Posts Tagged ‘ lifestyle ’

Pole Dancing Update

It has only been about four days (give or take a few hours) since I took part in my first ever pole dancing experience.  I must reiterate this statement:  ouch, ouch, friggin’ ouch!!  I’m not hurting any longer, but the entire weekend following my class (I took part in a Friday night “teaser” class) I was sore!  Both on Saturday and Sunday, when I did my normal exercise, I felt that class in my abs, my legs (mostly my knees and inner thighs from the bruises…told ya I’d have bruises), my tush, and my triceps–ESPECIALLY in my triceps!  Although those aches and pains have gone away, I’m now concerned about the additional classes I’ve signed up for.  I will be out of town for a week and won’t get to another class for about a week and a half.  I’m concerned that my body’s going to be like, “Forget you,” and refuse to cooperate with another dose of pain.

We shall see.



Training for a Marathon

Alright, so I don’t pretend to be the most active person on the face of the planet nor am I in the best of shape.  That being said, I’m spending the next year preparing for a full marathon.  Not a half marathon.  A full marathon…a full 26.2 miles of running…and running…and running.  I have signed up myself and my husband for the ING Miami Marathon to take place on January 30th, 2011.  Registration costs $85/ runner for the full marathon and $60/ runner for the half marathon.  If it’s something you’re interested in, head on over to ING Miami Marathon and Register for 2011.

I’m going to be as diligent as I can in keeping up with my training adventures through this blog (hopefully more diligent than I am say with reporting on Sophie or Addison and my guitar lessons) because I want something besides my ambition and my drive to successfully complete the full marathon in six hours to hold me accountable.  I’m a pretty dedicated person when I set my mind to something and I know I can do this and I’m gonna bust my ASS to succeed!!  I want that medal 🙂  Obviously, that’s not my primary purpose for choosing to run this marathon.  I dug deep…waaaaaay deep down to find out what was truly motivating me to do this and here it is:  I want to successfully complete the ING Miami Marathon because I have put my children, motherhood, a career, and my husband before myself for quite some time now, so this is where I begin to focus on me again and work towards goals I have in mind for my life.  I have accomplished motherhood.  I love my two daughters more than anything and nothing will ever come before them…ever.  I have a career…a great career in fact.  At 28 years old, I finally feel like I am in a field where I just seem to “fit.”  I enjoy going to work every day (yeah, it’s still hard to get out of bed sometimes, but that’s cuz I love to sleep, who doesn’t?) and putting my best foot forward.  I enjoy the people I work with.  We’re a tightly knit group of individuals, each with our own strengths and weaknesses.  We work together to compliment one another and we genuinely enjoy being around each other and seeing everyone succeed.  Then there’s my husband.  What can I say about my husband?  He’s great.  He annoys me at times, yes, but he’s dedicated to me and very supportive.  We work well together.  We have to, because we work at the same place.  Even though we’re around each other day and night, we are still able to get along and work as a team to accomplish our goals for ourselves individually and as a couple, as well as for our family.  We’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time and we’re committed to one another until the end.  He’s my partner in every aspect of the word.

But now is the time to come back to me.  To become healthy, to get back to my roots of who I am as a woman & a member of society.  Somewhere along the road of motherhood, marriage, and work I lost who I was.  I became someone unrecognizable to even myself and I couldn’t live that way anymore.  I grew weary of feeling depressed and like the world and all its inhabitants were out to get me.  I was done with that.  Who wants to live the rest of their lives with such paranoia and anger?  Not me.  So I took control.  I prayed.  I told God I didn’t know who I was anymore and I didn’t want to be unrecognizable to myself.  When I stepped out and put forth effort into regaining that sense of happiness, God met me and snapped me out of my slump.  Suddenly, I wasn’t angry anymore.  I felt more relaxed and not so stressed out.   One of the best pieces of advice I could have received during that slump came from, who other than, my mother.  She said to me, “Shannon, you have to realize that you will not be able to change your husband [or others around you], but you can change your attitude towards him [them].”  Hard lesson to learn, but one that I think changed my life and, quite possibly, saved my life.  I changed my attitude in the way I viewed my relationship with my husband (God bless him for sticking by me throughout those months I was a train wreck).  That was a huge step for me!  Are we perfect?  Far from it!  Do we get along every day?  Even further from that!  But we love each other and we are committed to our love and to one another.

The bottom line is that I’m ready to move forward in my journey to taking back control of my life.  I’m ready to start living again!  I have been faithfully working out for a little over three weeks and it has brought me to new levels in my life!  I feel better!  I look better (heck yes!)!  I eat better!  I live better!  Life is just….better.  Not perfect…better.  And it’s only going to keep getting better.  I know it in my heart.  I know what God has brought me through and I know what His promises to me are.  I know that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.  I know He’s at the core of who I am and I trust Him.  I thoroughly and completely trust Him.  He does what He says He’s gonna do.  He carries me when I’m weak, but I know when to move with Him to get things done.

So, I’m running this marathon.  Nothing’s going to stop me.  Like I said, I have accomplished many things in my life; however, when I cross that finish line it’ll be a whole new level of accomplishment. I know that my life is not measured by what I accomplish, but I know that accomplishing things in life brings feelings of excitement and energy; therefore, it increases the desire to do more, accomplish (there’s that word again) more, and live more!  And I want to live…live for God, live for my husband & my children, and live for myself.

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”


“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”

-Thomas Carlyle (Scottish Historian and Essayist)

Until next time…


Pole Dancing-101

Tonight marked my first step into the world of pole dancing and I have one thing to say, ouch ouch friggin’ ouch!!  It hurts…and not because I feel like I worked my muscles to the core, but because you’re gripping a pole and spinning around on it and it beats you up!  Tomorrow, I’m going to have bruises in places I don’t think one should have bruises in (inner thighs…hello…damn!). 

We learned three different spins and a few dance moves to go in between those spins to put together a sultry sequence of sorts.  The first step we learned was the basic way to hold the pole, walk around it, and “lose your balance” so you effortlessly spin around the pole.  Once we mastered that, we moved on to a spin.  The first spin we learned was the fireman’s spin.  For this spin, you are gripping the pole with your right hand as you step one foot at a time around the pole (as seductively as you can muster under the pressure of doing your first spin), opposite hand on your hip.  On the fourth step you lift your left leg into the air and fall into the spin while you bring that leg to the pole and raise the right leg to join it as you spin around and down.  The momentum you build up from letting go of your balance and falling into the spin enables you to go around the pole several times with both knees up with minimal effort (poles do spin, but ours were stationary).  I say minimal cuz it is still hard, but in no where NEAR as difficult as some of the stuff I’ve seen these girls do.  She made us do each spin on each side (it is a fitness class as well, so the importance of incorporating both sides of the body is stressed), so after the right side we always switched to the left. 

The next spin we learned was a switch kick spin.  Same concept as the fireman spin.  You walk around the pole, one hand on at first and then you grab the pole with the other hand on the fourth step while you lift and spin your leg around and fall into the spin.  This spin is a little difficult to explain, so just imagine standing still and kicking your legs straight out in front of you, one at a time.  It’s kind of like that, only you’re holding onto and spinning around a pole 🙂 

At this point, our instructor has given myself and the other girl (yeah, there were only two of us daring souls in this teaser class) how great we’re doing and how “excited” she is that we’re doing so well, so she gets all excited to get to teach us a third spin, “You guys are doing so great!  You’re naturals,” she says!  Not sure how I feel about being called a natural on the pole.  So, the last spin she decides to teach us is a wrap around spin.  Again, you walk around the pole with your right hand on it, on your tip toes, other hand on your hip.  On the fourth step, you wrap your right leg around the pole and grab on with your other hand.  You then “lose your balance” into the spin and you position your other leg just below the leg wrapped around the pole.  You spin a couple of times and plant your feet on the floor and raise your booty in the air to stand up. 

That’s it!  Then we did a little cool down and we were done.    At this point, I’m noticing that I’m actually sweating, which makes me think I did get something of a workout.  It is difficult, I will say that.  I have a newfound…ummm, respect…for pole professionals.  Oh, I forgot to mention how dizzy you get!!  We even took “dizzy” breaks.  I remember when I used to dance in high school, you learned how to spot when you did turns…guess I’ve forgotten all those techniques.  I did end up signing up for additional classes…six weeks to be exact.  So we’ll see how it goes!  I wondered on my way home how I was supposed to get any better or practice with no pole at home…but I guess you can buy poles that don’t have to be mounted into your ceiling…portable poles.  Take ’em to the beach!  Maybe some day…