I hit the snooze bar on my alarm clock a record eleven times this morning. I was exhausted! I had tossed and turned most of the night due to a lethal combination of caffeine and nerves. I stared at the time on my Blackberry before pulling the blankets back over my head for just a few more minutes. I wasn’t looking forward to getting out of bed this morning, and not just because I had to go to work. Today was the day that I had agreed—against my better judgment—to go to a stripper pole aerobics class with two of my best girl friends. I had tried to put it off twice already without much success, and after all…a promise is a promise, no matter how dangerous it might be to one’s health!
It was all my fault, really. I was the one going on and on about getting on a diet and exercise regimen to get a jump start on spring. I was the one complaining about my pants being too tight. I should have taken the initiative to plan something else. Instead, I left it all up to Vivian. And she’s such a good planner too.
Since we were going to be exercising the evening away, we decided we had better get dinner together first.
Two bowls of cheese dip, three baskets of chips, and one round of margaritas later, my fears were somewhat allayed. And the tip of my nose was somewhat numb. So we piled into Melissa’s SUV and set out on our little adventure.
The Pole Waxer’s University was located in one of the less than savory sections of town, and I don’t know why I found that surprising. It was sandwiched between a vacant lot and an auto body shop on a narrow alleyway near the highway. The ideal place for a small group of unarmed women to find themselves after dark!
We walked in and were immediately greeted by an older woman at the desk who took our money, and directed us to a room in the back to change. We stole looks at each other without saying a word. We were already dressed in what we were planning on wearing. Like the others in my group, I was wearing loose fitting yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a sneakers—typically gym wear. No one told me that everyone else would be wearing their underwear and five inch platform heels. Oh, and one girl in underwear and thigh high shiny black spiked heel boots.
Right off the bat, the woman from the desk instructed us to grab a rag from the rack and wipe our poles down. That should have tipped me off right away that there may be some sort of residue on the pole that I might not want my body to come in contact with, and that little rag (lacking of any sort of disinfectant) was going to do very little to remedy the situation. But, no sooner had I polished the length of my neon pink fireman’s pole when the older woman flicked a switch and the room was bathed in nothing but the glow from several black lights, and hip hop blasted from the giant speakers in every corner. It was dark, and loud, and I was surrounded by strangers in their underwear, and now the music was shouting at me to pop my…what???
I gripped the pole with both hands and waited for further instructions.
It is absolutely no secret that I have a catastrophic lack of coordination, so it should have been no secret that I could not under any circumstances wrap my leg around a pole and use it to pull myself up and off the ground, let alone do it in rapid succession. The names of the moves were suspiciously similar to the names of the sushi I had eaten only days earlier. I was able to keep up with the body rolls—they didn’t require my feet to come off the floor—but the sun wheel, the bam, and the fireman fly were another story. The instructor—a woman who had obviously seen her share of stripper poles over the years—tried showing me how I was supposed to wrap my ankle here, and tuck my knee against there, and then using my arms on the pole above my head, I should be able to hoist myself up and spin around the pole using my crotch as the axis. I wanted to laugh out loud, but instead, I nodded politely until she turned away and proceeded to jump up and down in front of the pole as if I was actually attempting the move. I gripped it tightly with both hands and let my body spin around it like a maypole for the next exercise. I jumped and spun and leaned and rested and basically pretended to be an uncoordinated stripper for the better part of an hour until the class was finally over! Oh she tossed a few sit ups and push ups into the mix so that I will likely be a little sore in the morning, and she promised us that we would have the symptoms of whiplash after spinning around the pole for an hour. And my arms just might hurt from my failed attempts to pull myself even slightly off the ground to wrap my legs around the pole—a feat I did not even come close to mastering. The girls in their underwear with the five inch heels continued to climb and spin on the poles long after the rest of us had stopped to marvel at the sheer absurdity of the situation. Who did we think we were attempting to become junior strippers for an evening?
We had a nice ride back to our cars where were all promised to plan another outing in the very near future. One of our group even toyed with the idea of going back to the stripper academy. I was just in a hurry to get home so I could wash my hands in really hot water with lots and lots of antibacterial soap. Someone suggested perhaps next time we could go bungee jumping after a few margaritas. I think it would take a whole lot more than a few margaritas to get me on the edge of a bridge with a giant rubberband strapped to my ass. Maybe we could go rock climbing, or organize a dodgeball tournament. Something a little less life threatening. After all, suffering for one’s art is just an expression …not a challenge.
Until the next time…I’ll be giving up aerobics for Lent!