How long is your pole goal list? I would put money on it that it includes “flat splits” and “deadlifts”, but it’s important to set realistic goals as well. And create a plan to be able to work towards them.
A plan will keep you on track, and support your strength and flexibility training so when you do finally reach that goal, you’re less likely to injure yourself.
My pole goals include both strength, flex, technique, and performance goals. Things like straight leg inverts, something I find I get lazy about maintaining because I really just want to get up the pole and do that other amazing trick!
Another one this year was working out what to do with my hands! I have so many videos and photos of a great trick that is spoiled by sloppy lines caused by weird hand shapes.
Planning to work toward these things can be hard. To work on my lines and hand gestures, I’m trying to find a ballet class in the area, hoping it will help me learn how to use my arms more effectively when I’m dancing.
I also had a goal this year to work solidly on my bad side. This is a hard one to keep, but I made a commitment and spent an entire term in the studio focused on my bad side. I let my instructor know and she committed to the pain with me. It was hard work, but it has definitely paid off. I can now hold a comfortable inside and outside leg hang on both sides, as well as brass monkey with both sides. Now when I’m trying more advanced moves, I have a solid starting point and am working on balancing out my strong and weak sides.
As the end of the year approaches, have a think about the pole goals you started with and reflect on what you might need to change in your pole practice to make them happen. Like my extracurricular ballet classes, some might even involve cross training, or conditioning away from the pole.