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And that recording now one must not get one's knickers in a twist. I'm trying. These are the stories your granny never told people loved by everybody. I was raising a and 56 until I slipped up on some stoop on the road and pushed my like. Hey, everybody, it's Nikki, I'm your host for stories your granny never told, it's a monthly podcast where I talk to people from the wiser generation about the unexpected stories from their youth in this July episode.
I have once again a remote episode, by the way, happy Bastille Day to the French listeners. Hey, July 14th, right. This month, again, I had to postpone the Black Lives Matter episode because surprisingly, interviewing old people and getting them to use the Internet comes with technical difficulties. Who would have thought? But it's OK because I have a very, very cool guest on this month.
Her name is Gretta ponderously. She is nine times world champion of pole sports. Yes, that is basically pole dancing as an athletic sport.
She's riped, she is incredibly positive and she gives lots of tips and tricks about pole that I never knew about. And she's incredibly inspiring because she's still competing at seven years old, so.
So we can start by you introducing yourself and your name and your age, if that's OK.
My name is Credit Pastorelli and I will be 70 in November. Congratulations.
Thank you. Are you looking forward to it?
I really I am because yes, I believe that if I can keep going, hopefully I can in some way inspire people to go after their dreams. That's a really positive statement to start out with already. So if you want to, like, talk about a little bit where you grew up and how you got to where you are now, because you are the nine times world champion in sport in the world. Yes, pretty impressive.
Well, I started out in gymnastics when I was young and when I was 21 years old, I wanted to go back in the gym and train and they said, you're too old. I thought, twenty one and two. Oh, yeah. So I couldn't train. So I did a dance for a number of years and martial arts and then about oh I would say twenty five years ago I got involved with an online business creating my own online business.
And so I spent way too much time sitting at a computer and both of my sisters who were younger were tested for osteopenia and both came out positive because it runs in my family. My mother had so, so osteoporosis. Well, osteopenia is the beginning of osteoporosis. OK, so they said to me, you better be tested. I said, there's no reason to be tested. I'm sure that I have it. All I can do is try to medicate.
I'm not taking drugs. And I looked up on the Internet, you know how to offset osteoporosis. And it's what's the most important things you can do is to have weight bearing exercises to load the bones. And it was either lift weights or lift your body. And so I said, well, let's see what my options are. And I went to YouTube and I saw these artists doing what to me look like gymnastics on the pole. And they were so eloquent, beautiful.
I thought, this is what I want to do. Yeah. So cool.
So how did you start out?
Well, I got a coupon in the mail. One of those groups was but the free class. And I thought, OK, this will be fun. And so it was kind of a joke between us. I told my husband I was a tennis winner because he was always running out to play tennis. And it turns out where he plays the club is right across from where the posterior was. So I thought, oh, this is great. I'm going to be heading in the same direction and waving at it was like, I am over here.
Yeah, perfect. The first time that I was in the class, I think she thought that I would never be back. It wasn't easy for me. I could not get up the pole. It's really hard.
I mean, I've never tried it, but I can just imagine lifting your own body weight. It's not easy.
It's like anything is hard personally. Yeah, riding a bicycle is hard at first. Absolutely. I would say a lot of it's technique to like a lot of reasons I couldn't climb as I did. I didn't use grip. I didn't know where to go to, you know, to put my you have to get a certain amount of skin on the pole. Yeah.
Because I assume if not, you just slide down. Right, like a fireman you go.
It's really hard to close with hats on. I think I had to freeze on that. I roll it up. And so a lot of the fabric was touching the pole. So I've made it very difficult. So I started going back. I thought all this will be a sideliners will be fine. I'll do it once in a while. And it went back a few times and then all of a sudden I had these little victories and all I can do this as it kind of motivated me to keep going.
So like you could achieve better positions or better grip and things like that.
Now, yes, I started learning actually running gloves. I learned to invert going upside down, which none of that was easy for me. I really had to work. I got a lot of bruises. And there's no reason to get a bruise doing that. No, because when you inferred if you use leverage the body weight, you just kind of fall back and your legs go up. It's really very basic. It's just all technique gymnastics and with myself around it.
So, yes, it just kept going. I started really getting serious about it and training five days a week. Wow. And a really good teacher, I guess they started putting out some videos on me. I did a couple little performances in the videos got out and the next thing I get a call from America Deployers and said, Would you like to be on the ride? And I said, I never saw the show. It is this.
So anyhow, I didn't even look it up a way. It's good. I probably didn't because it would have really intimidated me. But I see I said send us a video. I said about video and they call me out and said, Can you be at Venice Beach this Saturday? And I was on my computer was actually twice that first time when it aired on television. They said oldest person to ever attempt the course and it was me. How old were you at the time?
I was sixty sixty two maybe. And I thought when. Everybody else, and then I knew that I had to compete to give visibility to my message because I can always have fun in the studio and do my own performances. But until you get into this to the world stage, it doesn't start blowing up. So I thought, OK, I have to do this.
And I was that race, was it did you like was it really hard or talk about the show? But I haven't watched your specific episode.
I got I got by partway through the first time. But I have to say I see a lot of it is technique and a lot and a lot of a skill for somebody my age to make it through as a female. It's almost impossible because unless you I think you are if you train your whole life as a rock climber, you can hang on by the edge of your fingers. You have the explosive fast twitch muscle like some of miles.
Yeah, they seem to be doing really well.
The rock climbers, they have gotten it down to a science. A lot of them have. They train for even though they do change, you change it around a lot. These people still practice going up to work while they still practice the salmon ladder and certain things. And there's also stunt people in there and they do extremely well. But I got partway through it and I was just glad that I didn't fall on the stairs and not hurt yourself or anything.
It was just it was exciting.
Yeah. You get to be able to it's cool.
It was very inspiring to be around so many people. Right after the break, when I got there, I could I wasn't intimidated by the course at all because I was tuning into all their energy and I was just thrilled to have the opportunity to be on it.
Yeah, I bet everyone was super high and it was just an amazing group mind of people who got going after their dreams and goals and being around that energy. It just kind of propelled you.
Yeah, I bet. And it's interesting that they came and sought after you and asked you to come on the show.
What they did is you got to remember back in 60 back and I was sixty two, I don't think they really had crossed. If they did, it hadn't blown up. They did not have a lot of women that were applying. They really did it. And so they needed women and they didn't have enough women who they thought could possibly do it. I don't know why they thought I could. I mean, it was really out of my league, but I was pretty strong.
But there's just a lot of technique on some of those on some of the apparatus that I really did.
Still, the fact that you got there is so great.
So after that, they asked me to send it for a Masters division in London. So I sent it in and I got in and I thought, OK, when I saw the criteria, I said, I can't do everything I supposed to do. I mean, one thing was what's called an iron flag. And that means the pole is. Oh, yeah, perfect for the ground. And my body is straight out. Straight up. Except my hands.
Your bodies, the flags. Right. I have to hold it. That's created and lift up. And I said I'm not qualified because, you know, I think you're going to do well. I think you should come. So I remember getting on that airplane thinking I must be out of my mind. And when I won, I mean, it was. You won. Yes.
So you went there thinking that you would never make it and you didn't even qualify. And you won the whole thing. I won.
I was really I was really fortunate.
And I assume you're, again, the oldest person in the room, like competing at the end. You kicked all their butts.
Oh, yeah, I am. I'm by far the oldest. I'm I'm the oldest world champion in Poland and and the oldest ninja warrior competitor.
I probably have to go back again. I think there's some other people that get older now that are that say, oh, well, I could do this and others, which is a good thing.
You know, that actually brings me to one of my questions about post sport. So the whole world of sport, I guess not a lot of people know very much into it. I'm assuming the first thing people think is like it's pole dancing. Can you get into that a little bit? Yes.
The world of oh, there is something really for everybody. There is, of course, the more exotic things that most people know about. There's some that you just Russian exotic. And in no way is it close to tripping. But it's a very sensuous kind of from the way and some people that do that. But the weren't really taken off is whole sport and fitness and sport is very acrobatic. It's based on how many moves you can do back to back and a certain amount of time.
And the more bass the move, the more. What can't you get, it is artistic, but not to the degree that Paul Art, Paul Art is about telling a story and that is really where my focus has been the last few years, because I love telling stories that connect to somebody new use of transformation, taking negatives in our lives and turning them into positives. So, for example, one of mine was a phoenix rising out of the ashes.
Another one was a chrysalis becoming a butterfly. Oh, perfect metaphor. Oh, it's just it's just I mean, it just touches my heart very deeply to be able to work on a piece and find those muses with them and share them with people and hopefully awaken the same views within them. And so that's where I am. And then, of course, just perfectness, where a lot of people do it just to stay in shape. You know, you can use bands around the pole.
There's all kinds of things you can do for a level of people that don't want to do a lot of tricks, but they want to stay in shape because it is a great way to work on your core and your whole body.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've seen pull. I don't know which one it is, if it's art or fitness or whatever, but like Cirque du Soleil and acrobatic places like that, they have some kind of pole acrobatics in their routines.
They do. And at the end it's a combination. They're kind of a combination of art and sport because Cirque always wants it to come across in a artistic way. They're very artistic. It's never about trick, trick, trick. It's about tricks with a story. Yes. Some of my friends are in there and have been in there and they are amazing. And I'm sure they just know how to bring a story to life. And so a couple of the pole is not about just a trick.
They're trying to make a trick look like they they're not going to do a trick. In other words, they don't want to telegraph. They want to just be maybe casually leaning on the pole. And the next thing they lift their legs and they're rather than you know, when I do gymnastic, you could always tell when somebody went to the corner of the map and they were ready to do that. Right stack. Right.
Just to look like completely natural. Basically, you see that. But they they are all about creating different shapes and forms and using that in a way, a way that they can leave their parts up on the stage. Oh, that's nice.
Are there are there any men in your experience that do post work there?
A lot. And there's a lot of them in Cirque.
Yeah, I have one friend who is in the circus who does pole, so I wanted to ask you about that.
Oh, there's so many amazing men. I tell you, most of the men that I know that it is they're just so strong and they're very acrobatic.
Right. Makes it easier when they have a lot more. Everybody's cheering.
Oh, they are. They're just so naturally strong, naturally. And do people say anything about it, like ageism in the sport, I wonder?
I think that people were surprised to learn that you can say, but I don't feel like anybody thought it was. In other words, has never discriminated against because of my age. Yes, it's harder at my age to do it, of course. And the math, just depending on the on the championship, some of them start to some of these women I compete with. And I got into one that's going to be in South Africa and it's 40 years old.
So they're not 30 years older. It's going to be next year. I'll be 70. Some of them will probably be 40. So that's a difference. And then there is also sometimes a grandmasters that is 50 years old. What happens at my age? I think that you lose cartilage and I've have both of my hips replaced because of competing on cement floors and gymnastics. And it finally hit me a few years ago. So it's it's difficult. You lose flexibility in your shoulders.
But one thing I've learned at my age, because you've had so much life experience, you can always tell a compelling story and keep more of your heart and your soul because you've been through so much. And so in a way, it allows you to go a little deeper and to do something that has some meaning, something that's authentic. That's really cool. Yeah. So that's what I strive to be. There's so many young artists that just amazing tricks.
And some of them, I think, well, my body will never do that, but I can always do what I do in a way that I touch the heart of the audience deeply. Yeah, you come and see it with your story. Well, I aspire to every time I watch myself, I think I could do so much more. I could give so much more. Well, like a true athlete, it's particularly Varya, because when I, when I live, I.
I feel the electricity running through my veins. I mean, I feel the audience, I feel the pulse stuff and I feel like I'm Ritalin. And then but when I watch a video it's two dimensional and it's not the same. And when I, when I watch the video, it doesn't translate as well as it does to live performance for me.
I've actually heard a lot of people mentioning that nowadays, nowadays we can do zoom and things like that, but it's just not the same because you don't get the interaction from the public and they don't give you that energy to to put on a good performance.
Yes, you really do. You do connect because when I'm out there, I, I mean, I want to bare my soul on the stage. I'm going to totally by myself and when I do it in a studio. I could try to simulate that, but it's really not the same. It's kind of like the difference between going to watch fireworks and watching them on your television.
That's a really good. Yeah, that seems about right.
I mean, it's really not that exciting because you can still see the whole thing, but the energy of be there watching them and it's not the same. But that being said, I still love watching the videos and not that they still aren't wonderful, but. But what it's like it's just transported to another world. Yeah.
It's really beautiful. The things that you can do. I mean, you can tell like you need a lot of strength and technique to do all of these positions. I watched a few of the videos. They're awesome. You have a YouTube channel, right?
I do. I do. And I need to add more to it. I it's under my name is Gretta Puducherry right now. Then it is over on Instagram.
OK, good. I the listeners can definitely go and watch those while they listen to this and get a visual of of your amazing performance.
I tell people any questions, please feel free to message me. Email me. I'm always glad to help people on their journey, even if it's just a journey of getting inspired to do something that might be something else. I tell you, it touches my heart when I hear people say I run five miles a day because that's awesome.
Because because they want to get in shape somehow. I was like, yeah, that's yes, I pulled my favorite thing. But but but running was something that really touches me very deeply.
It's so great that you found this sport all of the sudden and then it became this entire life passion like that's it's quite lucky that that Groupon landed in your mailbox.
Basically, I tell you, I am so grateful, Nike, because I love, OK, love art and I love training and working out and I love doing something to get you in shape. That is fun. And what I am trading on the pole, I feel like a kid playing on the playground. They're not playing to get in shape. They're doing it because it's fun. And if it's not fun, people tend not to do it. So yeah, I just feel so blessed and with my hips the way they are, I can walk fast and I could job, but I could never really run.
I can't really tumble in the way that I used to because of my hips. I mean I could do some acrobatics but not not like I used to. And my shoulders, I don't think I could work on a pillow or if they had let me back into the gym. So it became a perfect sport for me also because of the ability to share a story that is meaningful. And I'm very much in to that whole mythology. That's really yeah.
It really fuels my life.
So did this in the end help with the USTA? What did you call it, the beginning of osteoporosis? Yes.
Now this was interesting. So when I went in to have my hips replaced, I have one done first and the doctor maybe use a walker for six weeks because you said your bone is like Styrofoam. So we have to take this easy.
And we I cut back. I know the reason was the leg. I had a lot of trouble with my left leg for about four years, and I did everything that I could holistically and it gave me time. And I'm grateful for it because I was still competing and winning world championships with it and I probably couldn't do it. Then finally, my right leg. So I had no, the race was the problem wasn't loaded. I was family, my my right leg.
Every time I take off, I take off my right leg and I switch legs and air and land on my right leg. So my left leg was just there. So after I had my right leg done and I started like really training again, he checked the bone density. He says you have the opposite of osteoporosis. Wow. You're small. Yeah. So it really did help me immensely, actually.
Would you say that pole pole dancing, our pole sport is better for older people because you don't have these, like, strong impacts that you would have with some other sports.
I like impacts on your joints. I mean, yes, I think you have to find out what will work for you. Everybody's body is different. I've lost a lot of flexibility, but I still don't. I still can split. I could do those kind of moves.
I can't even do a split. Now, you could if you've worked on it, because it's a matter I could try and yeah, I could.
My sport is rock climbing, so I don't really need to do too many splits for them.
So you're a candidate for an interview, let me tell you.
And maybe maybe people that do that amaze me. As a matter of fact, there was a part of me before I started Pole, I, I became fascinated with people that climb mountains. And I always watched when they had the summits for Everest and K2 and all of them. And there was a part of me that really wanted to be there in that mountain in my heart. I thought, gee, what a fabulous. They need to take a message to the top of the world, but I don't think that why I think that I could take the oxygen, the low oxygen.
I don't think I could take the call. Yeah. So what happened is climbing to the top of that call that the pope became my Everest.
That's going to be the title. Yes. So it was for me. Yes. It was a lot safer than trying to trying to summit. But I'm still fascinated by and fascinated by being in that environment and what they go through and the fortitude they have to keep going and the training. So I hand it to you.
I really like it. I mean, I'm more of a wall climber. I don't I'm not interested in ever again because the cold is just not my gym. What I really like about is the puzzle aspect, because you have to figure out how to get to the top and not fall down. And it's a little bit of adrenaline, a little bit of solving the puzzle. Once you make it to the top. That's like the best part.
But, um, back to your career. Do you do you work out every day to keep in shape?
I, I try to work out hard every other day and then the second day I do mostly stretching my muscles rest. I don't work out a lot. I workout except when I'm competing. Maybe then I'm spending a lot of time videotaping choreography and going over that. How can I bring this to life that I don't need to work at long periods of time? It's just when I'm there, I need to. Be there 100 hundred percent and for my heart and soul into it, and I think you just naturally stay in shape because the pull everything you do on the power of justice require you to engage a lot of muscles so it doesn't take a lot of time.
So when you're doing your big workout day, you're just doing different poses on the pole and like for a few hours or it depends.
Maybe I would stay resolutely with covid about an hour before that, I was doing a little bit more. But now I'm so much involved in other projects like landscaping.
So yeah, house improvement, moving moving rocks is a good workout. So I'm doing a lot of very physical things, so I don't train quite as hard and we don't have any world championships. I had one in November that I qualified for. Well, I don't know if it's going forward. And so I want to keep training, but I kind of wanted to have a freeze, so to speak. And sometimes it's good to take a break from running routines and just try to reinvent yourself because you tend to do things a lot in the same way.
And so I wanted to come back and fresh and new and you take a step back from it and come back with new inspiration from doing other things.
That always helps a lot. Yeah, I find the same.
How many competitions have you been to or how many of you won, if you can count Devinn or nine World Championships that I've won at between them. How many. If I had one. Two, I think 12 world championships. I have two seconds at third and all the rest the first place.
All right. And and I had some, I had some little championships that were like, you know, I won like the US championship a few times. I don't always generally compete on those. Everything I do pretty much is international. Oh.
So you don't have to, like, go through regional and then U.S. and then international for IPSC, which is the International Pole Sports Foundation. Right.
You've got nice.
I got seeded a lot of times before you win and you don't have to resubmit again. When I first started out there were some smaller ones that I won. I wanted to pole.
How long did it take for you to go from starting pole to winning your first world championship?
Two year, two and a half years, maybe that's that's relatively fast for sports, like for knowing nothing at all about the sport and then just winning.
Is this how you found your your thing? You must have this either huge passion or natural aptitude or a combination of both. And like you said, the storytelling part probably. Do you think is that that's what's giving you the edge?
I think it does. I think I think that a lot of it is the fact that I am equally an athlete and an artist that really helps because both parts, I think, are pretty equal in me. But I think I have spent so much time reading Joseph Campbell and philosophy that really enriched my life in so many ways because they taught me about the way to connect with people deeply in the arts is you have to find that those archetypes and you got to bring those archetypes to life.
And I think every book that I've ever read on screenplays, Joseph Campbell, is footnoted all through it because I was a consultant on Star Wars and he talks about the collective unconsciousness and the things that really touched the hearts of many, many people.
And so, yeah, so it really gave me a foundation to see things from a different level. Yeah, that's a really interesting and it has well it's about I mean, he has he's amazing. Like you say things like this is what is when you follow your list, you find ways where you once said was, oh wow. And I believe that's that's something that is really important to me because, I mean, I would have seen a while before I started politics.
Yeah. I'm not really I'm anyone would order. I do things that I have a job. And so I really try to apply that philosophy. I think the philosophy part of it is really paramount for my life. It's finding your passion in life and sharing it with the world is what it's about. Yeah. Yeah.
And it obviously makes you really positive when you found this passion. And I mean, you can only just be happy because then you're obviously having a great time.
I'm curious, when did Paul sport start to really become a thing? Do you know? Maybe just before I started competing, I would say maybe about ten years ago, and then Jeff and IPC were doing world championships back then. And then I started getting very, very directive towards going getting in the Olympics. And they've got to prove by sport accord, very clear to the. The World Games, and so they had to have criteria in order to be in the Olympics, you have to have I think it's fifty eight championships throughout the world and you have to have all kinds of criteria.
The judges have to go through training every year. They have to be certified. So it became more than just going to a championship and having judges. Everything became top shelf at that point.
So they probably have a chance of getting into the Olympics in the next 10 or 20 years. They are working hard, I believe. I believe those Pinkham going to go first and then is it salsa or techno's going this year, I guess. Know ping pongs in. Yes, a pig comes in. What about is it tango? Oh, maybe the tango or salsa. There's just a lot of them that are lined up. We're not in the lineup yet, but we believe that to be right after that.
I found here that the IPTF was formed in 2009.
So and it's really taken off with the young girls. There's so many amazing young girls. When I went to my first world championship, there was a girl named Olga who is nine years old while she had Russian, that she just like blew everybody away.
And I thought her videos are going to hit the Internet and this is it's going to hit it. So what happened is now there's all kinds of young girls doing it because it's mostly girls that found it safer than gymnastics as you're holding on to something.
Yeah, gymnastics can really mess you up if you fall wrong. So imagine like doing some of those sort of balance, but you can at your bet, nothing's 100 percent safe, but relatively you're holding on to something you always feel much safer. Yeah. So even teams in Ivy League schools. Really? Yes. Yes.
They asked me to teach the workshops at Oxford University, so I taught mastering the deadlift and amazing people there. And it turns out that they compete. They have a competing team. Awesome. Yes. They were telling me that once did some of the Ivy Leagues in the United States have competed. It just was it was fascinating to me that it's really gone to that level. So I thought, gee, that would have been really nice when I was younger, because when I teach ethics and college scholarships for females, you know, that was a really I mean, as a woman, we did not have the opportunity, but.
Oh, and you look at today and like women's gymnastics is like actually more, I'd say not recognized, but people love watching it compared to the male gymnastics.
So it's it's gotten very exciting. And things have changed, particularly with using the spring floor. It's giving them the ability to do things they could never do before.
Yeah, I saw some video comparison of like the original oh, my God, great. Early Olympics compared to today.
And they have like six or seven extra flips in there today. And I'm like, what?
How does that even change that much that as for one thing, the the uneven parallel bars where about but I competed I would say they were probably twenty two inches apart the bars, but you couldn't get clients send them. And if you look back at the early Olympics, like in the late 50s, they were like doing a scale on there where you could hold on one leg up.
And did you sit on the ground.
Yeah, and that's it. And they're like today and today they do like 50 flips and fly through the air.
I mean, those girls that are level level six, pack them out of one of them. You know, if it is Chege. Oh, yeah.
I was going to ask you, what are the names of some of your favorite postures and if there are some fun names as well?
I do like the persay flag, which is the first move I told you about, that you're perpendicular to the pole, your like that, but bending one leg. I really like that. I like deadlifts findings. Most of them are named after the artist that first did it. Oh there is one fine day but I don't do it. It's called a spatchcock because we don't call it Sabatier. But over the girl that did it, Felix Kidd, the first time was extremely flexible and it looked like opening up a spatchcock, you know, a chicken, you know, when they open it.
He said that's what it looks like. It's called the spatchcock. You know, basically, it's kind of hard to explain, but it's like part of your body is on one side of the pole and part is on the other. So it's like it's like going like over and over splits, you know, I could kind of see that.
Yeah. Yeah. So that's that's not one that I do, because I think at my age I don't think my hips would like it. I feel like they might pop out. But one move I love to do is hold on to the power, lift myself up and it's like I'm running in the air.
Oh, I've seen that. That's so cool. And you need such a control of your muscles to stay straight and do that. I just it blows my mind.
It is hard. You have to get your body in the right position to kind of get locked in to kind of stay up there. I like it because I could do it in a way like where I'm moving towards something like a goal, like a moving, when I was the very last one that I that I did, I was a tree and in a forest fire and get a cool story shows that I got burned. And I think I should cut it with ashes and I come back to life as a sprout.
But the part that that I'm running and I've got these ashes over me, it's like, OK, I'm try to come back to life that I can't win them. So I'm on there. But I'm going in circles. It's like going in circles instead of spiraling. So what happens is I come down and I recognize that I still am holding on to the ashes, which translated to our everyday lives. It's like letting go of things that we need to let go of in our life.
And then you have this bigger story, which is like the wildfires and things like that.
Yes, I let go of the ashes. I put the ashes down and suddenly that move starts firing up the pole. I take that move up the pole. That's probably one of my favorites.
That sounds like a really beautiful routine. Like I can imagine it in my head already. Yes.
I actually thought of a question what we were talking about, the Olympics and things like this. I imagine there are critics of the sport and you sound like such a positive person.
What do you say to people who say like, oh, it's not a real sport or I assume there's a lot of negative things that people will maybe say about it?
Well, I haven't really had too much of it. Good. Although intermittently I like to see a post or something. And if I was communicating with that person, I would tell him to go try if they don't think it's a sport. Right, because it's hard. And I would say it is as much a sport as gymnastics is a sport. I think there's different sports with different people.
Absolutely. People that get drawn into that are people like myself that want the flexibility that it gives you to be able to do things that are unique and really different. And the beauty about it for me is older people can do it. Yeah. I mean, at twenty one they made you a gymnast and here I am in my 70s and they're actually still able to compete on the world stage and still win and do well. Awesome. I mean, I'm I'm humbled by the fact that there's something that I can do that is really, really fun and and artistic.
So I, I think that if I had a conversation, I would just tell them to go try.
That's a really positive way, because usually when they try it, they think it's going to be easy and them and they try it. I think there's a video out and they said something like they they took a cross fit person and had him do pull it across that person. That that actually what people are pretty darn safe. OK, yeah.
But for certain thing is a pretty athletic and I could do probably some things, but there's still a technique that they haven't developed and I, I totally get this because whenever I see bodybuilders come into the climbing hole and they try to climb and use all of their strength and they can't get it.
And then little old me, I just like climb up and say I get it because it's technique.
Yes, I there is there is definitely technique, there is timing that is also gives you momentum. Right. And leverage like what you want to go somewhere sometimes is physics. I don't try to muscle things up all the time. I try that when I can. I use momentum. Yeah. Some deadlift they require that I don't use momentum to get them at the maximum points so that I do those without that. I mean if I'm just doing it, I just, I don't get tired if I can at least have a little bit of a going into it.
And I assume it's it's a pretty accessible sport. I mean, you either go to a specific gym or if you get really serious about it, you can get your own.
How much do polls go for? Like you get one on Amazon? Like, I don't know, you can't.
But I highly recommend that people at Apple tell them to message me, please, because there are so many different kinds of calls. The cheap ones you don't want the cheap ones. You can go to Amazon and you will find they're not Amazon, but you too. You will find videos of poles that fell over because there are so are cheap poles that are made to walk around in your high heels and do a couple of little things at the bottom. But if you want to get serious and apply it, they're not made for trick.
And it depends.
You know, they could cast it on the low end, maybe for a good one or maybe three hundred and some dollars enough. And there's also the the platform stages where there's a stage I've got I've got two competition policy at my house on a floor and that works fabulous. I can run my whole routine there. And so I have a platform with that is sticky, so. When it's cold and I want I want to take it somewhere. This is portable.
Those are those are probably more like eight or nine hundred. But it all depends what you want. And you get cheaper than horse riding or ice skating. Yeah, exactly. Still, OK, it's really not that much.
And it's a good like indoor workout for things like right now where people are stuck at home. There you go. Is because you can take the pole and you could just pull up on it. You could take the pole and hold onto it and you could stretch it could take that. You could use bandsaw. There's so many different things that you can do with it just for fitness. And then you could do some fun things at whatever level you are.
But kind of gets a.. I would say I bet it's really fun. Yeah.
And you have to keep up your muscles anyway, so you might as well just keep doing it.
So I would ask if if there are some people who think that this is interesting, I want to get into pole.
What tips would you give them? Second question, if there are some, like, competition tricks that are like little things that I don't know, like maybe some kind of. Like wax or something, you would put your arms to stick better. That's the only thing I could think of those two questions.
OK, so as far as as you say, getting into it, how they get into it, if you can find a good studio at Kickout Studios, studios have different different approaches, you know, and you want to find a studio that fits your approach. Some of them are more like yoga studios, and they do it from a different perspective. And some of them are very into the competitive. Some do more than just the hills. And they're a little bit more exotic and like the Russian exotic and they want to do things like this.
They do chair routines where they find out which one works, but take a class. I think it's really important to have a live teacher until you get to the point where you can do things on Zumba, which which I work a lot with different people and think cool. And as far as the. OK, so I, I use my hands. It's called better grip and it's basically chalk pretty much like in gymnastics. Like for climbing.
Yeah. Yeah. And it's all the same.
And I put all my on the inside of my knees and my feet I use something called ITAC. I tack is mostly black paint and this is the trick with the attack from me. This everybody's body's different because they're different. So for me it works great for me to stick on my legs. But if I get it on my hands. So what I have to do, what my trick is, I choreograph the routine in a way where if I'm climbing, my hands are always the head of my legs.
OK, so in other words, if I invert and my legs are up here, my hands are below and then I slide down and then I go back and I grab that hole again behind me. That means I slid and all that beeswax is going to be on that.
Oh, I never thought that you'd have to take that into account. I do it just for me personally. Yeah. Some things like I find that it's really important to have to be warm and to have a tiny bit of a sweat. So there's a lot that I do call it a Russian split or one foot's on the pull of the other leg goes out into space, so to speak. And that bottom foot, you don't want it to slip.
So I put a little bit of the better grip on that. But I also slap it like this so that it gets a little bit red to get you get warm and that makes it stickier. I ever do use gloves.
Wow. All these secret that. The other thing is I always practice quite a bit in my costume whenever my costume is because. Yeah, like if you're using like something with fabric and it gets between your legs, between you and the pole, you could slip, you could slide. I have seen so many people that do not practice enough in their costume and they got up there and they basically lost points because the costume wasn't them. Oh, no.
Has anyone ever, like, lost their costume on the pole? I could see that happening.
I've seen people get deductions because the boob popped up.
It hurts like Janet Jackson.
They were wearing something that was a little bit further. They should have. I have to say that.
And of course, if that happens, they get major deductions were disqualified and some championships because I upset you can't you can't wear anything. That's chicken. You'll get a deduction. Yeah.
It's just like if you're ice skating in the Olympics and your brewpubs disqualified. So I guess you have to have similar stance yet you really have to pay attention to the costume.
And I use I usually have a lot that's going on. I mean, I really had to practice when I was playing with the ash is doing things with the ashes because it was it was a fabric like a chiffon that they kind of turned it into make it look like ashes that would flow. And sometimes when you move it up in the air, it comes down.
You don't know where it's going to land, like flies into your face and you're blind and just you really have to you really have to pay attention to it. And the other thing I would say is I love videotaping myself, even though it's hard for me to watch my my championship's after that.
It's really hard.
But it seems like a great technique to be able to correct yourself with the with the video.
And let's see in our sport, a lot of that is lines, too. It's not just having a little extension and that's part of it, but it's the way you present it to the audience. Like when most people see a split, they want to see it sideways. But that if I did it head on, it's not as interesting. Yeah. If I did it with my watch, with the audience in my back as far as I can away, it's just not as interesting.
It's not as impressive somehow. So there's a lot of things that the way you present it makes it makes a world of difference. And also sometimes you find yourself looking at the pull, but you should be looking at the audience. Yeah. And I. Work on it is a journey, but in gymnastics, they do that all the time, they get to the end of the balance day and they do the little wave with their arms, right?
Yeah, we try to do is do a turn at the end of that balance beam and not stop and keep going. If I would kind of parallel it to pull. We don't want to telegraph. We want something to just come out of nowhere and they go, oh, that was interesting. Or that was a surprise. Yeah.
And at a competition is there is just one poll that everyone uses. Does it get like gross? Do you have to wipe it down? Because if everyone's using, like beeswax and glitter, I don't know. Oh, is glitter allowed.
That's another question. Yeah. As long as it's not excessive. Yes. They do use glitter, make tasteful because there's two poles generally they're about 13 and a half feet of pipe and then about about eight to nine feet apart, they clean them with alcohol afterwards. They always do that. They take everything really, really important and they sweep the floor. Some of them are really strict about things. Coming up to your costume. I remember my first world championship in the younger women's division.
The girl won by a feather with a bit of a tie, but one girl dropped a feather. She came off the costume. She got a point deduction. So the other girl won because of that other literally by a feather.
I mean, not all championships are that strict, but they have to be at some point. I mean, a rhinestone flying off. I mean, a half a draw, though. I really try to pick costumes that I think are really altogether in one piece that I'm not going to have that. All right.
My my favorite question to ask at the end is what is your advice that you have from all of your years of experience, not necessarily only with poll, but like for life for the younger generations?
I think the most important thing really is what I said earlier, is to find your passion and to share it with the world. And and for me, the passion is, of course, in some way inspiring people to go after their dreams and not let age or any limitation keep them from manifesting that passion. It's a broad spectrum. It's not just me, Julie, Paul. It becomes lifestyle. I eat a very organic diet, pretty much paleo.
I try to surround myself with positive, inspiring people. And it's important, I believe, that you just have to go deep inside yourself and find that thing that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
Yeah, that's so important. That's that's really good advice. That's at least my life. I want to wake up and see. That's another beautiful day. Let's go. Right.
You have to find that. Well, I should definitely follow that because if I'm in your shape when I'm 70, that will be an accomplishment in itself, if you will.
I know you have to get a pole. I know if you will. I know you well. You have to challenge yourself. You have to challenge like when I did the Miley Cyrus video.
Yes. Oh, I didn't even get to that. I completely forgot. I'm sorry. You were also on the younger now video alongside Gypsy, which is a total coincidence that we found each other that way.
The reason I was on with a couple other people, she wanted inspiring people because she wanted to have inspired me. So I said, so what would you like me to do it? I'm practicing always be the one that they asked me to do was the hardest. Not that it was that hard, but this is before I had my hip done. And so I'm sitting there with a friend who's also a great choreographer coach. And I get like, can I get my leg back?
Because no, my hips have lost. I had lost cartilage. Yeah. And I did. My slip was sketchy at that point. It wasn't really a 180, but it was like one seventy. And I had I had OK, I've got this, I can do this. So that was, that was definitely that made me have my reach exceed my grasp because I honestly thought I was going to have problems doing that. And then they asked me, we need you to do the hoop too.
That was not a problem to do, but it was something that I had never done before. But it was really fun working with her and working on that video. Yeah, she's wonderful, wonderful family. I mean, very, very warm. Very when I met, like the rest of her family, it was like I felt like I already knew them.
That's so great. You'd think that. So the breeze would be a little bit more standoffish with everyone, but seems like she was really cool with all the performers on that on that video.
They were giving you big hugs. And I remember going over to her dad. I introduced myself because I know who you are, but it gives me a hug. Awesome. I thought, you know, what a warm welcome, but a wonderful family. Yeah, we did this. I don't know if you saw it. We did this little video for Kompass. Did you see that one, but I'll look at it and also find it if to scroll down on my Instagram.
They wanted me to teach them some moves on the pole. Oh, cool. So basically her her mom did and Miley tried a few tell a friend of mine gave Britney Spears a private lesson when she was in Vegas. And she says, I want to do this with an Iron X. And she goes, well, it's hard to fix because let me have you try a flag. And a flag is where you have to have the pole underneath your arm and you squeeze it in one of your legs, go OK with that one.
So just to show you, there's somebody who's dancing all that day was a great show. Yeah. And it was difficult.
But you still need certain weird little muscles that you would never use otherwise to do that stuff. So you just have to develop it.
But yeah, it was it was a lot of fun doing that. And I just feel blessed to be in a situation where I can I can live my dream. I've traveled all over the world. Yeah. And top workshops. I love teaching, working as an executive coach, teaching workshops and inspiring people to go after their dreams.
What's the your favorite place that you've been? Oh, that's so hard. I mean, there's a crown jewel and everything, right? Yeah. Yeah. I had such a good time. And in Australia, the people there were fabulous. I love Florence and Italy is great. Big in London, a big at Oxford. Those people Montenegro. I took the classes I taught there were fabulous. And Assisi, I taught something there for a fabulous group of people that, you know, wanted.
It was about life, empowerment in your older age. And the same thing. That's how Montenegro was about to. It's called The Age of Happiness. I was in this book was it was a Russian tabletop book and 60 people over 60 doing amazing things. And I think I was 62 at the time. And I was in my opinion, I was at least amazing. And there is always people going there. It's true. There are people in their 90s still in the stage of the marathon.
And I just I mean, just goes to show you that, like, if you're just really into it and you can do whatever you want, I mean, your body, of course, causes limitations.
But it's a lot about the state of the mind as well.
There's so much that's mental. I mean, you just have to find what your body will do. And in my art form, I can give you plenty of tricks that my body just will not do it. Just do it. And it's not a magic. I get to do it. The cartilage is gone and there's the road turn left. You turn left. You can what can it do? You build on your strengths. You find those things just like you, I'm sure when you rock-climbing have certain strengths, right?
Oh yeah. Yeah. I'm way more flexible than all the guys so I just stretched on my tippy toes and then I can read the part that I normally have to muscle my way through.
So you did you find those things and the challenge you you become the very best you can become because in life you learn that you're truly the masters of our destiny.
Dang. Well, I can't say anything better than that from now on. I mean, that's a good place to end.
If people want to take a class from you or get in touch with you, what's your website, what's the best way to get a hold of me.
They can email me at this Mistretta Ponche rally at Gmail dot com.
Oh you guys is a grid of the best. Don't you always want to, like, go on Amazon, get a pole and become super rich and a world champion? Because she basically convinced me. I mean, she's pretty cool. Oh, and another thing that she told me after we were done recording is that she has a pet, red eyed tree frog. I was thinking that that is the perfect pet for a poll artist because they're so sticky and they stick to the wall.
It was just like a hilarious coincidence. Anyways, if you like that and you want to hear more episodes launch at the beginning of each month. Oh, and I forgot to say that we have much now. It's only just stickers and tote bags, but you can find the link on the website and you can order stickers from obviously your most favorite podcast, follow stories your granny never told on social media to get updates. We are at stories your granny never told Dotcom on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and at Gmail dot com.
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