I was actually going to try to diversify my posting topics a bit, I swear, but then I had the best aerial day ever yesterday, and then another super good aerial day today, and I’m so excited that I just have to write about it. I’ll talk about something else another time.
So yesterday I passed my climb test, and then I did two inversion progressions on silks, and then I successfully pulled off a seahorse on trapeze. And today I got a push me, pull me on silks! All of these are things I have been trying and failing at, so it was incredibly vindicating to finally succeed.
But, since not everyone who reads this is as obsessed with aerial as I am, let’s talk about what those things actually are.
Safety is one of the biggest considerations in aerial class, for obvious reasons – you’re hanging around high up in the air with only your own strength to hold you. Because of the this, the place where I take classes has a rule that, until you’ve passed your climb test, you are only allowed to climb a maximum of three steps up on the fabric; that’s the approximate height at which someone will still be able to spot you from the ground.
So to pass the climb test, you have to climb three steps in the air, put on a footlock, take it off, repeat twice for a total of three footlocks, climb down, rest thirty seconds, then repeat on the other side. (Note: A footlock is where you “tie” the fabric around your foot so that you can stand in that foot and have the fabric support all your weight.) That may not sound like much, but climbing is basically doing pull-ups, so it’s a challenge. But I passed!
And then I proceeded to climb up SIX steps, which was really high and a little bit scary, but mostly just super awesome.
Inversions are a thing that I have been working toward since, like, my third class ever. You do them by starting standing up and holding on to the fabric, bringing your legs up into a straddle, and then flipping yourself backwards so you end up upside down with your legs straddled. Also way more difficult than it sounds – this takes a TON of core strength (and arms, but mostly core), because you have to be able to flip yourself upside down while in mid-air. In other words, you don’t get to push off of anything.
Up until yesterday, I’d been doing this in a sling where I have the fabric around my back and all I have to do is lift my legs off the ground (and push with my hands) until I tip over. Please note that even thought I said “all I have to do,” it actually took me like two months to even get to that point. But yesterday I switched to a progression where you have one leg in the sling, just in case, but are pretty much just doing it yourself. And then I switched to a progression where you are just doing it yourself, from standing!
I’m still starting from a tuck (with my legs bent), which makes it easier because your center of gravity is closer to your belly button, but this was a HUGE step forward and I was/am absolutely thrilled.
This… is difficult to describe. You start like this:
And then you roll around (push the bent knee toward the floor) and pull yourself up with your arms and end like this (the ropes are wrapped around his thighs and the trapeze is behind him):
This is also way harder than you’d think. I’d tried it on two previous occasions but wasn’t able to pull myself up enough – yesterday I succeeded. 😀
Push Me, Pull Me
Even though I think I’ve been working on it for the least amount of time, this one was probably my favorite accomplishment because it was completely unexpected. Today was only the third class in which I’ve attempted this, and the first two times I wasn’t even close, so I didn’t expect to be this time either. Except then I went for it, and all of a sudden I was upside down! I was so surprised I’d done it that I actually involuntarily squealed.
Important note: I only went until I was upside down, so about 35 seconds into this video. The stuff after that I haven’t tried yet.
All in all, it’s been a GREAT aerial week so far. And even though my muscles are a little bit sore, I’m going to my first level two fabric class tomorrow and it’s going to be awesome!