Many of us are guilty of saying sorry unnecessarily. Maybe it’s because our threshold for what requires an apology is absurdly low. Maybe it’s because we don’t know what to say instead. Maybe society conditioned us to want to please others and avoid offending or inconveniencing anyone. Maybe it’s all of the above. All I know is, I hear a lot of students apologizing lately, and I’m sorry, but it has to be addressed. Here are some “sorry statements” I hear:

I’m sorry I have so many questions.

Having a lot of questions means you are curious, not stupid. What’s more, having a lot of fine point, razor sharp questions demands that your instructors come up with equally pointed and sharpened answers. So ask. It benefits your instructors just as much as it benefits you.

I’m sorry I need things repeated so many times.

Repetition builds essential neural pathways. The more you repeat, the stronger the neural pathway gets. You do physical reps in the gym and at the studio all the time, right? Well, the brain needs mental reps. So rep away and strengthen your brain, as well as your bod!

I feel like I’m holding up the class, I’m sorry.

Dude. YOU ARE THE CLASS. It’s easy, especially when you’re new to pole, to think of “the class” and then yourself, like you are something separate from the class. You signed up and paid your money, and you have a right to be there just as much as the other people who did the same. If you’re there, and they’re there, isn’t it OUR time, Mr. Hand?

I’m so sweaty, I’m SO sorry!

I would hope you are sweaty; pole is a workout! Sweat is normal and healthy. It’s one of the body’s ways of maintaining homeostasis (and mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Thank you high school science curriculum, please never change. Lol I know you won’t). Furthermore, you don’t smell. And if your instructor is grossed out by sweat, they are in the wrong line of work.

Sorry, can I see that just one more time? Sorry.

I love this one. Pole instructors, brace for a personal attack… All pole instructors are natural born showoffs.  We love showing you our hard won combos. Especially when you gasp or oooooh when we demo. So yea, you can see it again. Just give me a minute to catch my breath and ice my shoulder. Pro tip: if your instructor is injured or tired, ask permission to record their demo so you can give them a rest.

Below are some suggestions for what to say instead, either out loud or in your head:

I’m sorry I have so many questions. Thank you for answering all my questions.

I’m sorry I need things repeated so many times. Repetition helps me learn!

I feel like I’m holding up the class, I’m sorry.  Someone else might have the same question.

I’m so sweaty, I’m SO sorry. I worked up a good sweat today!

Sorry, can I see that just one more time? Sorry. Can you do that again, please?

Maybe these revised statements can help you claim (or reclaim) some space for yourself in pole class where—I’m sorry to tell you— you absolutely and totally belong.