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  • Death By Fitness Pole

    A friend sent me an e-mail link to the 2009 USPDF Miss Pole Dance Competition

    Highlights I was inspired by what these women could do,

    plus it looked like a fun way to exercise. I researched, measured and purchased a

    workout pole with my husband’s blessing. It was custom made to fit in my small living

    room right in front of the television. All I needed to do to make room was move the

    coffee table off to the side. Then I could watch an instructional DVD while learning.

    According to the assembly instructions, no bolts were needed and it was easy to take

    down before company arrived.

    Mind you, I am in my 50s and had some strengthening to do. The pole arrived in the

    longest of boxes and my husband dutifully assembled the pole for me. For several

    months I fought to just stay on this pole and do a simple move called “the fireman”

    without flying off the pole. Holding your own weight is hard! I wore many a bruise and

    strained many a limb during the first few months. I found out why pole dancers wear

    shoes too. I injured my ankle not wearing them. I never graduated to high heels but I

    do wear tennis shoes for protection. My husband would laugh at me as I attempted

    every move with an: “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” (Which is really great for my fragile ego).

    He very quickly quit standing and lurking around waiting for me to look sexy.

    Day one, we found out that this pole was not easy to put up, let alone take down.

    Leaving us no choice but to share meals with friends laughing at our décor. It became

    impossible to keep a secret on the small island that I live on. Sometimes friends (men

    included) would jump on and attempt a swing and tell me they were sore for days. Why

    don’t I just do yoga? Also, no wonder you always have bruises. For me, it’s the

    challenge and it’s fun!

    I advanced to a move called “sitting around the pole”. Then to an intermediate

    move called “the pinwheel” which requires using one hand high and one hand low,

    bending at the waist while whipping your outside leg to begin spinning with toes

    pointed. So, on Tuesday, November 10, 2009: While working on the pinwheel move; in

    a fast mid swing, the pole detached from the ceiling throwing me towards the television

    between a bookshelf and a speaker box. I barely missed crushing my guitar. I hit

    something bottom first and then I was slammed forward onto the bookshelf, crashing

    through three shelves. I landed on my side pinned in the corner, between the TV and the

    speaker box. It happened so fast; I never let go of the pole. I could hear glass breaking,

    the TV swinging back and forth ready to fall and heard the items on the shelf sliding

    forward. I quickly protected my head with my arms crossed, bracing for the next blow.

    However, everything just stopped moving. When all was quiet, my dog came running

    nervously to investigate the noise. She was sniffing and licking me and only making it

    harder to get up. I managed to shimmy out of the corner and out from under the dog,

    leaving the pole behind. I was hurting pretty badly; my husband was in his office in our

    cabin next door and I needed help. I called him on the intercom and in a whimpery

    voice, “I asked him to please come over”. Giving no explanation. The minute he walked

    into the living room he saw the disaster area. I’m sure that I looked pathetic. I was

    shook up and matted. He found me sitting sideways on a chair next to the scene of the

    accident with ice under one butt cheek and holding my arm. He just started laughing. I

    laughed at myself too and all I could say was “does this mean I don’t get to keep the

    pole?” Believe it or not he said no, but we are going to have bolt it to the ceiling


    It took me months to be able to sit normal. The horrible bruises on my left seat bone

    and right arm eventually disappeared. I’m sure that you can understand that I never

    went to the doctors because I was too embarrassed to have my hinny x-rayed. Anyway,

    what can they do for a broken seat bone?

    I attached a photo of the pole and it gives you a good idea of how lucky I was not to

    have made the news with “DEATH BY FITNESS POLE” in the local headlines. I could

    have gone through the window.

    I learned something from this experience that I’d like to share with you; “Stationary

    poles are not necessarily stationary”! Also, pole dancing is a dangerous sport and I

    respect anyone who can do it.

    Photo by Audrey B
    Taken on an island in Washington State
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