Meet Patti aka Viking Princess!

How has life changed for you since the lockdown has been put in place?

I work full-time on my Ph.D. and I’m currently in my last 6 months, So I am mainly writing my thesis. I simply do this from home instead of the office or the library, so that part hasn’t changed much. I also teach at the university, which has fully transitioned to online classes, which saves me more than an hour's drive to the Campbelltown campus! I teach some more in my evening hours as a Dutch teacher at a language school in the city. The language school has completely lost its income, so I’ve lost most of my income there and had to take a pay cut.

How are you coping and do you have any tips to share?

I believe it is incredibly important to always keep striving for goals, no matter how small they are. One new move, learning a few sentences of Spanish, whatever floats your boat. This keeps us happy in the long run. Not just in isolation, but it is even more important now. I don’t really believe you should be more productive now that you have more time. I think you should keep setting realistic goals, like working out at least once a week. This makes you feel good about yourself when you do it, but also gives you something to look back on when this is all over and not see this entire period as wasted time. Because this isolation will take a while and whether you strive for more strength, flexibility, or more rest and balance, achieving those little things keeps us happy and healthy.

For me personally, I do this with to-do lists. It helps to keep yourself accountable and not completely waste entire days on the weekend for example. My to-do-lists are usually quite ambitious, but I’m okay with not completing them entirely. On those lists is a walk every day, getting out of the house is essential! I also plan fun things with friends online, like tabletop board game simulators, quizzes, dress-up parties, etc. One more thing that helps me cope is limiting my screen time. It is easy to watch Netflix for 8 hours straight (and I’m not judging, been there, done that) and check your phone every 10 minutes, but I choose to spend hours on a jigsaw puzzle or trying out new baking recipes on the weekend.

We've noticed you've become one of our live-stream regulars. What's inspired you to join these classes?

There are a few reasons I’m loving these classes.

1. Health - I simply need them to stay active and help with my back, shoulders and neck problems.

2. Time - my classes at the language school have mostly been cancelled and thus I have spare time in the evenings. But even more so, not having to travel saves so much time! When the link comes in 15 minutes before the class starts I set myself a little challenge. I get my mat, blocks, get changed, etc. whatever I need to do, but I also add in one more thing. Like (un)packing the dishwasher, doing or hanging up the laundry, chopping the vegetables before dinner, etc. This way I get a little chore (that I would have put off otherwise) done because of the class as well! It almost makes me more productive

3. Money - the online classes are cheaper than the studio classes, which means I can join twice as many classes for the money I’ve already spent! That’s amazing for me because I live on a budget. I usually have to treat pole classes like a real treat and that’s why I can’t often sign up for an extra stretch and dance classes. The cheaper online classes give me the opportunity to do that now.

4. Supporting the studio - I know it is really important in these times to keep supporting local businesses like our lovely studio and all the instructors who teach there. I’m just trying to keep life as normal as possible when it comes to my spending.

Have our live-stream classes inspired you to try something new?  

Not really something new, because I have probably already done everything at Pole Athletica at least once, if not somewhere else. But I do copy some exercises from the classes, like Jen’s hip mobility sequence I did twice this week already.

What are your favourite classes and why?

That is an impossible question! I love all classes, but right now I particularly love the open stretch classes. It helps me mobilize after sitting so much all day. It actually takes away a lot of pain and discomfort, and it helps me work towards my front splits, which has been a challenge for years now!

Have you noticed any mental, physical or emotional benefits as a result of our live-stream classes?

Yes, as I said earlier, the open stretch classes help me physically and I recently made quite a bit of splits progress and even hit my first Janeiro (although that wasn’t in class). Classes at PA have always made me feel motivated, relaxed, and strong. The online classes continue to do that. Even though I don’t share a room with other Polefitters, I think the outcomes of the classes are pretty similar for me.

How have our live-stream classes helped you maintain your fitness goals?

I think I am more flexible than I was before isolation and the online classes have kept me moving on an almost daily basis. They keep me from becoming a couch potato!

How easy have you found it to follow our classes via live-stream?

Super easy! It is sometimes just hard for me to hear the instructor. But that is probably the bad sound quality from my laptop and the fact that I stay so far away from it during class.

Who do you think would benefit from joining one of our live-stream classes?

Anyone! I feel like one of the strengths of PA classes has always been that they are very beginner-friendly and you can make things as hard as you want for yourself. So whether you are just starting to work out and are looking to get into shape, maintaining your current fitness, or want to get even stronger and more flexible, there is a class for everyone.

Since the lockdown have you developed any new mindsets, habits or thoughts? If so, how will you adopt these back into 'normal' life?

Not too much has changed for me, luckily. I think I will stress a lot less about formalities because everyone has seen each other’s sweatshirts, living rooms, and ‘just out of bed’-looks.

What 3 things are you grateful for right now?  

1. That I have a fulfilling job that can pay my bills

2. That I have an amazingly supportive partner (who doubles as cameraman)

3. That I have a great worldwide support network (PA included!)