On New Year’s Eve in 2013, I stood, mesmerized, in a crowd of dancing club kids in a neon-lit room, watching this sexy muscular woman in a bodysuit climb and drop on the silks right beside the DJ on stage. I didn’t even know what I was watching but I said, “I want to do that.” I found the aerialist and asked her how long she had been training, “Three years,” she exalted! Dang… I’ve got three years until I can do that?
And then there was that internal silence… you know, that quick, quiet moment when you decide whether this is something you really want to work hard for or not.
I started taking Intro to Silks at AerialCLT in late January of 2015, advanced to intermediate around April and just recently completed a year of practicing the Silks twice a week. Silks have transformed my body and changed my life in so many ways…
I mean, my body. I’ve got abs? and SIDE abs? and those sexy muscular lines that go from your side abs to your… you know, lower/middle hip area… I HAVE THOSE? HECK YES I DO! And my arms! Doing pull-ups at the gym is my anti-depressant. What up, studs?
Confidence. Practicing aerial silks has me caring more about what I eat, how I sit, walk, and stand. I budget money for a Chiropractor and green, organic foods. I have made my health a priority. Most importantly, it has me caring more about who I let into my personal space. If you don’t respect me the way I respect myself, then you gots ta go – which wasn’t always the mantra I practiced.
Performing. Before I got into silks, I was a Fire Flow Artist. “Flow Art” or “Prop Manipulation” is my main hobby. While you’re dancing around with a staff or hula hoop, just set that prop on fire and you have “Fire Flow Art.” Flow Art and Silks really go hand in hand with understanding how your body moves and how to move the prop (or silk) around your body. Honestly, the best way to describe this is to pretend that you are Neo and you can see the matrix. Silks… did that for a hobby OUTSIDE of the aerial studio.
The truth is… Silks are hard. They are.
I don’t care if you do cross-fit on the reg, you cannot just take one class and start climbing a silk. Your body has to learn and grow with it pulling up, gripping, and hanging my your knee pits. That takes dedication. It takes passion. It takes MONEY! Friends, you have got to want it… because you have got to try again… and again… and again. You will fall and your splits will not be as good as everyone else’s and that little brat in the back of your mind is going to try to convince you that you can’t do it… but you keep trying and you keep pulling up in that silk and everyday you try again and pull up a little more. Soon, you are able to understand the moves, get tangled less and fold deeper into those splits until one day… you jump into the silks and breeze through the Slack Drop, the first intermediate silk move that scared the pride right out of me (falling sideway, backwards, AND upside down?) Yeah… you couldn’t even do it and a year later, you nail it, no problem. You want to know how that feels, friends? It feels like 3+ hours a week for a year, hundreds of dollars of lessons and leotards, countless hours stretching, handlebar pull-ups and handstand push-ups, practicing straddle-ups every time you visit a playground, lat-pull ups with the weight of ALL OF THE GROCERIES you’re carrying at once into the house.
The sheer drive/ focus to keep trying and experiencing the results first-hand… feels like the world is in my palm of my hand because if I can make hanging upside down in the air for almost ten minutes look easy, there isn’t anything I can’t do.
And that is priceless.