Do one thing that scares you every day

Do one thing that scares you every day – that’s good advice. I like to take it a step further and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday fully terrify myself for at least one hour in aerial dance class.

There are many types of aerial arts, but the one I do is usually called Silks and it involves performing acrobatic tricks using two strips of fabric hung from a ceiling rig.

aerialforadviceIt’s harder than it looks, but easier than you would expect – if that makes sense. On one hand, I make progress every week. On the other, at least half of my attempts involve the instructor shouting explicit directions and end with me lying on the floor in a tangled mess.

“It’s like Cirque du Soleil… but with a lot more yelling,” I told my friend while attempting to demonstrate a climb in my apartment using only a winter scarf and a doorway pull up bar.

“No offense, but are you sure that’s the best hobby for you?” she asked.

It’s a fair question. I’m the person who, at 32, has yet to master revolving doors; the girl who once slipped on a baby carrot; the lady for whom walking near furniture with sharp edges is a challenge. So I understand the concern. I would probably agree that I don’t need the added excitement of being ten feet off the ground. But if this blog has proved one thing – besides the fact that I fall a lot – it’s that I’m used to it.

Luckily, my training has been remarkably disaster free so far. The worst I did was lose my balance while wrapped in a split. I tore a muscle in my thigh and for a week I couldn’t stand up or sit down without a major production. As a bonus, it coincided with the start of my new job. So I did the reasonable thing and told everyone I injured myself running.

But even with the torn up leg, I kept going to class. Because it’s really fun – so fun that I forget it’s exercise. And if you can find a workout that makes you feel like that – then you should stick with it. Good things happen when you do.

Not horrible, right? I mean, I’m not supposed to kick the fabric and the drop at the end is still timid, but it looks better than I expected it to. It even passes as effortless at some points, which I consider a major accomplishment since every second I’m up requires a lot of work to stay there.

So what’s on the agenda this week? I’m going to clean that trick up – and probably learn a new one too.

I’m sure you’ll hear me yelling.

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