, ,

Since I’ve had my son, I’ve been trying to be more adventurous. Partly because I need to find ways to keep myself active, but I’ve come to realize that I can be incredibly boring, and who wants that? Nobody. That’s who. So, I’ve been doing fun stuff with my free time, mostly activities I’ve found on Living Social and other daily deal sites. We did pretty well with some family stuff, tickets to an ice cream festival and a children’s museum. I also saw a deal for an introductory “aerials” class.

What are “aerials?” you may ask? Well, it’s exactly not dressing up as the little mermaid, as I would come to find out. It is, instead, an introduction to the “circus arts,” believe it or not. For $12, I was able to score an hour-long introduction to the trapeze, hoop and silks, the kind of stuff you see in Cirque de Soleil and the like.

I arrived a bit early, watching another class finish up and changed from my work clothes into my workout gear. The website was pretty specific on no baggy clothes, so I was a bit intimidated by being around what I imagined would be lithe, super fit gymnast types. However, as the other people for my class arrived, there was a general trepidation we all shared, and my friend who I’d conned into joining me arrived, and all was right with the universe.

The class broke into three groups, and my friend and I started out on the trapeze. The skills were not unlike those you’d use on the playground when you were a kid, pulling myself up onto the bar, steadying myself, and doing the poses the instructor showed us. It was challenging, but fun, and before long I was sweating and breathing hard, but also laughing. This is why we were so skinny as kids, I remembered.

We moved on to the hoop, learning moves called “Delilah” and “The Man in the Moon.” The hoop was more challenging, but also really fun, and soon my hands were red and shaking from all the heavy lifting. The instructors were kind, supportive and really laid back. The encouragement was great and they were very patient as we tried to take photos of ourselves in ridiculous poses.

The last stage was the silks, long strands of fabric fixed to the ceiling. The tricks were even harder, and by then I was exhausted. I wasn’t able to do them as well as the others, so I’m hoping to get another opportunity when they open up for workshop series later this summer. The photographic evidence wasn’t as lovely as I’d hoped, so much awkwardness crammed into one frame. The images show me laughing, in spite of the awkward poses, not quite getting it down, but still pretty cool for a first timer.