Many know the cliche “no pain, no gain.” For pole and aerial arts enthusiast, that cliche is literal. It doesn’t mean that you have to hurt yourself in order to be great at the sport. It does mean that you will have various bruises and very sore muscles as you strive to accomplish physical feats that no average person would consider doing. The Aerial Conditioning class is no exception. I assumed that the curriculum would test me, and I was not disappointed!
I’ve been away from pole fitness for a long time, and I know that I need to condition my body to withstand the requirements of this beautiful niche of sports. Let me tell you: That is EXACTLY what this class does. Every major muscle and plenty of minor muscles on my body are quite sore today, and I’m writing this the day after.  Don’t freak out–it’s not so bad. Here’s how it works:
The instructor will let you know the exercise you will do. You do that assigned exercise for ten seconds, and then break for ten seconds. You will do this eight times in a row. After those eight reps are done, you get a minute to “relax” before the next exercise is introduced. The instructor guides stretches in the beginning and end. Seems easy enough, right? I thought so!
The first exercise we had was jumping jacks. I was pleased, because I thought this would be a simple first exercise. By the fourth rep, my muscles were begging me to stop. My calves were seizing and I was losing steam. No longer did I think, “Jumping jacks–pfft! I got this!” My inner dialogue was along the lines of, “For the love of all that is sacred and holy, please, please, please let this be the LAST set of reps we do!” and “One more Breanna, you can do one more.”  We proceeded on to various squats and lunges, as well as sit-ups, mountain climbers, and burpees. I honestly can’t remember every single exercise we did, for the simple fact that I had to remain so focused on the moment at hand. It required all of my attention, and all of my strength.
I will absolutely take this class again.
It was an enlightening experience. I learned so much about my physical self. I felt great in my squats and lunges, which shows me that my thighs and rear  are acceptably strong. My triceps, on the other hand, are very weak. I think I was only able to do three teeny-tiny triceps dips in a row, in each rep, before my arms refused to do any more. Triceps play an important part in aerial strength, so I know that I need to work on those. My overall physical endurance could definitely use some work as well. The more endurance I possess, the longer I can practice or perform.
I also learned that if I believe in myself and I try my hardest, I can endure and/or accomplish anything I set my mind to. That Aerial Conditioning class was hard. I would venture to say it is the hardest physical thing I have done in quite some time. I wasn’t sure that I would make it to the end of class, but I did. I can now say that I have endured and completed an Aerial Conditioning class. If I can do it once, I can do it again!
“I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to” might sound like another cliche, but it is another thing that any pole or aerial artist can prove true. Each day we practice, we strive to be better than we were last time. We will push ourselves farther than we ever consider feasible, and we accomplish it. When we realize that we hold the key to our own success, anything is possible.
I hope I see you in my next Aerial Conditioning Class! Together, we will fight through the repetitions, each one making us a better pole goddess than we were before. 🙂