My Pole Journey: Tucson, Arizona

I first took a few pole classes in Tokyo back in 2018. Before I started climbing pole, I started my graduate school, and I couldn’t go back to pole until January 2021 in Tucson Arizona (Read more: My Pole Journey: Tokyo).
In this entry, I would like to look back on the beginning of my pole journey.

Tokyo to Tucson: My pole journey restarts!

Since I found out our relocation would be from Tokyo to Tucson, I started looking up my new city.
I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, and I’ve always wanted to visit Sedona (both are popular Japanese tourist destinations), so my only knowledge about Arizona was nothing but red rocks. I was very excited to find a pole studio in my new city, but I started having anxiety about moving to a new place where everything from language to customs differ from my home country.

I instantly fell in love with Southern Arizona once we arrived in Tucson. I was shocked how dry it was when I got off the plane. It took several months for my skin to get used to the dry climate, but the view of cacti and sunset were breathtaking, and it was so lovely to see rainbows after the monsoons. I feel so lucky that I got to live in Tucson. I love my pole studio. Everyone is kind and supportive of each other. 

New Pole studio: Vertica Fitness Tucson

Going to a new place is always nerve-racking. There are always “what ifs” like what if I won’t fit in, or what if pole dancing is too hard for me etc… I’ve always appreciated those free trial classes to check the vibe and my new pole studio also offered one.
I realized my worry was found false because my instructor Marta (after she became my competition coach) was so welcoming.
During the free 101 class, she taught me some basic spins. It has been over two years since I touched a pole, but luckily, and weirdly, my body remembered some of the spins. The sensation of learning new moves came back to me, and I instantly wanted to practice more.

First goal: Touch the top of a pole

After I signed up for a membership at my new pole studio, I went to classes as much as possible which turned out to be about three to four classes a week. Working from home being a freelancer is a blessing and a curse. I’m grateful for the flexibility to work wherever whenever, but one of the struggles is I never leave home. There are times that I barely leave home for a week or more when I have multiple projects or urgent assignments. I think it is common for translators not to interact with people for some periods. If it keeps up, I start feeling reluctant to interact with people. It sounds weird and funny, but I’m sure some of you who work from home can relate! Getting a membership at the pole studio was one of the best purchases I had made. I get to leave home and exercise with amazing people.

My first goal was to climb the pole all the way to the top. I was so happy when I could finally touch the top of a pole. I dreamed about that moment over two years ago in Tokyo. I remember that I struggled to master a move called “Single Squat Climb”. I could not hold my body on a pole with a squat position. I remember I practiced squeezing my legs as much as possible, embracing pain.

It took me about three months to move on to the next level. I felt accomplished and excited to move on…however, little I knew that level 2 was literally a next level. I felt out of place again and everything was impossible when I first started in level 2 classes. The confidence I gained in level 1 classes vanished! Tricks and movements were almost overwhelmingly hard, and I was convinced that I would stay in level 2 class forever.

I will continue to write about my pole journey in the next entry. Thank you for reading!

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