Aerial Silks – Week 2 – The Majestic Gazelle Gallops On!

That time of the week rolled back around, and once again it was Monday.

No problem, though, because I’ve been upside down and rolled up into a ball… so CLEARLY I’ve got this silks thing all sewed up!

The Majestic Gazelle Gallops On!

I strut my confident self right into Cirque de Vol. I’m so excited, I’m even early. The kid’s aerial class is still in session… how adorable. No prob… I’ll just have a seat in the corner over here.

Look at the little kiddies… ahh… I remember when I was a beginner…

say…. what’s that they’re doing, right there?

Angela: Oh, Sara’s teaching them how to climb today.

Me: Climb?

Angela: ** sinister chuckle** you’ll find out.

First of all, that chuckle was all kinds of unnecessary. I am a majestic #&@%! gazelle in case everyone’s forgotten.

Then, I happen to look up, and this little girl goes scurrying up the silk like a freaking squirrel!

Let me repeat that. A little girl… I don’t know, like 5 or something (I don’t have kids, I don’t know at what age they’re able to scurry up things) went zipping up the silk, with just her hands and feet… !!!!

Brain: uh Jim, we’re gonna need a confidence drain in sector 5

Me: Belay that, Jim!

**Tiny Mary Lou Retton scampers back down the silk flawlessly**

Me: … alright… go ahead, Jim.

Right about now, I would really like to eat a bucket of chili cheese fries and three donuts in my bed. But I remember that, at some point, I was a majestic gazelle…

The Majestic Gazelle Gallops On!

Class ends, and all the little showoffs go home with their parents (I hope they have tons of homework, too… like fractions and stuff!) and it’s time for me to try to remember what I was so proud of just twenty minutes ago.

We begin much like last time, stretching our necks and shoulders and arms, which is very important. Then, as expected, we went right into our tree pose. I powered down, foot to calf, and stretched my glorious branches up and out high. I even survived a fairly stiff breeze.

Sara: “Now, when you find a steady point, let’s close our eyes…”


We headed into our downward dog, getting a lovely stretch in our hips and thighs and all those things I have no earthly business stretching.

Sara: “Okay, now we’re going to take our right leg, bring your knee to your chest and then kick it up behind you, now let your knee bend, dropping the foot back and then we’re going to stretch and look underneath our right arm up to the ceiling!”


Someone forgot to tell Sara that we are still in downward dog… but she just sounds so excited…

bless her heart.

So… I’m trying to do this thing… and I don’t know if it actually has a name, if it does, I’m positive it’s not something I’d want to say in polite company. The best way I can describe it is… imagine a flamingo… then give it T-Rex arms. Now, stand behind it….

and push it over.

Arms: We’re cutting you out of the will.

Me: … fair enough.

Sara: “Now, we’re going to take our leg and we’re going to extend it out real wide and I want you to give me five biiiiig hip circles!”

Now… while it’s true that my hips don’t lie…

those hussies will plead the 5th in a minute!

Hips: Um… yeaahhh. We don’t do that.

Me: I know, but we’ve gotta try.


Me: Are we doing it?!


Okay, so my hips will lie. Good to know.

Sara: Alright, now let’s do the other side!


Nailed it.

I’ve never been so happy to do Cat-Cow in my entire life! We moved on from there to stretching out our legs, ankles and such, and finally it’s time to get on the silks.

It’s a good thing I’m a gazelle, because I look like I’ve just been running through the Serengeti for real! This gazelle is tired, and doesn’t want to gallop on! Where’s a hungry lion when you need one?!

Sara: “Alright, let’s get our knots tied and see what you remember from last week!”


Inversions are my new favorite thing! I want to be upside down all the time! But, I still had to try out my wrist lock and pull up, and of course, my Phoenix and Gazelle. I’m psyched. I’m pumped. I’m so ready!

Sara: “Alright, let’s take those knots out and learn our first lesson! Okay we’re going to bend our right knee, and what you’re going to want to do is wrap one pole of the silk around your right leg, all the way around so it goes across your ankle, then you’re going to want to pull up strong, bringing your left foot on top of your right, so that it makes a +, trapping the silk, then you will have started your first step to climbing!”

Me: Climbing? **looks at Angela**


Brain: We don’t like Angela

Me: Nope… me either.

Alrighty… let’s do this. On the ground. Yeah, let’s do this on the ground first. Okay we wrap the silk… all the way around. and then I put my foot across it like… this. Okay. This looks good – in theory. Now, let’s try it off the ground.

Right Knee: RK, reporting for duty!

Leg: Got the silk wrapped from knee to ankle ma’am, foot overhang is textbook!

Me: Left foot, you ready to deploy?

Left Foot: I’m getting static over the comms… over!

Arms: We need a go/no-go for launch!


Body: We have liftoff!

I did it!

Sara: “Now, if you think you have a handle on it, and you’re feeling brave, just repeat the motion and try to climb up the silk!”


Me: Aw c’mon! we at least have to try it!

Body: You keep saying that… but we really don’t!

Me: C’mon. One climb up.

So… apparently my body was right on this one. Climbing was not in the cards. I’m clearly not stronger than a 5yo (or however old that tiny squirrel was)

Sara: “Are we ready to learn another pose?”

Me: YES! Poses are everything!

Body: Can we talk to you for a second?

Me: Shh! Sara is speaking!

Sara: “Alright! We’re going to go into our inversion, but this time, I want you to wrap your legs around the silks and stretch them up.”

Me: Oh piece of cake! We’ve got this!

Body: We really need to have a chat with you

Me: It’s an inversion. You love inversions!

Body: We think we might have to murder Sara…

Me: Are you insane?! Absolutely not! I like Sara! I forbid it!

Sara: “After you’ve gotten into your pose,  I want you to give me 10 crunches!”

Me: Still… doesn’t hurt to hear the plan…

Crunches… upside down… dangling and swinging…

But… I got through it… somehow.

On to the next pose!

Sara: “Alright, now we’re going to get into the same pose, but this time we’re going to climb up the rope!”

You know those flash mobs when everybody stops, making it seem like the world has suddenly ended? Yeah, you could’ve heard a cricket eating a marshmallow in the corner for how quiet it got. Everyone thought we were going to have to climb up the rope while upside down, and probably doing 10 crunches. We were all gonna murder Sara!

Sara: “From your inversion, legs wrapped, we’re going to reach up and grab the silk, pull up strong, pushing your legs down, and keep climbing until you have… TADA! Diaper Pose!”

Yes, it is as uncomfortable and awkward as it sounds. This one is definitely going to take more practice, because the only thing more graceless than me in the diaper pose, is me trying to get into the diaper pose. But in the end…


I’ve got a pretty pair of pink huggies!

Me: Status report!

Body: 98% of the population is alive and well

Me: Has anyone heard from the thighs? Thighs! Come in!


Sara: “Okay, now we’re going to learn how to scissor-kick onto our silk!”


I wish I had some scissors.

Sara: “So we’re going to tie our knot a little higher. We’re going to grab one pole of our silk with both hands, and then **unnecessarily ridiculous flip** you want to kick up, and get one of your legs in between the silks. From there, you grab the other side of your silk, stiffen your leg and push down while pulling up strong, we’ll get your other leg through and then **big dumb dummyhead smile of accomplishment** we sit pretty!”


Me: … I know… Just… don’t say anything.

Brain: Has anyone noticed that we keep getting higher?

Me: Just… **sigh** everybody shut up.

So I tied the knot around shoulder high, then I wrapped both of my hands around one leg of the silk… and proceeded to stand there and stare at the place that my leg was supposed to land. Like, I honestly did calculus or whatever math subject deals with making the impossible happen. I feel like hypotenuse is a term I should be using. Either way, once again, solve for NOPE.

Sara clearly saw my distress and came right over. I almost felt bad for calling her a dumb dummyhead in my mind. I just kept looking down at my foot and up to the silks in my hand like … “just… please get up there!” But Sara was very sweet and patient.

Sara: “You can do it… it’ll get up there, I promise. Just kick up strong.”

Body: It’s a trap.

Me: I think I can get my leg up that high, but getting it between the silks requires more coordination than I think I have.

It’s not fun having to admit something like that. I see everyone else around me, and I pretty much feel like everyone can do this but me.

Sara: “Will it help if I hold the other end out of the way?”


Sara: “Okay. I’ll try to stand out of the way so you don’t kick me in the face.”

Me: I’m gonna do my best not to kick you in the face.

So, I tightened my grip and kicked up with all my might, and SUCCESS! One leg is perched upon my knot and the other is dangling precariously (and heavily) below me.

Me: I forgot what I’m supposed to do next!

Sara: “Grab the other pole, straighten your leg, push down hard, pull up strong! There you go!”

Me: Okay, I’m putting the nobody-kills-Sara rule back in effect!


Me: Angela! Take a picture! Cuz I’m only doing this once tonight!


They say a picture is worth 1000 words. My favorite part is what they leave out! I look good right?! Who would’ve thought?!

Alas, class had come to an end.

I came in full of confidence.

I came in and got showed up by a bunch of toddlers.

I came in thinking that there’s no way I can possibly do the things I’ve seen people do on tv.

I came in believing I’d never make it more than two feet off the ground.

I came…

I came in…


Until next week!

Inverted Smiles,


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