​There’s certain parts of the aerial journey that every student remembers. The first standout one for me is walking into one of my beginner pole classes one evening, and seeing some Advanced (or perhaps higher) level girls climbing to the tops of their poles to clean. I was in awe. 

​At that point, I thought to myself “this is it. This is the most rad thing I could have ever walked in on.” I couldn’t help but think that it would take so long to learn how to do that. It was just so easy for them. I wanted that, and I was so excited to get there.

​Fast forward to the present. I’m currently in Advanced 2 with much less gusto about progressing on a certain timeline. Climbing the pole usually isn’t even something I consciously think about, let alone get genuinely excited about. The point I’m trying to make is this: as aerialists we do such cool stuff every day that we tend to lose sight of where we started our journeys. We get so used to doing the hard things until they’re not hard anymore, which makes it so easy to forget how incredible we all are. In turn, we minimize our accomplishments, because we aren’t “where we’d like to be.” 

​Comparison (of ourselves to others) can be great – it can motivate us to do better, do more, go harder. On the flip side of that coin, we sometimes feel like we will never catch up to other women we see. I’m here to say who cares?! I’m a minimizer – when I nail an invert I’ve been working on I tell myself that I should have nailed it sooner. Maybe I tell myself that the girl next to me does it with pointier feet, or a cleaner dismount. But my challenge to all my fellow aerialists is to take a trip back in time. Go back to when climbing, or sitting, or even spinning was the goal instead of something you “just do” twenty times per class. Think about how we, quite literally, are suspending ourselves in the air on a metal pole or a piece of fabric using nothing but our bodies. Not everyone can do what we do on any given day. And that’s always something to be proud of.