You're never too old, inflexible or unfit for a new and inspiring hobby right? Over the next few weeks I'm going to be sharing my experiences of learning aerial circus skills with you and consequently, probably some quite silly photos of myself as I learn this new skill!
So, why aerial circus? Well, I love circus skills. We're very fortunate locally to have some great circus performers and a group that run an annual family circus camp. I love watching circus skills in action from the laughter producing clowns to the supreme skill of the jugglers, acrobats and aerialists. The dedication and patience that it must take to even learn to juggle amazes me and I am always spell-bound when watching these talented performers.
Then at that lovely circus camp I mentioned they did a silks workshop for the adults and with a little help I was rather delighted to be able to do this! ......and I had a dream in which I ran away with the circus and was learning trapeze. In the dream I was so excited that I was actually going to focus on and dedicate myself to learning a new skill (I'm normally pretty lazy and easily distracted!). Several months later and a friend and I have just signed up to 'An Introduction to Aerial Skills' at a local circus hub - a five week course during which we get to try aerial hoop, rope, silks and trapeze.
So week one started on Wednesday and my upper body has just about stopped aching! Who knew I had so many muscles involved in pulling up my own body weight with my arms?! I clearly don't usually use them that much!
Anyway, we warmed up (the hub is in the rather beautiful setting of an old church - beautiful but freezing - more layers next week!) and then started doing some relevant exercises - simple yet apparently impossible things like holding on to silks by ones arms and folding your knees up to your chest for 10 seconds. One lady commented - 'If my life depended on this, I would die!'
Having made serious mental notes about using the week ahead to increase my upper body strength we moved on to having a play on the aerial hoop and by following a fairly simple set of moves we were able to do the 'Man in the Moon' where you balance in the hoop. Not the clearest photos I'm afraid but you get the idea - whoop whoop how exciting! What was lovely was that we all helped and encouraged each other so much even though most of us had only just met.
So there we go. I confess that I felt slightly deflated by my complete inability to hold myself up by my arms and the ensuing tension in my shoulders set off a two day headache (alas, something I'm prone to). Having recovered from that though I'm excited about doing more next week and practicing to get stronger. It's amazing how quickly you can increase your strength and fitness and just today I realised that the trees on my daily dog walk have very useful branches for practicing pull ups! So watch this space! I'm a firm believer that we can do anything we set our minds to so I'm convinced that by the time the five weeks are up I will at least be able to have had fun dabbling in aerial circus without being in pain for three days afterwards 😃
Thanks to watching friends for taking these photos.