Hey there, my name is Gazelle and I am a man who use to dabble in the sport of pole fitness.

Over the past 24 hours, I have been blown away by the comments, posts and opinions that shed a negative light on Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's Super Bowl LIV halftime performance.

Try to fathom how busy these ladies are to begin with during their current careers and now add on a very intricate and complex choreographed dance routine. Starting to add up a bit, no?

Finally, to top everything off on their hectic schedule, somewhere during the day they had to work out and keep conditioned. Have you ever worked out on a vertical pole before? Oh, you haven't?

Allow me to elaborate.

The amount of upper body and core strength involved in this "sport" or hobby to some is inscrutable.

Your body weight is being held up, suspended off the floor, beside a narrow metal bar that is only secured by a base. If you have ever attempted to clip a rope before, at least you can bend it and wrap it around your feet as you grip the tethered material with your hands. Now envision yourself trying to climb a solid bar with no leeway, that does not bend and is slippery without proper liquid grip for your hands.

I'm a six-foot-four man who carries a bulky 265 pounds around on the daily. The amount of strength it takes me to pull myself up and down, inverted, and every which way takes months and months of practice. I still to this day have much to learn when it comes to the acrobatic skill needed to pursue these pole goals, but for now, I'm doing my best to defend the queen herself, Ms. J. Lo.

The moral of this is quite simple: don't knock it until you try it.

It still is, to this day, one of the most difficult and strenuous workouts I have ever endured while I was training over at Mill City Fitness in Fall River. For all the women and men out there who continue to practice pole fitness despite the agonizing pain and fatigue that comes with it, I'm on your side and I praise your accomplishments and hard work.

Keep climbing, keep bending, keep spinning, keep flexing, keep fluid, and keep strong.

That goes for you, too, Ms. Lopez.

[VIDEO CREDIT: Allyson Katz]

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