Leveling Up IRL: Becoming an Aerialist

For the past five months, I’ve been doing a non-traditional type of workout! Before, I had been doing Pilates and yoga a few times a week at the local big-box gym and sometimes at home watching online videos. However, I had seen Janel Parrish and Troian Bellisario, actresses from one of my favorite shows (Pretty Little Liars), post on their Instagram some beautiful pictures of themselves doing tricks on aerial silks! I decided I wanted to be like them and searched for somewhere locally that taught aerial silks.


Via Groupon, I found a studio in town called Polecats Aerial Fitness that taught aerial silks along with aerial hoop (lyra), pole fitness, aerial hammock yoga, and more. I decided to try it out and purchased a 4-class deal. After trying four classes, two aerial silks, one pole dance, and one aerial hoop class, I don’t think I loved it right away. I was in pain for three days after my first aerial silks class (I felt like I couldn’t lift my arms). I was horribly un-sexy and awkward using the pole. Finally, I could hardly do a pull-up on the aerial hoop. However, I wanted to be good at it. I wanted to be as good as the other girls, and I thought I was capable enough to do it.


Five months later, I’m so excited about the repertoire of different tricks I can do on both the aerial silks and hoop. (I did not continue the pole classes.) It’s still painful sometimes, mostly on the aerial hoop if I land incorrectly (I broke one of my toes last month “landing” off the aerial hoop) or bang my foot against the metal. Sometimes the palms of my hands burn if I slide down too quickly on the silks while I’m gripping for life. (Google aerial silks burns if you want to see what that looks like!) It also feels like I’m cutting off blood supply if I’ve wrapped my torso or some appendage in certain ways!

I have no practical application for becoming an aerialist. I don’t plan on ever doing it professionally, but it’s extremely fun. It’s also getting me into excellent shape. I feel like my arms are toned, but not too bulky, and I can kind of tell, underneath this layer of tummy fat, that I probably have some crazy ab muscles going on!

Hopefully in the future I will have even more pictures and videos to show everyone about my progress. I don’t want to look like I’m holding on for my life and flailing about in the air!

In future posts, I’ll tell you about the other gyms I’ve been trying out and how I’m leveling up in real life!


  1. Ravanel Griffon

    March 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I used to do gymnastics, so this looks like a *lot* of fun to me. It also looks like it suits you naturally!

  2. Mei-Mei

    March 4, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    That’s awesome! Nice work 🙂

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