I can do some cool tricks on the silks now.
I can’t do anything.
That’s the duality that lives within me every single time I peel off my sweaty socks and spray my hands with sticky adhesive before approaching the aerial silks, whether it’s in my friends’ home (pictured above) or at the aerial arts studio, where I’m once again taking classes.
Oh yes, I’m starting a whole project in which I learn to master 12 different circus skills in a year! Check it out here: My Circus Year Preview
Of course, I know you can’t truly master something within the parameters of a month, but in my mind, if I just applied myself, thought real hard about it, and took two or so classes a week, I’d actually become an expert. I’ve really only been applying myself to the silks for about 8 days now (got a bit of a late start to the month), but it feels like I’ll never improve.
I know that’s a foolish mentality, because I already have shown some improvements. I used to never be able to flip upside-down unless I had the silk carefully wrapped twice around my wrists for security; now, with the aid of spray adhesive, I only have to wrap my wrist once, creating a more elegant and tricky look. I’ve managed to once or twice wrap the fabric around my foot while hanging from the air, something I usually can only do from the security of the ground. I’ve learned a few new tricks to add onto existing ones, and they’re pretty and impressive (see above photo. It looks great, but is hilarious to watch me try to get into). My soreness is starting to be less intense after each session.
And yet, as with anything physical or any new challenge at all, I can’t help but feel once again like the weaselly child I used to be, always picked last for team sports in PE and then smashed in the face with the volleyballs. There’s something to be said for athletic intelligence, and if you don’t have it, I fear you come across as slow or somehow stupid. All of my fancy book-learnin’ does me no good when I’m in the air and the instructor is saying “no, your left foot INSIDE the fabric. Inside. INSIDE!” Aerial arts are exhausting and hard in a whole new way, and all of the strength that I’ve accumulated through years of weight-training and hiking does me almost no good as the sweat beads on my forehead and I tell myself “INSIDE the fabric. INSIDE, dang it!”
I’m going to keep on keeping on, of course, but I certainly will need an attitude adjustment for the rest of the year if it frustrates me this much to not be good at something after 8 days.
See you next time!