Just a note: this entry is not for those who may have known me as, or still see me as, a sweet little girl. Just saying, you might want to slowly back away from the post now and come back another day.
Because last night I took a pole-dancing class. Yes, that's right. A pole. Like strippers use. For stripping.
Now, dad, if you're reading, don't get on the phone to your lawyer and write me out of the will or anything (besides, I totally warned you not to read, so it's your own fault). I'm not rethinking career options. I'm exercising.
Turns out, those girls get quite a work out. And here in the land of beautiful bodies and healthy living, they've figured out a way to take that work out and teach it to girls who have no intention of letting drunken bachelor party attendees or lascivious, dirty old men stick dollar bills into their panties.
A girlfriend of mine who's been taking the class for a long time invited me along to an open house/introduction class. I wish I could say I hesitated (because, you know, it's less shocking then, right?) But I really think (and maybe I'm wrong) that there's a tiny little piece of every woman who wonders what it might be like to take a swing around that pole. Not in front of people and not wearing tassled pasties and a g-string or anything, but just to see.
I'm not going to give tons of details about what all is entailed in one of these classes because my blog's not meant to be a peep-show (and yes, this is one entry I'll most likely NOT include should I one day print out the blog and present it to my child(ren) as a chronicle of their early years), and while I'm not at ALL uncomfortable with having participated in the class, I imagine some people who read my blog and know me probably don't need the visual. The majority of the class was basically what I'd call sexy yoga, followed by a few exhilarating minutes flying around a shiny silver pole to a room full of applause (by my fellow class mates, not skeevy men).
But I have to say, it was kind of like jumping out of an airplane. Only on a yoga mat, and by candle light. And with a bunch of women I don't know (and one or two that I do). I've not had the greatest relationship with my body, well, ever. But especially not in the past couple of years. Pregnancy was not kind to my body (is it to anyone's?), and I have not been kind to it since, either.
But I felt that changing last night. Not that I'm thrilled with the extra roll of flab around my belly, or ecstatic about that fabulous back-fat I'm rocking under the bra strap. But I found a strength in myself last night I forgot I had, and I remembered what I'm capable of, outside of getting the laundry done and chasing my child around the park. Not that I don't love those things (well, who am I kidding? Laundry? Hate it), but it's nice to dig deep and find other pieces of myself.
Sure, I could have gone for a run, or something else more conventionally exercise-y; but I never do go running and I rarely do things that are conventionally exercise-y. And when I do, they don't make me feel like I did last night. Today, my muscles are killing me--it's an insane workout, no doubt.
But I also feel a sense of myself and my strength that I haven't felt since I took my first yoga class more than a decade ago. Those yoga classes in a gym aeorbics room next to a noisy raquet ball court changed my life way back then, bringing me out of a depression that was the darkest place in my life. It was new, it introduced me to muscles I didn't know I had and pieces of my psyche I'd ignored all my life. I felt that last night, too. Who knew an almost 37 year old mom in a velour track suit could get her groove on stripper-style?! Only in LA, my friends. Only in LA. And that alone, makes it just a little bit more worth it.