The time I tried aerial silks

Several years ago, Tyler and I went to a Escalade Rock Climbing for their black light night. While we were there, I saw people practicing aerial silks. I was mesmerized. I think I spent equal time watching them as I did climbing! Well after that, life happened, and I forgot about aerial silks.

Fastforward until a few months ago. Out of the blue I started thinking about aerial silks. I’m not sure what causes it, perhaps I was tired of it being too hot for me to enjoy my usual hobbies. I looked into studios close by, but found that Escalade was much cheaper with their special package for beginners. Also, I had been to the gym before and met some of the people there so I knew I’d be comfortable.

My first lesson was an introduction class. There we learned several poses, many of them upside down! The picture is from my first day. I’m in Chalice pose, which is the first one we learned. I enjoyed learn the poses and getting to play in the air.

One of the hardest things we learned was how to climb the silks. Its basically like the standard rope climb that people think of having to do for P.E. The foot lock is a little different, you kind of wrap the silks around your leg and clamp off by pressing one foot on top of the other. The climbing movement uses your whole body. First you use your arms to hold you off the ground. While you do that, you use your abs to pull your legs up as high as you can go and hold them there as you manipulate the silk, making the proper wrap around your leg. Then you use your legs as you “stand” up. Rinse and repeat! My arms and abs were screaming at me. They don’t tend to get much use with my typical hobbies: biking and hiking.

A pose called Buddha was the most fun to learn. I like it because there is a bit of free fall action if you want. I wish I had a picture to show, but ah well. You start standing on both feet. Then you kind of squat down, turning your feet so that the soles face each other, with the silks between your knees. Then you lean forward and FLIP! You fall upside down. The silks catch you of course.

After my intro course, I had two practice sessions and two more lessons. In the lessons I learned a few more poses and then put them together as part of a routine. I had a lot of fun. Aerial silks challenged different muscle groups than what I usually use. After I finished my beginners package, I thought about buying more lessons, but decided against it. Although I fully enjoyed aerial silks, the gym is too far away for me. I did my practice sessions on Sundays, so the drive wasn’t a problem, but to make it to the level 1 lessons during the week it took me about an hour. I usually try spend as much time doing something as it takes for me to travel there.  This certainly did not fit that requirement.

Traveling on a weeknight in general is difficult for me. One option would be to have a practice session and then attend the all levels lesson on Sunday, but after 1 hour of practice I’m pretty dead. I can’t imagine two hours of aerial silks back to back! Not to mention, now that its fall, my other outdoor hobbies will pick back up. Who know, perhaps I’ll be stir crazy enough come winter to reserve Sundays for aerial silks!

Adventuring Outside the Conference

My trip to New Hampshire, as told by pictures

2015-07-12 16.25.03Sunday before the conference. Mike and I explored one of the hiking trials.

2015-07-13 14.06.35Waterville Valley certainly earns its name. There are countless creeks running through the valley. They look different than the ones back home, wider and with rounder rocks.

2015-07-13 14.07.13I got to go for a mountain bike ride while I was there. It was fun and totally different than my usual mountain bike rides. I rode the ski lift up and then got to cruise downhill the whole time. I was mostly on gravel roads. It was nice riding past beautiful scenery and just letting myself gently roll.

2015-07-15 15.06.11One afternoon I had time for a short hike. I found this little trail that packed several cool features into about 30 minutes worth of hiking. First was this log bridge right before a set of stone steps.

2015-07-15 15.07.30Slug!

2015-07-15 15.10.51Another set of stairs. This one was dug into the side of the hill and supported by logs. It was much longer than the stone set from earlier.

2015-07-15 15.19.42Super awesome creek crossing. The water here is so clear! The creek is much deeper here than it appears.

2015-07-15 15.25.01Selfie! Because solo hiking…

2015-07-16 14.19.00First beautiful view of the Welch Mountain and Dickey Mountain trail loop. I went hiking with Mike and a couple other people from the conference.

2015-07-16 14.45.06Hiking to this point was a struggle. The ascent was steep with several rock scrambles, more for me since I’m short. On top of that we were booking it. The loop was 4.5 miles and we only had an hour and a half to hike. This was the best view of the whole hike. You could see mountains for almost 360 degrees. After this, there was a good bit of running to make it back down the mountain in time for the bus, but we made it! I kept up with the boys and I wasn’t even the slowest one. My everything was sore the next day. I’m so happy that I pushed myself to do the whole hike rather than just part of the loop. By far, my favorite memory from this trip.