Aerial Silks – Week 5 – Still I Rise

I can’t believe it’s almost over. It’s not until I sit and reflect on my first class, when I screamed attempting a simple inversion, that I realize how far I’ve come.

The class started as expecting, with stretching and yoga. We even got our heart pumping with some jumping jacks (which Sara somehow still managed to make difficult). It wasn’t until the warm-up was over that I realized I got through the whole thing without having to stop. I mean, I was still sweating like


We started reviewing everything we’ve learned so far, and learning how to clean up our poses. Of course, we have to do our dead hang, our tuck and straddle, blah blah blah, but I’m rushing past all this because…

I learned something NEW!

We were working on our climbing, and I made it about as far up as I made it last week, but just couldn’t seem to get the strength to make it up higher, which was frustrating. That was, until a sweet angel of mercy taught me a hip thing… I call it…


So, apparently, in the midst of my climbing panic to scurry up the silk, I ended up making it harder on myself, and was basically forcing my arms to pull up all of this weight by itself.

What I needed to do was to calm down, first of all (imagine me having a problem doing that) and then wrap the silk around my leg with my knee as high as it can go..

Now, that part was easy, but I found that what I was doing was lowering my leg to bring my other foot on top to trap the fabric. I need to keep my leg high, but then when I bring my foot on top, kick both legs out and make a triangle out of myself and the silk…

Sara taught us that two weeks ago… I remember when she did that, but I was on the floor… dying… and so I forgot.

From the triangle, when you get your hands as high as you can, you push up with your hips, using your legs to take the brunt of your weight.

Body: DUDE! this is sooooo easy!


Next thing I know, I was able to get as high as I did last week in ONE pull. Before I realized it I was at LEAST a good 5 feet off the ground. I could’ve fit a whole other me underneath me!

I looked down, and everyone in class was looking at me, and they were all clapping. I honestly wanted to cry, because in my excitement…

I forgot I had to get down now.

Sara: “Hand under hand… you can do it!”

After a deep breath, I started slowly moving, hand under hand until I felt the mat under my feet.

Me: OMG that was amazing! I can’t believe we did that! I feel like we can do anything!

Body: How about sitting down for a minute?!

Me: I’d LOVE to!

But… I climbed!

I scurried up that silk almost as well as a toddler!

Score 1 for the old team!

Sara: “Now, I want us to learn a foot lock!”

Body: That sounds like something that doesn’t require us to pull or flip or die!

Me: That’s something I can get behind!

Brain: I don’t know… Sara sounded awfully excited…

Sara: “We’re going to wrap the silk, just like we’re about to climb, keeping our foot flexed, but then, we’re going to take the fabric and pull up… right to heart level, so we have some slack. Then we wrap it under the foot, from little toe to big toe, making sure we can see all of our toes, and wiggle them, and make sure we can see our heel. Then, we pull up strong! From here we can do our arm locks… we can stand pretty!

Me: That seems… totally doable guys!

Body: It does!…. what’s the catch?

I’ll tell you what the catch is. The catch is, your foot… and your hand… have to be in very close proximity to each other… while you’re standing. You have to practically bend in half while standing! Either your hand has to go down to where your foot is, or your foot has to come up to where your hand is…

My hand and my foot, are going through a messy divorce right now.

Me: Okay… we’ve got the silk wrapped around the leg. We pull up, creating a little slack… now we wrap the foot… we wrap the foot… hey guys! Little help?!

Hand: tell the foot to get it’s lazy ass up here!

Ass: Hey, leave us out of this!

Foot: I’m well within my rights to be here.

Hand: I don’t know how you expect me to get you wrapped if you won’t cooperate. You at least have to meet me halfway!


Me: oooookaaaaay. 


So, I had to give a lot more slack, and bend way over to get my foot wrapped. I checked to make sure all was in order.

Me: Where the hell are my toes?!


It took some adjusting, but eventually, I found them. I wiggled them a little bit. They retained 75% of their feeling, which I think was good enough. So, I tried out my foot lock.

It worked!

I was able to pull up, get a nice arm hang on each side. It felt pretty good! As the 75% started dropping, it was time to get out of it, though. I practiced it a few times and it definitely got better. I’m getting more comfortable relying on the silks to do their job of holding me up.

Our final torture for the evening was our partner ab work. It’s really hard work, but after holding yourself up, you’ll do anything to be able to lie on your back for a while. Still, even in this, I’m feeling stronger and more confident. I can really tell a difference. It makes me a little sad that the next class is the last of the session.

Just a little.

Inverted Smiles,


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