Mom-of-two’s fitness secret: pole dancing
Marilyn Allers is a mother-of-two — and in the best shape of her life.
Her fitness secret? Pole dancing.
The 32-year-old caught onto the fun fitness trend a few years ago.
Hamilton lingerie store Secrets was then hosting a female-only event with an exotic dancer from overseas. It piqued Mrs Allers’ interest.
“The event seemed really sexy and cool and I’m all about that,” she said. “It was also all females there, no males, which made it feel really safe.
“After that I saw some ads in the paper for some pole dancing classes at Magnum and I was all for it.”
The classes were empowering and challenging — there was always a new strength or flexibility move to master. Mrs Allers loved it so much she trained to become an instructor with Fusion Fitness in 2012. She had her second child in September 2013, and was able to get back to the instructor gig four months later.
“I gave myself less time to get my strength and muscle memory back after having my daughter, but I was able to do it,” she explained.
“With the birth of my son I gained 40lbs, but was motivated to get back into shape for a bachelorette trip my friends were going on. But after having my second child my focus had shifted from simply wanting to look good to wanting to feel good. My appearance just naturally fell in line from there.”
The class has helped to tone and work muscles she didn’t know she had. The best part is she has lots of fun while doing it.
Mrs Allers always had a slim body frame and was teased when growing up for being “too skinny”. She resorted to wearing leggings under her jeans to make her legs look a little thicker. But these days she feels healthy and confident and isn’t concerned with the numbers on the scale.
“Now I would say I have more muscle than I have ever had,” she said. “I feel stronger and can definitely do the more physical things you do in pole as you have to lift a lot of your own body weight.
“I can hold an invert [hang upside down] a lot longer than I could. Moves like that are a lot more comfortable and effortless than they used to be.
“It’s also helped in my daily activities. Something as small as carting groceries from the car to the house, I used to have to take two or three trips. Now I can take them all at one time.”
The software engineer wants to break down some of the negative stereotypes about pole dancing.
Some people think fitness pole dancing is the same thing as being a stripper. Others believe you have to be of a certain age, strength, body type or level of coordination before trying it. She’s had 18-year-olds and 55-year-olds in her class — one of the world’s pole dancing champs, Greta Pontarelli, is 62. She’s even heard of a few straight men doing it.
“What we do at Fusion Fitness involves grace, athleticism, flexibility, sensuality and strength, but the beauty of it is you don’t have to possess any of these qualities to start,” Mrs Allers said. “We teach all of the aforementioned.”
One of the greatest changes she’s seen in the women is in their confidence levels.
“When I first came back after my daughter I was way more self-conscious,” she said. “It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable when I had to step down to my sports bra and short shorts in class. Now I don’t hesitate. A big part of it is confidence, not just for me but with my students.
“There are so many different women with different body types and from different socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic groups and seeing their growth and how their confidence has come out is really inspirational.”
She urges anyone interested to come and see what the fuss is about tonight at Fusion Fitness’ pole jam from 7-9pm. Classes are $10.
“You might end up falling in love like I did,” Mrs Allers said. “It will help you to look better by shedding weight, toning and tightening, but you’ll also feel better and have more confidence. For me I think that’s the best part.”
Mrs Allers also teaches private or small group classes.
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