The Beginning of a Beautiful Obsession
Posted on October 26 2016
2016 has been one of the worst years of my life.
I won't get into the nitty gritty, but a perfect storm of horrible situations, car accident and emergency hospital visits spiraled me into a deep depression.
It wasn't until August of 2016 when I decided to get help and after speaking with my doctors I was put on disability leave to start the healing process. I was required to join an intensive 2 week group therapy program.
I was hesitant at first, but walked in there with an open mind. It was my first day and the tradition was newbies go last for the morning ritual of filling out a "mood log" for "talking about your feelings today compared to yesterday" and then answering "What are you going to do for yourself today?". The idea was to force yourself into doing one thing that would try to make you feel a little better that day. I had been a depressed couch dweller for months now at this point, I had no idea what to even suggest besides "napping".
As everyone was going around the room talking about today's plans, I was hoping I could piggyback off of someones else's idea. Nothing sounded appealing, I didn't want to lie, my turn was getting closer, the social anxiety kicked in and I started to panic. The therapist looked at me, took a sip of her coffee and I finally heard the dreaded words, "So Kristina, what are you going to do for yourself today?"...and I said the first thing that came to mind...
"I am going to sign up for Pole Dancing classes..."
*blank stares everywhere* Pole Dancing? Where did that come from? I guess I had to explain my answer since it was a little different than the other patients suggestions for things like "taking a walk on the beach" or "going to the nail salon"...
While I was a depressed couch dweller and browsing Instagram, I came across the pole fitness tag and became intrigued real quick. I was mesmerized by each video on the tag, the moves seemed so difficult, yet so easy at the same time. Everyone was so beautiful. I had looked at these videos for weeks but it never really occurred to me to actually try it, until I decided to turn my life around in that moment in therapy.
A quick google search had listed all the pole studios in the area. I am in Orange County, CA so, lucky for me, there wasn't a shortage of options. I instantly crossed off the "sexy kind" of studios.
I was formerly 330 pounds and I had lost 160 pounds over the years through traditional diet and exercise, but I still had not recovered from the social anxiety that comes from all of that. Even though I had lost all the weight, I am still a SUPER shy person and the thought of me "twerking" or "booty-popping" scared me to death (but more about that later). No sexy studios...
Yelp was my deciding factor and I picked this wonderful all-over-pink pole "fitness" studio called Rok Your Assetz over in Lake Forest. I walked in and was actually greeted by the owner. We had a conversation about my concerns on wearing "booty shorts" and if I can even do anything at my size, but she 100% reassured me that everything will be ok, sold me my first pair of booty shorts (they are rainbow zebra by the way), and signed me up for my first class. There was no pole that Monday night, but since she put me on the one week unlimited trial which included everything the studio had to offer, she signed me up for a silks class that night to build upper body strength for pole.
Silks? Shoot, I wasn't prepared for this...
I pop a Xanax and go in anyways. Right away I notice I have an extra 30 pounds on the rest of the girls and all my expectations of getting "up there" just flew out the window.
I couldn't do a damn thing...
BUT I knew with my hours and hours of browsing instagram pole fitness and aerial tags that as long as you keep working at it, it will come EVENTUALLY. I didn't get discouraged and when I walked out of there I asked her to sign me up for the next class... Thursday Night Intro to Pole.
I was nervous and excited. I had watched so much of it online, I was excited to see if I could finally do it. I was nervous because do I really have to wear these small shorts in front of other people? At least I was able to wear leggings in silks!
I get in there, grab a mat go in the very back corner and start following the warm up. The warm up was different than any other work out plan I had done before. It seemed more Yoga based and dare I say "relaxed"? (still not easy, but definitely more relaxed) The very best part about all of it is that...
...they turn the lights off and put on mood lighting!
PERFECT! I can be in the back corner, in the dark with my booty shorts and work out. (Or sometimes just lay there in the dark while everyone else is doing abs) 😉
When done with the warm up I take a quick look around the room and once again I am larger than the other girls. My happiness about the warm up in the dark starts to fade away as I think about not being able to do anything in this class either.
She starts off with teaching us how to sexy walk around the pole.
Ok, this isn't so bad.
Then an "Around the World".
Sweet! I was kinda able to do that too.
Then a Pirouette into finally a Fireman Spin...
Oh Lord, Jesus take the wheel.
I took the rest of the class to learn the "Pirouette to Fireman Spin" and towards the end of class, I was actually kinda getting it!
There was hope!
Despite all the bruises on my body, it felt good and I felt good...for the first time in what felt like forever.
I became addicted...
I ended up doing 18 Aerial, Pole and Contortion classes in August.
As I did more classes, my confidence rose and my booty shorts got smaller and now I can booty pop like it's nobody's business, with the lights on. :)
I am still a "baby poler" and I am about 3 months in now going 4-5 times a week. I was just able to recently do my first invert and now I can climb all the way up the pole!
Now this brings me to Polepunzel. I noticed that a lot of girls had their own pole Instagram accounts to keep pole things separate from their personal accounts. Since I work in a corporate environment, I wanted to keep the 2 separate as well. It was nice to have a place I can follow all my favorite polers and pole products without cluttering up my personal account. So I created Polepunzel as an Instagram first.
I recruited a co-worker to come to Pole Fitness classes with me in August and she became just as addicted as I am. One day she found an awesome Glow Pole Event in LA for that Friday and we had no UV pole related clothes. We franticly searched google to find a store that sold some kind of neon pole shorts we can get shipped quick to California and takes PayPal. We couldn't find anything...so I made my own.
I have had a couple of businesses in the past and was excited at the idea of being an entrepreneur again. It had been awhile since I opened my last ecommerce store so I did some research, filed and paid for the necessary paperwork and permits, and opened up Polepunzel.com!
Thanks for listening to my story. 💗