Having Mari as a partner who runs Sugar Pole Fitness can be very interesting.. and exhausting.. as alongside her full time career as cabin crew organising her pole classes is a 24/7 job which has a knock on effect for me looking after the house and the family. I wanted to see exactly why Mari works so hard and yet enjoys every minute of it so I asked if I, and two of my best friends, could attend a beginners class.
We were nervous about the class as despite us all being very fitness driven men in our 30's regularly attending gym classes and playing sports this was a whole new territory with the potential for embarrassment being quite high.
Upon arriving at the studio Mari was 100% professional from the start yet very friendly which made us feel at ease. We began with a 10 minute warm up routine which for most men is unheard of as we think a few leg stretches here and there is ample and makes us invincible. Mari stressed the importance of this and post warm up we were already feeling "the burn".
It was then we began the first of 5 moves to ultimately end on a routine to an upbeat music track. This piece of music was a "sexy number" I think more for Mari's amusement than our own well being. Climbing the pole itself with our upper body strength was no problem, it was holding the pose in place and the movement required during each move which we did not anticipate.
Each of us proved stronger in different stages which was very interesting considering we have trained together for over 20 years and thought we knew others strengths and weaknesses inside out.
I cannot recall the names of each trick but they involved a double spin on the pole coming to an "elegant" landing on the floor and another starting in a crouch position flicking our legs over our heads and wrapping them around the pole - my particular favourite.
Throughout the whole routine we remained focussed yet also had some very funny moments often from Mari's comments to make us enjoy the experience and feel relaxed.
The evening ended with the 3 minute routine piecing all our tricks together which was recorded by one of our other friends (which later that evening was watched multiple times with hilarity). Despite the amusement we all felt very proud of ourselves and now have a deep respect for people in the pole industry making the most complex of moves look easy. We would 100% do this again if nothing else but to mainly improve our fitness levels yet have fun at the same time doing so.
A big thank you to Mari and the Sugar Pole Fitness Team for helping to organise this great event.
Tom Beach, Paul Campbell and Darren Nullatamby