shin and top of my foot. These are the only bandaids that stay in place (sometimes I wind electrical tape around my foot/shin over the bandaid) and protect the ouchie from getting worse.

I know it SEEMS like I carry a lot in my bag… hm, come to think of it, it does always feel heavy… =) What do you carry in your bag? Are there any nifty little gadgets or pole gizmos that always get packed up with you?

Monday’s post: From the Vault- Like Buttah…