November 22, 2010

paintings of the pole: volume 5

it's been a while since my last pole drawing! those of you who have seen these before may remember this picture from my post about doing a handstand to the pole, when i then tried to sit up and grab the pole from there: (this picture is actually titled "HUNNNNHH.jpg" on my desktop.)

the problem i had with that move wasn't the ab muscles it took to do a sit up from an upside down hang, nor was it even holding onto the pole with just my legs while i attempted said sit up; it was the fact that i have the tightest hamstrings known to man and cannot touch my own toes. which makes grabbing the pole up by my ankles incredibly difficult. i eventually got around this, when pulling up from the handstand, by essentially "walking up" my legs: i'd sit up as far as i could, then kind of grab my thighs and pull on them for the extra leverage it took to wrench my upper body within grabbing distance of the pole, and then the second my fingertips made contact i'd be able to release my legs and not rip my hamstrings out the back of my legs.

so, not exactly the most graceful / effortless look, but i made it work. what was driving me CRAZY, though, was the reverse of this move, which i just could. not. do. for the past year. this one starts with a pole climb, then when sitting up high on the pole, leaning back and bringing your legs up until your ankles catch behind the pole, and then releasing with your hands and leaning all the way back until you're in an upside down hang facing away from the pole. except: when you can't get your ankles up to the pole, you're pretty much shit out of luck. so this is mainly what would happen:

in other words, i'd climb up the pole, then leeeeeean back, and then grunt and struggle a lot while trying to make my feet reach the pole. which they do not. (i'd also apparently change colors. this is what happens when i have to make a custom "alice-flesh" color each time i re-open ms paint.)

so! in Extremely! Exciting! News! after a YEAR of struggling to do this, my hammies have loosened up the extra 2 inches required to allow me to reach. yay!

...which quickly turned into: OH GOD. because now i can hook my ankles, sure... but now you want me to LET GO? while i then slowly invert AWAY from the pole??

see, all these tricks are not really that dangerous, all things considered, because if something starts to slip it's always easy to catch yourself. like in this one, for example:

if your grip starts going? you can put your hands RIGHT BACK on the pole. or reach up over your head and slide into a supported handstand. or do any manner of things to mitigate the situation, basically.

whereas this? the next move from here is to lean back until you're vertical, which give you nearly 180 degrees of places you could fall with virtually no way to catch yourself.

HOWEVER. i am pleased to report i finally am doing this regularly. backdropping! it's not a very advanced skill - i mean, i was supposed to be able to do this A YEAR ago - but it's very exciting for ME. although you can definitely tell i'm still nervous to let go based on the bruise level of my legs. you have to be gripping REALLY GOOD-LIKE to bruise this attractively.


  1. My hamstrings are close cousins to yours, and they are jealous of your progress. Even with a year's worth of stretching, I only made it so far as to touch my ankles.

    Also? Your bruises and MS-Paint skillz rock.

  2. OMG I am seriously so impressed

  3. I love my "action" bruises, they make me feel tough. And, HOLY COW!! I don't think I could do that with 10 years of practice, I hurt just to hear the description... I am impressed. Love the drawings too.

  4. These posts always make my day. Love the custom "Alice flesh" color. :)

  5. Um... ouch! Those bruises are no joke!

  6. Wow. My level of admiration for these drawings is only eclipsed by my level of admiration for an actual real live person attempting to do these moves. That is amazing, yo.

  7. This is awesome. Your legs must be SO STRONG by now. And flexible, apparently!

  8. Go Alice! I am so excited you are progressing!

    I can totally understand the hamstring thing... I have noticed how tight mine are in yoga moves... it takes a long time to loosen them up, doesn't it?!

  9. Wow. Go you! I couldn't do any of those moves, not in the slightest. My weak jiggly arms couldn't hoist my body weight up like two inches off the ground. I'd just pathetically slide down the pole and flop at the bottom like dead Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's.

  10. Pole pictures are my favorite. Seriously.

    Also, way to go! I'm very impressed. Wear those bruises proudly!

  11. Alice my pole dancing, MS Paint using friend. I love your dedication to the art of the pole and it makes me wonder how to some dancers pull it off without bruising.

    I'm looking at you dancers of Good Guys.

  12. This is pretty much one of the BEST blog posts ever. I mean, the drawings really make it blogging gold. LOVE. IT.

  13. Oh my gosh, I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to try pole-dancing!

  14. Hmm, Alice with bruises, kinda like when I met you. There are so, so, so many TWSS pole jokes here I just don't know where to start. So we'll just go for one courtesy of Liebchen: "Pole pictures are my favorite. Seriously."

    Or, "...when sitting up high on the pole, leaning back and bringing your legs up until your ankles catch behind the pole, and then releasing with your hands and leaning all the way back until you're in an upside down hang facing away from the pole." Whew! I think I read about this in a book somewhere.

    Sorry, can't help it. I'm, like, 12 today.