Confessions of an Aerial Addict: Defeating Your Inner Pessimist

Aerial Hoop Half Angel Aerial Fitness

It’s not easy to accept your limits. You’re told, “Don’t compare yourself to others”… but it’s awfully hard not to.

My first aerial lesson, I rocked up on my own, the kind of confidence which had to be faked (it was) with the acceptance that I would suck (debatable) and the knowledge that my cardio was at an all time low (so true it hurts).

I was met with smiles and open arms, and I prepared to do a warm up with as much excitement as someone being informed of a power cut at CES (having thought this through, I probably would have found this quite exciting, very much like the start of some end of the world movie with an uprising of robots…I digress). The warm up was hard but running on a crash mat is similar to doing jumping jacks on sand.

I gathered round a yellow taped hoop, and watched as the instructor nimbly lifted with straight legs into a straddle before hocking on. Whilst hanging upside down she informed us of the safety points, on the areas to hold tight and how to safely dismount. I don’t remember hearing anything. I just saw her and thought, I’ve made a huge mistake.

There wasn’t a single part of my brain that said You’ve got this. I approached the hoop smiling, but hiding the already embarrassed and humiliated part of me. I made a jokey comment to deflect my anxiety to the other beginners, grasped the hoop and jumped.

It was not elegant at all. It was a flexed footed, grunting, sweating success. I had done it. I had managed the impossible. I sloppily climbed into sitting and sat there, the hoop swinging, 6ft in the air, grinning like a crazed Cheshire cat.

The next week, I couldn’t mount the hoop. What the week before had been easy, suddenly became the hardest thing I’ve ever persevered at. For the next 6 weeks I couldn’t get up into the hoop without an instructor on each butt cheek, hefting me up onto the hoop.

I felt disheartened. This was the first of many, many hurdles I met doing aerial acrobatics. It wasn’t a permeant limitation, and I tried every time to get into the hoop on my own, but I accepted it as a personal challenge which I would one day overcome.

The following term, I upped my lessons to twice a week, and things began to get easier. My next hurdle would be mermaid, then amazon, then double hock drop, followed by a myriad of other mountains to climb. Each one, I accepted and preserved at.

Some, like double hock drop, I may never achieve. Not because I’m not capable, but because the brain is a powerful hurdle that can prevent even the most able of people from overcoming.

I expect to meet many more hurdles as I continue on my aerial adventures, but after that second class, where I went back to my car and cried before driving home, I won’t let it reflect on my capabilities. I am capable of anything, even if I do have to accept my limitations sometimes.


The challenge. 60 books. 1 year. 1 blog post per book. 1 review per book. Click here to see my Goodreads profile.

Previously read: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy no.3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Currently reading: Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom


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