Over the course of nearly three years, I realized that everyone’s aerial journey is different. For the first few months, progress felt really slow for me and I felt embarrassed and ashamed about that. Meanwhile, I watched others progress at a much quicker rate than I was. Eventually, I found my groove. I started spending all my free time in the studio, practicing everything I could as hard as I could. It was a craving I felt that I needed to satisfy.
For anyone who needs to hear this: progress is not linear. If I were to make a graph out of my aerial journey, it would look like I was looking at the stock report. It took years of working on myself consistently to fully accept that both the highs and lows are normal. I used to ask instructors if they ever felt like their passion for it was gone, and if so how they continued to push through that to make aerial a happy place for them again. For starters, the unanimous consensus was YES. Finally, there was some sort of validation there, knowing that even the real life women that I look up to and adore struggle with their sport sometimes. I felt understood.
How to combat the feeling of falling out of love with a certain apparatus? Let it go. Still can’t nail your goal trick? Work on something else. Being a student at Aerial Dance has helped teach me that I need to have patience with myself. Some days are strong, and some are weak. On the weak days, I’ve been really trying to remind myself that if nothing else, I showed up. I made the conscious decision not to avoid something that makes me uncomfortable.
Recently I heard someone say “passion is a form of self care.” Something about that, for me, resonated. I have never felt passionate about anything I’ve done until I found Aerial Dance. It’s what pushes me to try things that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. At the very least, every class there is a workout, a learning opportunity, and a social interaction – and I can’t think of a better form of self care than that.