Lucky people

 When I join my wife at the dinner with her friend, I catch the end of their conversation. "You didn't gain any weight at all, like you haven't even had a baby. You are so lucky!" Her friend says. To which my wife only smiles. She is lucky. She has amazing will power. She hasn't eaten French fries since she was 15, there is no morning, no matter how cold or hot, that she didn't start with freezing shower, the best way to calm our baby to which she is used from the first weeks of her life, is to do squats or sit-ups with her. She made a choice between chocolate and 58 cm waist and sticks to it.  Once I was reading an article about people who were on the Biggest looser and gained weight after that. They said that during the show they had to eat "baby food", go to sauna and train for 4 hours everyday. They think it's not normal. Well, for most people I know, it actually is. Yes, the lucky people.

I judge competition and see the girl hanging on her heel and touching the pole with her shoulder blades, while her other leg is practically curled around the pole. The over split so crazy it's painful to watch it. My fellow judge gives a contestant barely half of the maximum score for flexibility. "Why so low?" I ask after the competition. "She is just lucky. She is an ex-gymnast." Yes, she is lucky. When you were watching cartoons or playing Super Mario she was having her joints broken in all unnatural ways possible. She spent from 8 to 10 years in smelly gyms, did her first manicure after she was 20 as her coach didn't allow her to, and is very likely to have problems with her back when she is only 40, but hell with it - of course, it's a pure luck, so why appreciate it? On the other hand there is a much better contestant! She has a flat split after only two years of pole dancing, three times visiting a pole studio! That's an achievement! That's not luck! Maximum points for her!

I heard way too many times I was lucky I did flips from the early childhood. Yes, you don't know how lucky my Mom was, finding me somewhere under the tree with blood streaming from my forehead. I was lucky riding on my own in the age of 7, through the whole city, in a cold bus full of strangers, with a temperature reaching minus 20 outside, to get to the only gym we had available.Every day.

Dear people, please, understand, there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING achieved in this world without very hard work. A gymnast spent at least 5 years to get her flexibility, a parkour freestyler at least once in his life has hit his head so hard he was facing death or severe mental injury, a girl with perfect body doesn't eat chocolate even for Valentine's Day, or birthday, or her last day on earth. But the good news are - hey! If you put the same amount of work as they did, you'll get there! Look at gorgeous girls - Anastasia and Marion that don't have gymnastics background. But they worked for years, and now they are among the "lucky" ones. If you really need it - work for it. It's hard, it's exhausting, you have to be tough, but eventually you will get there. If you don't need it, then relax. There is nothing wrong in being who you are, without perfect splits, abs, legs or whatever you dream about. You still will be beautiful, loved and happy. Just remember, there are no lucky people in this world. Whatever me, you or they have - appearance, family, money, success, sport, career, children - was achieved by a lot of stress, determination and hellish work.

The change of discipline also demands huge efforts. I don't know why, but many people in pole dance are sure that if you are a gymnast, tricker, rock climber, you will just jump on the pole and be a champion. This is absolutely not true! Contortionists, for example, need to sacrifice part of their flexibility to gain the needed strength for the pole. They take much bigger risks than the rest as their joints are much more likely to get dislocated or injured during power moves. There is hardly any discipline that gets your skin ready for the pole. Gymnast or not, we all get ugly black bruises and bloody palms. Every time you say: it's easy for her to pole dance, because she is a dancer (gymnast, workouter, tricker, parkour trainee, acrobat, contortionist etc) you sound exactly like: it's easy for her to play the piano, because she can sing. Yes, it helps. But I had lots of student who before pole dance did squats only to get on the sofa, but got all pole tricks from the first try. Because of specific skin, grip, natural abilities, lots of various reasons. So let's respect everyone! Their work, background, ambitions and abilities. It really hurts when years of your hard work or your natural talent make you feel somehow ... Guilty...

Last modified onFriday, 27 February 2015 16:12

18 comments

  • L Eleanor

    I have to admit this post moved me in a certain way, i mean, all that you are saying it's totally true, and i never though about it before. Thank you.

    L Eleanor Friday, 27 February 2015 18:56 Comment Link
  • Ash

    Yes you should never assume someone is just lucky. Some are. But a lot of people strive to be proficient in stuff. I was naturally born flexible. I'm a contortionist. So yes I was lucky because I have hypermobility. I didn't have to work at it as hard as others would. But I still worked at it. That shouldn't discredit my efforts.

    Ash Saturday, 28 February 2015 09:34 Comment Link
  • Peppa

    Damn right. you need to put in the work if want what i can do. I'm putting in the work cause I want to do what Alex Shchukin, Bendy Kate.... (it's a long list) can do.

    Peppa Saturday, 28 February 2015 16:57 Comment Link
  • Nora

    Great post. It's true - there is no lucky people, there is only people who have worked hard. People just forget this too often.

    Nora Saturday, 28 February 2015 23:17 Comment Link
  • Nora

    Great post. It's true - there is no lucky people, there is only people who have worked hard. People just forget this too often.

    Nora Saturday, 28 February 2015 23:17 Comment Link
  • Nora

    Great post. It's true - there is no lucky people, there is only people who have worked hard. People just forget this too often.

    Nora Saturday, 28 February 2015 23:18 Comment Link
  • John

    Hmmm... Yes, even the naturally talented people have to train incredibly hard to be top in a sport and competition should be judged on performance alone, not whatever the judge projects onto the competitor in terms of effort. This guy never needed to train as hard as someone without his condition to succeed http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eero_M%C3%A4ntyranta Self discipline is a product of genetics and environment, which we don't choose. Just being born into socio-economic conditions which make training possible is a matter of random chance. So... don't take anything away from people who use their natural aptitude, but don't pretend that luck isn't a huge factor in life, including sporting success.

    John Sunday, 01 March 2015 06:46 Comment Link
  • Мария

    Саша, но давай будем честны, с данными кому-то повезло больше, кому-то меньше (если речь о спорте).
    Если о больном для меня, - о фигуре - я ем как слон и не толстею, у меня хорошая фигура. И многие и после родов не набирают ни разу.
    То же и с пилоном. Да, это труд, но это также и ТАЛАНТ, с которым должно повезти)И ещё должно повезти, чтобы тебя занесло именно в зал с пилоном, а не, например, в театральную студию)

    Хотя основная линия, конечно, верная: трудиться, трудиться и ещё раз трудиться.

    Мария Sunday, 01 March 2015 15:05 Comment Link
  • Justin

    "Whatever me, you or they have - appearance, family, money, success, sport, career, children - was achieved by a lot of stress, determination and hellish work."

    That's not true at all. Though I fully agree people often copout achievements that are attained through hard work by attributing them to *luck*, it's absolutely *not* the case that luck plays no part or even a significant part for many cases. Neither extreme is correct, though I think it's fair to say the *majority* of cases of success we see have come through hard work.

    Genetics and socioeconomic starting points, as well as current cultural trends and sheer timing/sequences of events (what I'll call *luck* here as an example since we have little-to-no control over these aspects, other than some on timing) definitely do play a role, and many times, a significant one.

    In athletics it may not be as obvious as you progress and surround yourself by other fortunate/successful people but for example, honestly, go tell a child born with a birth defect such as a congenital heart disease (e.g., HLHS), mental disorder (down syndrome, autism, etc.) that with hard work, their success rate or chance is the same or even near yours. Non-genetic factors (e.g., starting socioeconomic status) play similar roles in other aspects of life (e.g., economic success, for example).

    Don't immediately contribute success to luck, but at the same time, don't discard your fortunes and scoff the unfortunate. I understand the frustration (I hear it regarding certain skills I worked hard to achieve) but I also understand I was relatively fortunate in the big picture to start with.

    Justin Sunday, 01 March 2015 15:30 Comment Link
  • kenneth kao

    Thank you.

    kenneth kao Sunday, 01 March 2015 17:18 Comment Link
  • Helen

    Hmm... At first the author said ".. there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING achieved in this world without very hard work" and then he says "lots of student who before pole dance did squats only to get on the sofa, but got all pole tricks from the first try. Because of specific skin, grip, natural abilities...".
    So, are there lucky people on there are no lucky people??

    Helen Sunday, 01 March 2015 18:06 Comment Link
  • Samantha Yee@Miko

    Well said! Love your article^^

    Samantha Yee@Miko Monday, 02 March 2015 02:28 Comment Link
  • Tony Daws

    I choose chocolate!

    Tony Daws Tuesday, 03 March 2015 05:58 Comment Link
  • Vivienne

    Wonderful article and a great reality check for those of us who look on you with awe. "If you really need it - work for it. It's hard, it's exhausting, you have to be tough, but eventually you will get there. If you don't need it, then relax."

    Vivienne Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:38 Comment Link
  • matt

    A great message and thank you I enjoyed the read. Was anyone alarmed by the image of the child being assisted to stretch? Child is obviously in pain, why? At that age it is not an autonomous decision to participate. I think something is very wrong here???

    matt Tuesday, 03 March 2015 21:21 Comment Link
  • John Link

    It appears to me that that girl is being tortured.

    John Link Wednesday, 04 March 2015 01:17 Comment Link
  • Storm

    Thank you. You speak out how I feel.
    Thank you. Finally someone understand how I feel

    Storm Sunday, 15 March 2015 05:51 Comment Link
  • Ana

    A little disagree. I understahd the hellish work of ex-gymnast and respect it. But the point is that i will never be there, cause i started pole dancing at the age of 23 and all of my sport's backgraund was a sofa. So, for me, yes, people with proper sport's past are more lucky. You also mentioned there is such thing as genetics.

    Ana Sunday, 15 March 2015 18:03 Comment Link

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