So at the beginning of the summer, I made a promise to myself that I would focus more on my fitness. I joined the gym, started running, and decided to try out pole fitness, which I’d always wanted to do. I knew that I’d manage to stick to my fitness plan as I’m pretty determined when I want to be, but what I didn’t know was how much fun I’d end up having at Elements Studio in Ashford.
I never would have thought that, at the beginning of July when I sent a message to the instructor at the studio, Lisa, that spending time at Elements would quickly become the highlight of my summer. As I was a little nervous about plunging straight into a group pole lesson, I booked a private lesson so I could learn some of the basics first – and that’s where my love story with pole began. Lisa is absolutely excellent at making you feel totally at ease and introducing you to pole fitness without chucking you straight in at the deep end. Although I was hurting everywhere after my first lesson, it had made me so excited to join group classes.
The group classes at Elements make the studio into a little community all of its own and everyone there was so warm and welcoming from the outset; I can’t believe how many friends I’ve made over the summer. The atmosphere is very relaxed with absolutely no pressure (and no, we don’t wear heels or take our clothes off…). I looked forward to going to classes every single week, and although the classes are roughly split into beginner, intermediate and advanced, anyone of any level can attend. The mixture of people there is great too – people of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and yes, we’ve even got some guys involved now too… It’s awesome.
I’m actually so surprised at how much progress I’ve made over the summer – it shows you can definitely do it if you put your mind to it! I’m learning new spins all the time and getting better at the basic ones (after my last lesson I know I definitely need to work on my cradle more!). I’ve nailed the basic invert and am constantly improving on my Gemini and crucifix – and am so pleased I can now manage my hang back fairly easily. I really want to work on my kiss hold (right) more next so it doesn’t hurt as much!
As well as going to pole fitness classes, I’ve been dragged (willingly!) into the other classes at the studio too, and have tried out a couple of new things which I really enjoyed. I went to a kickboxing class, which was a lot of fun and definitely helped combat a lot of stress while I was working over the summer… Lisa’s stretch and flex class afterwards too went down a treat, and taught me a few stretches to help me improve my flexibility in the future, which is always helpful for pole. On the day of my final lesson I tried out aerial body conditioning (featured photo) too, which was an absolutely insane workout and incredibly tough, but we all felt incredible afterwards. It’s been great experimenting with different workouts and classes – you never realise what your body is capable of until you try.
So, rather cheesily, I wanted to finish this post to thank Elements Studio, and particularly Lisa, for making exercise the highlight of my summer (can’t believe I just said that!). I’m going back to university feeling amazing and I’ve never been more body confident, and I know that I’m going to continue pole fitness because it’s something I really enjoy. So seriously, get down there now and try it out, the girls really are amazing (check out our cool goodbye photo below). I miss you all already and I can’t wait to get back to the studio in December – let’s hope the months fly by!
Photos: Lisa White / Elements Studio Ashford