Week 1: A Fool & His Curiosity

First Day of Aerial Conditioning

Well.

That was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And it was incredible! The sheer physical strength, stamina, endurance and grace that is demanded of an aerialist is … astounding.

I was floored by just how much is going on in the physiological background of this art. When we see an aerialist perform, we are not only seeing a feat of mental precision in dictating movements, we are watching an astounding display of physical fitness.

I expected it to be difficult.

I didn’t expect that it would demand of me everything I could possibly provoke from my body.

We weren’t even using the silks or trapeze. We were just building up our bodies to perform the smallest of movements that would be asked to work in tandem with them.

The studio I am using is beautiful. An upstairs for lounging and other classes and a spacious downstairs with all the equipment. The community is welcoming as well.

The studio I am using is beautiful. An upstairs for lounging and other classes and a spacious downstairs with all the equipment. The community is welcoming as well.

At one point during the session, we rotated six stations with different exercises. Among them were trapezes and silks. We would hang by them, lift our legs and engage in three stances: pike, tuck, and straddle.

I immediately realised that, when we are watching an aerial performance, we aren’t just seeing thousands of hours of practice and skill. Not only mental precision with dictating movements. What we are observing is an extreme, high level of physical aptitude.

Let me give you some background. I know how to ride a unicycle, how to juggle, play classical piano, and even some violin. I also write novels and host a podcast. Tonight I realised one thing:

None of that is very difficult compared to this.

By this I mean in terms of dynamic synchronicity.

With piano, violin, juggling, unicycling, these are all very precise, specific movements. Music is, of course, more mentally rigorous. But juggling and unicycle rely on dexterity and a few repetitive motions which need to be practiced over and over again to gain fluidity.

What I am realising is that an aerialist will need the same mental acuity demanded of an activity such as music, but also the raw brawn of a physically tuned body.

That is what makes it so intense. This dance of the intellectual and the physical.

After the session, I immediately asked the instructor what I could do between the weekly classes. When I start a hobby, skill, or passion, I fall in love with it. I want to get drunk on it. For something that seems to demand everything of the practitioner if only to accomplish the rudimentary movements … one day is just too slow for me.

So I’ll be drilling myself throughout the week.

My next conditioning class is exactly one week from now. And on May 8th I’ll start the first fundamentals course.

I am exhilarated. I am an addict of challenge, learning, and progress. It will be hard for me to stay away.

After the class, I stumbled my way to a bar and ordered a pizza. The pizza, the entire pizza, did not go home in a box. It was utterly vanquished.

So much for curiosity. Today we turn it into ambition.