I just completed 8 exhilarating weeks of circus aerial arts intro at Circus Swingapore. The assessment was last Monday and there was a time when I thought I might not pass. We were supposed to do a series of poses on the silks, trapeze and hoop and there were some poses that I wasn’t very good at. For example, it took me some time to figure out the candy cane pose in the picture above. I also had trouble climbing up the silks, which we were required to do as part of the assessment.
A few weeks before the assessment, I started going for practice sessions during the days between our actual classes. I developed calluses on my hands and various parts of my body were constantly aching. On the day of the assessment, I was a nervous wreck. I guess I’m very good at giving tests but not so great at taking them! Thanks to all the practice sessions I’d attended, I managed to do everything that was needed and I passed. Such happiness! I’m starting Level 1 next month and I’m so excited. Level 1 is apparently very tough and the passing rate is significantly lower than the intro level, but I’m looking forward to it.
Some learning points/ takeaways/ random thoughts:
1. It’s not the final outcome, it’s the journey leading up to it. When I first started the intro class, I couldn’t even make it up onto the hoop without someone to help me. I couldn’t make it 2 ft up the silks. In the process of attending those 8 intro sessions and the practice sessions, I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I can feel it! It’s a good feeling. I keep telling people, “Touch my arm! See how un-flabby it is!”
2. Technique is everything. There were some poses I struggled to perfect: candy cane on the silks, amazon on the hoop and trapeze. After talking myself through and trying over and over again to use the right technique for each of the poses, things fell into place. Poses that felt awkward or even impossible to execute initially became natural and easy.
3. Mind over matter. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing difficult about a pose but my nerves get in the way. I get self conscious, and I rush through it and screw it up. When I forced myself to relax and tried some positive thinking, I did so much better.
4. Just because I’m old/ a mother of two/ a boring teacher doesn’t mean I need to act my age/ be all mumsy/ only participate in practical activities. When something is fun, you’d naturally want to do it. This is the only class I didn’t find myself trying to find an excuse to skip now and then. Yes, it probably doesn’t have any real-life application. Maybe I could use my new, improved arm strength to climb up a tree and get away from an angry bear. The point is, if something is a drag, why bother to do it? And this is the complete opposite of being a drag; this is so much FUN.
Just a few of the poses we have to do: