I hear it all the time… excuses not to try a pole class or stand-up paddle. Here are the top ones I hear regularly and how I usually respond when someone says it to me.

I need to get in shape first. (Or: I need to lose 20lbs first.)

No, you don’t need to get in shape first! You take a pole class or SUP class as a way to get in shape! I was not in shape when I took my first pole fitness class. But after a few months of classes I was getting into shape. And now, three years later – I’m in the best shape of my life!

To say you need to get in shape first is just an excuse not to give it a try.

POLE: True, you may not think you look sexy in a pole dance class on your first night. But to be honest, very few women ever feel like they feel sexy. But that’s one of the great things about pole… we learn to feel sexy no matter what our shape! But the more you do it, the more “in shape” you will get!

SUP: One of the greatest things about StandUp Paddling is that it can be as easy or as much of a challenge as you want it to be. There are times I got to SUP for a challenging workout. There are just as many times that I grab a board and jump on the water to enjoy some peace and relaxation. You don’t have to be in any kind of shape to start (unless you find yourself out on the water on an extremely windy day).

I’m too old.

No. You’re not too old! That too, is just an excuse. There are women in their 60’s+ who not only pole dance, but compete! There are all ages that SUP too! And those who do are in the best shape of their lives! Your age is just an excuse. It only stops you if you let it.

I’m not strong. I don’t have any upper body strength.

Again, this is a reason to take a class, not an excuse not to! The truth is both pole and SUP require as much core strength as it does upper body. And again, doing these activities will help you develop muscles and make you stronger! You don’t have to be strong to start. But if you start, you will get stronger.

I’m afraid of ____________.

Fill in the blank with whatever your fear is. Fish, dirty water, falling on your head, making a fool of yourself, etc.

Face your fear! Step out of your comfort zone! That’s where living starts.

SUP: Now, if you can’t swim, I don’t recommend trying SUP first. Get comfortable in the water first… but you don’t need to know how to swim to take a pole class!!

POLE: A good instructor will challenge you to push yourself to new heights, but they won’t let you try something that you’re not ready for.

What’s your excuse?

Pole dancing might not be for everyone. SUP might not be for everyone either. That’s fine. But just admit that it’s not for you. Crossfit isn’t for me. I’m not interested in taking a crossfit class, and that’s what I say when I get invited to a crossfit training. I will not be offended if you don’t want to SUP or try a pole fitness class. But I don’t want you making excuses why you can’t do it. Because chances are your excuse is the exact reason why you should do it!