I am never one to shy away from new experiences. In fact, my sense of adventure has in the past gotten me into all manner of crazy situations - marathon, banger car racing, pole dancing, acroyoga to name a few. (There have been countless more but not all are necessary for me to share on screen!)
So, in the nature of "don't judge until you have walked a mile in a mother woman's stilettos" I did exactly that. It was nowhere near a mile but felt like 13.1. AND my shoes were a 3.5" T-bar and nowhere near as excruciating as the 5" clear perspex variety all the girls were required to wear by their respective associations for competing.
What am I referring to? Posing. This is the term used to highlight every single wonderful angle that have been so arduously created over the preceding months, sometimes years through fitness, diet and attitude.
Up until joining the workshop on Sunday with Lu Del Giudice for Showgirl Fitness, I had no idea what a huge difference a walk, a turn, a hold could make to how a body could be viewed (by judges.) Also, how incredibly hard it is. Really. The body isn't meant to be compartmentalised to "switch-on" certain muscles whilst relaxing surrounding ones to appear feminine, fluid and graceful. But that is what these girls do and in nothing more that a barely-there bikini.
Don't get me wrong, as I write this I am on the beach in a fetching 2-piece small enough to have covert tan lines in everyday clothes. But there is something very different about parading in a room in such teeny-tiny attire with women who combined had less body fat than me. (I honestly don't think I was joking on this one!) and not a bump of cellulite in sight either. For the first time I was actually body-conscious and only managed to "get down to" a little pair of shorts and sports crop top and then felt even more of an outsider.
So, on to moving. Lulu is a professional. Her description of which body part to stick out in order to get the desired look was comical but all joking aside, her ability to literally glide from one side of the "stage" to the other was beautiful and completely mesmeric. You can't help but watch her. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one to feel like I had just had my stabilisers taken off my first bicycle and was now at a velodrome.
And then it was my turn. Chin-up, shoulders back and grit your teeth into something verging on a smile. And I was off! I managed the angled-side walk to the right but I had no idea how to stop, pose, switch and return. It felt cringeworthy, totally clumsy and like I should give-up graciously before I needed some acroyoga skills to save me from a nasty, noisy, bruise-making fall.
And that was pretty much my involvement.
My back was becoming stiff from the over-arching, my shoulders uncomfortable from being squeezed open only from thoracic up, and my bottom just wanted a little more coverage.
Time for me to dress and thank the girls for being so generous to a "non-competitor".
What I did take away from the workshop was a new acceptance of what it is to "present" oneself from all different angles and be proud of the body I have been given.
I also learnt that a big smile and bouncy attitude goes a long way to being "sparkly" and what woman doesn't want to sparkle?!
For more information on Luciana's Showgirl Fitness Posing (workshops and 1-2-1) click here.