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The Fat Man's Battle with Aerial

Updated on August 10, 2012
Thanks to Pazmino Photography
Thanks to Pazmino Photography

As a child I

saw a lot of the arts in my home. My family watched a lot of football, ice skating, basketball, etc. I think in my dad's mind he was hoping one of these would draw my attention. Well he failed and then on accident succeeded. I tried to get into each of the sports that I listed. I either didn't have the strength or concentration to hack it. I also admit that none of them held my fascination. A lot of time has passed and until recently I have been suffering under the after affects of inactivity. At work, one of my wife's co-workers talked my wife into checking out a place called Pearl. It isn't your average gym.

My wife tried to impress upon me how less then average this gym was from the get go. When I saw the light in her eyes after the first class I made a conscious effort to no allow anything she showed me about the gym dissuade me from my determination to support her. I have found in my relationship that hiding skepticism is helpful. I went so far as to go with her and wait in the cold car until she was done. I did this a couple times, only letting myself having sneak peeks into the gym. It wasn't like any gym I had ever seen but it made her happy.

On the third or fourth time waiting for my wife, in my perversity of mind I considered what would happen if I, a straight man, were to enter this wonderland for the obtuse female, and read a book because the cold outside my car was kicking my ass. I say obtuse because, one of the disciplines taught at Pearl which is now called Onyx, is pole. When people think of pole they most often think of strippers. People who go to Onyx and other such studios deal with that stigma. Considering the feats of strength that true pole artists are capable of, the stigma isn't even close to fair but women and men who go to studios like Onyx must be obtuse to such negativity.

I am aware enough of the etiquette in gyms for females. You never stair. I am not the average fellow and the thought of even looking wasn't as appealing as the looks on the women's faces as I stonily ignored them and read my book while waiting. i, however, couldn't ignore the art going on.

I read my book like a good boy but I saw these sheets if fabric coming from the sealing. More enticing still, I saw people climbing in them and doing things that reminded me of one of my dads failed attempts. Just once, I saw a special on TV called the Cirque du Soleil. I had quite forgotten about my fascination with that performance until that moment in my wife's gym. Unfortunately for me, my wife saw the look in my face. It only lasted for a fleeting moment and then I went back to my book, but she saw it.

For the next couple weeks she nettled me about the possibility of me taking a course in aerial silks. She has a habit, when she catches me admiring things of pushing me towards obtaining those things. There started to be talk of starting an all male course. While this interested me, something in my perverse mind told me that if I were serious about silks, I shouldn't let the social consistency of the members of the class dictate to me whether I was going to pursue my fascination.

i, therefore, signed up for a class. I was told that not much would be possible physically my first time. I didn't doubt the truth of that. I am still over weight. I have quite a bit of muscle under the belly I have acquired. I know, however, muscle doesn't do what you want it to just because it happens to be there. This was unlike anything I had accomplished in a long time. I used to climb trees as a kid but climbing silk beat out trees by a large margin.

I obtained the necessary cloths... or at least most of the cloths, before my first class. I have yet to talk myself into tights. I am almost prepared to take my silk rash like a man. It is a few classes later now and i have a monthly pass to pursue this. i have yet to climb but I can go upside down under certain circumstances. I am determined and fascinated still with the proposition of climbing to the top of the silk and touching the sealing as well as doing all of the other cool moves that the others make look so easy.

I have noticed a difference in my body as I have worked on this skill. I am sure before the end I will have a totally sculpted ab section as well as trained muscles that do what I want when I want whether they like it or not. I can feel myself slipping into wanting to try out some of the other classes they offer too. They provide instruction in ballet, trapeze, aerial whoops, flexibility, core, and pole dancing. I feel strange sometimes in the skin I am in but then I ignore the sensation and try again.

A taste of true Pole acrobatics

July 10th 2012

An update. I am now reasonably sure of being able to stand on the silks which is a start. i can't quite defeat gravity yet but I am actively fighting for it. It has taken me a bit to do this and I seem to have a knack for doing elbow stands.

For those wanting to do things that are hard. Don't give up. They will suck every now and again. If it wasn't that way you wouldn't have bothered. It is good to be addicted to doing hard things. It makes you ultimately capable of doing more.

I Did it!!!

I went upside down in wrist locks today. For those who have never done anything like aerial silks, it is where you are held in a rough knot by each wrist and then you tuck and jump. I have to laugh at the jumping part as there are some out there who are more then capable of slowly rising to an upside down position between the silks. Think of iron rings in men's gymnastics but with flowing fabric instead of sturdy metal links. Getting upside down has taken me a while. It is interesting, looking at the date when I first started this little blog to see how time has flown.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who are much better at this discipline then I am but I am more then up for chasing them down. I find that when you seek excellence, both within and without, the journey gets easier. That isn't to say that there are no obstacles. To say so would be foolish. I only mean that all of the little disappointments get swallowed up in the joy that comes with achievement. If something is hard, do it.

A 15 year who I look up to


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