Trick Monkey Time
For me, inspiration comes and goes in waves. I’ve stopped thinking (or at least tried to stop thinking) of my phases as “ruts” because I feel like that’s a pretty negative way to frame them. Instead, I try to think of it as shifting focus: when tricks start to feel frustrating, or I’m unenthusiastic in that regard, I tend to just freestyle and flow to music that I really like.
Then, when I can’t find a song to inspire me (which is a phase that I’m going through right now), though, I find freestyling to be difficult and… blocked. So then I work again on technical execution, combos, and new stuff. For me, if I don’t have the right music, I feel like a pole dancing robot. In a not-good-way. I can move, but it feels forced, and boring, and I am constantly thinking about what to do next instead of having the dance flow through me.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of awesome combos all over the place that are revving up my tricks engine. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, and it’s sort of fun to feel like a real pole monkey all over again. And, now that I’m going to try to make the “Inner nerd” posts a series, I find that I’m watching videos a little bit differently: What trick or combo could I feature in my next “Inner nerd” entry? What can I find that I will need to work towards, and really give myself some time to learn?
I’ve talked a little bit about how as we get more advanced, the learning curve works against us and it seems like tricks take forever to learn because they require so much flexibility and strength. But while that’s true, it also comes with a better knowledge and understanding of what your body is readily capable of. I can watch a video and see new combos and pick out immediately the ones that would be easiest for me to learn, things that I could get right away. And I can also watch and see the tricks that I have no hope of getting, or that are currently out of reach for me.
Here’s a confession: I have been a lazy poler. For a while, I haven’t been tricks-inspired to pick out the tricks that will take a lot of work, and really actually put my head down and put IN the work. Part of it has been that I haven’t had the time to really dedicate to hammering away at something over and over again. But in a strange way, knowing that I will want to record my progression on a trick to show in a blog entry, has motivated me to push myself further outside of my comfort zone. It’s motivated me to allow myself to fail and record it! To reach higher and farther and have faith in myself, that I’ll get it eventually. And in turn, that makes me realize that I have potential that I could be fulfilling.
For instance, the other day I saw an awesome combo in a video that I was really too scared to try. After talking with some friends online about it, and realizing that there was a way to work on it without breaking my skull open, I gave it a shot. I intended to film my work on the trick for an Inner Nerd entry, but much to my surprise– first try, I got it. Would I have been so willing to try something crazy if I hadn’t been thinking “haha, the fails will be funny for blog readers”? Probably not! I was actually looking forward to seeing my own progress on a new trick.
It can be tough to deal with failure, and tough to face it head-on. But without learning how to fail, we never will remember what it feels like to work for success, and how good and sweet it feels when we eventually reach it. I don’t think that I’ll be able to accomplish every single trick or combo that I decide to try to work on, but it sure feels good to try.
Tomorrow’s post: Thursday Tricks…