“You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for.” – Audre Lorde
What are the stories we tell ourselves?
“I’m not athletic.”
Since elementary school – when I cheated on my Presidential Physical Fitness test (by skipping one of the laps I was supposed to do during the mile run) – I told myself (and others) that sports were not for me.
But it was okay, because I had music or theater or writing.
I didn’t realize my skills had inadvertently become limitations.
When my marriage fell apart, I told myself that it was my fault.
I was too old.
I had let myself go.
“I’m not enough.”
Divorce felt like the end.
The best days were behind me.
But the truth was, they hadn’t even started yet.
After enrolling in a pole dancing fitness program on a whim, I learned tricks, techniques, and – most importantly – how strong I am.
I realized that divorce and pole dancing are similar in many ways.
There is a stigma attached to them.
People judge you for it.
But it’s actually one of the hardest things a person can do.
It requires strength you don’t know you have until you have to use it.
You must overcome a fear of falling, the unknown.
With each spin, a piece of my heart healed.
Every climb was an apology to my body for years of blame.
After only a month of classes, I choreographed and performed a routine so I could graduate from novice to intermediate level.
Looking down at the certificate, I thought to myself, “I did that.”
What if the stories we told ourselves began with “I can” and “I am” instead of “I can’t” or “I’m not?”
You can. You are. YOU DESERVE.