This September I started taking an aerial silks class. Picture Cirque du Soleil-type awesomeness. And then picture less awesome because I’m only a beginner right now.
The class has been full of ups and downs for me, and I think if I were to ask anybody else who has taken it, they would say the same thing. It’s because of the ups and downs, though, that I got so much out of this class. So here are just some of the things I’ve learned from my aerial silks class.
My upper body strength is sub-par, but progress is an option.
This includes hand grip strength. Day one of aerial silks, I could barely hold on. But after having gone back a few times and doing some at-home workouts, I’ve grown stronger and progressing through this class has become possible.
Try, try again!
Because of day one and the lack of strength, I felt somewhat beaten after class. I asked myself, “how can I possibly do silks when I suck so much right now?!” Well, as nervous as I was for day two, I went back and I was a little better than before. And on day three I was a little better than before. For me, try, try again wasn’t about going and going until I passed out from exhaustion. Try, try again was about taking that week of rest and knowing that next time would be different, as long as I went back.
Pride is worth the bruising.
The term ‘silk’ is a teeny bit misleading. That stuff can hurt. It pinches and pulls and leaves burns if you slide down it too fast, but, man, is it worth it. I bruise because I’m learning, or because I’m working on a slightly more advanced move that just demands more from my body. But the marks are temporary and serve as a reminder of how awesome I am for continuing to go back.
The highs are way more exciting after the lows.
Like I said, my upper body strength is not the best (as a dancer, leg strength tends to be the focus). Because of that, there were days when I couldn’t perform a climb, or couldn’t hold myself up in the silk without my arms giving out. So when, yesterday, at the last class of the term, I was able to hold myself up in the silk for a couple seconds longer than usual using only my arms, I WAS SO EXCITED. It’s a small victory, but a big-deal victory.
This silks class proved itself to be a test for my will. The will to keep trying. The will to face fears of falling. The will to ignore the negative thoughts that tell me there’s no way I can do it. I loved the challenge – both physical and mental. I can’t wait to get back at it in January and see what kind of progress I can make next term.
Have you taken part in something that really challenged you? Comment below with your experiences!