For the last few weeks I thought I might be dying, I was getting increasingly frequent headaches as well as pins and needles in my right hand, I knew I had been training a lot but didn't realise quite how much damage I had done.
You see the problem is that teaching is not the same as doing your own personal practice and quite often I find myself showing students how not do things to prevent injury and then sustaining those injuries myself. For example, one of my recent session plans, which was laid out over 3 consecutive hours of teaching, involved headstand grips and the potential for pressure to the neck, I showed students the correct technique and then showed them a more advanced technique that could result in neck damage. By the time I got home my neck was really aching but at least my students necks were left protected!
Another problem with teaching is that quite often you are not working to your maximum ability especially when you are teaching less advanced groups. It is difficult to stay warm in some classes and that makes the muscles more prone to injury. The 20+ pole dancing inductions last month certainly had a part to play in my knotted muscles.
Teaching a lot also means I tend to neglect my personal pole dance training and this was reflected in my recent performance at the University of Plymouth Pole Dancing Club showcase at Plymouth University. I had lost some of my usual fluidity and grace and will definitely no perform again without more rehearsal time. Videos of mine and Tamar's performance to follow very, very soon!
So due to the high number of hours teaching and the lack of time to keep up my own personal yoga practice or regular sports massage I have been building up a series of niggling injuries. There was I thinking that I was dying when all I needed was a good massage and some nice stretches. Help came in the form of Glen, a local sports masseuse with years of experience and a price tag of just £15 for a whole hour :). I should at this point apologise to my usual masseuse for not getting in contact but I know our hectic diaries sometimes make it difficult for me to get an appointment especially at short notice.
My hour long massage and consultation was exactly the cure I needed and the hour of pummeling meant I could walk out of the treatment room feeling 10 years younger. Since Monday's appointment I have had no more headaches, no more pins and needles and have suddenly regained movement in my back and shoulders that I haven't had for months. I will not be leaving it so long before my next massage.
So my students should be warned that once I return from judging at the finals of PoleDivas this weekend in Manchester I will be bursting full of energy with some very special extra evil session plans. You have been warned.
N.B. Image at top of blog is the fabulous novelty toothpick holder from Worldwide Fred. Click here to view or buy.