By Katherine Epstein

We all start our aerial journey somewhere. My journey started a year and a half ago when I went to an intro class. It instantly became my new favorite hobby. I was officially joining the circus!

The more I learned about my new hobby, the more I learned that it wasn’t just about working out and having a blast. Circus is a way of life that will make you think and feel differently . All of the components that go into training are a constant balance between wins and struggles that you aren’t exactly used to.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way:

Aerial can be scary:

It took me a long time to overcome the fear of being upside down. In fact, when I started, I wouldn’t let go of the poles in an inverted straddle for 3 weeks.

The reward: You learn to connect your mind and body. As you start to move up in both height and skill level, you will trust yourself and know your own boundaries. Then you will surpass those limits over and over again.

Circus can be painful (like really painful):

There will be bruises. And more bruises. Not to mention fabric burn,(if you don’t know what that is, trust me, you will). You’ll get both more than once. And yes, it hurts.

The reward: You did a move that pushed you. Bruises don’t last forever but that feeling of achievement does!

Using social media as a training tool:

Let’s be honest… we are all guilty of it. It’s tempting to watch tutorials on YouTube or crazy cool sequences on IG. (Don’t deny it. You know you have.)

The reward: You’ll learn the importance of asking permission from your instructor before trying ANYTHING you’ve seen outside of class. You need to trust your instructors, and if you follow this rule they will trust you too. Ask for the yay or nay and listen. Seriously.

Knowing when to tap your training breaks:

Circus is so much fun that it can be hard to stop! Constantly putting your body through such an intense workout can leave you fatigued and sore. And massages and injury prevention necessities can get expensive.

The reward: You will learn a lot about how your body operates. If you begin to feel like you should slow down then SLOW DOWN. Make yourself do it. Your aerial classes will still be there in two days, I promise. 

Dealing with moments of defeat:

When you don’t get something right the first time, or the second time, or the tenth time, you will feel like you’ve failed (sigh).

The reward: You will accept that you don’t like certain moves or realize that you just aren’t ready. The beauty of aerial is that nothing is “right” or “wrong” as long as it’s safe, so ask an instructor for a modification. You’ll love the outcome of making something your own.

Adapting your mentality to what circus is all about – YOU!:

Sometimes it’s hard not to compare yourself to other aerialists. We’re all human.

The reward: I learned to compare myself ONLY to me. You will, too. And your aerial family will be right there to cheer you on. You got this!

When you become an aerialist, adapting to the circus lifestyle will make it more than just a hobby. It will change the way you see and think about yourself. Just wait and see…

Now let’s fly. Check out our class descriptions and schedule.

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