I mentioned the other day that I’ve been taking aerial silks lessons at Samadhi Hawaii. Here are a few things that go through my head while I’m trying to get up in the air.
Every time I’m about to pick my feet up off the ground, I experience a moment of panic, not because I’m afraid of falling, but because I’m afraid that my arms will not support me. It’s fairly common knowledge that I have useless dinosaur arms. I’ve been saying it for nearly ten years. Why in the hell did I ever think I could do an activity that involves supporting one’s entire body weight with one’s arms? Moreover, I am no adorable little pixie. I’m a bit of a giant who happens to be carrying around a few extra pounds. That’s a big battle against gravity right there. I’ve lost my mind.
It’s extremely hot in the studio. Because of my insanely weak arms, I often have to be spotted by the instructor. This means she has to touch my sweat. I feel horrible about this. It’s rather embarrassing. But I’m paying her quite a lot, so I guess that’s what it’s for.
Watching the other students, I realize just how breathtaking this form of movement is. With absolute ease, they seem to escape the ground, flip their legs up over their heads, wrap themselves in silk, and achieve splendid poses with fairy-like grace. It’s mesmerizing.
This is the first thing I’ve tried in a long time that I have had practically no success in. In the past, my body has generally been able to perform most things I’ve asked it to do. Not always to the standards of perfection I would have hoped, but with at least a moderate amount of competence. Aerial silks I cannot do. I struggle with every single motion. My body screams and aches for days afterward. I must look like some kind of sad cow up there. Each week I dread going to class.
And yet, after I left class this week, with my fingers on fire and my arms dead with pain, I felt a strange sense of rejuvenation. I put some music on my iPod, took the long way home, and sang to passing tourists from my moped, in view of the Pacific Ocean whenever possible. I still suck, but I guess failing is better for the soul than never trying to climb in the first place.