Saturday’s portagem class only brought a little bit of soreness the next day, and it gave us a taste of the fun that could be had. Being in the gym, seeing the acrobats and the equipment got my gymnast heart beating again.
So I talked my new friend into going back with me and trying out another class.
This class? This class wasn’t going to be so easy. This class got us up off the floor and had the wonderful possibility of tangling me in a heap of silk and twisted limbs while I dangle from the roof without the strength to save myself.
Sign me up!
The skill of the day is called Tecido Acrobático, which is better known in the US as Aerial Silks. I’d seen a few performances before and loved the way the acrobats made it look effortless and flowing.
Let me tell you, it is not effortless! Especially when you’re a bit… ahem… bottom heavy.
The class is ninety minutes long, and after about twenty minutes of stretching and a few core strength moves we were shown our first move.
How to climb.
Both hands on the silks, wrap up one foot and use the other to “trap” the fabric and pull yourself up. Move your hands up and repeat until you’re as high as you want to go.
You pull with your arms, and push with your legs. You lift your knees, wind up and step again. Lifting my knees was the hardest part, but I made it about half way up without too much trouble. Success!
Move number two? Upside down, of course!
The instructors make it look so easy, and were so encouraging that it felt completely do-able… Until you’re upside down and the silks are digging into your sides, your thumbs get stuck in them and all the blood is rushing to your head. Then you have to remember which way to wrap and unwrap your feet, and where to balance your legs, how to grab the cloth to right yourself and how to get back out of all that fabric when you’ve finally finished the move.
But I’ll be damned if I was going to let my forty five year old ass defeat me. I payed attention, I asked questions, I ignored the pain and I tried, and I tried again, and I did it!
Next week I think I’ll get to try it a little higher up. Those are some very smart instructors who start us off close to the ground. I most definitely need some practice before I’m flipping around up high in the air, but I’ll get there!
Patricia and I were the first-timers today and she handled all the new moves like a champ. We had a great time, a few laughs and compared rug burns after every move. We’ll both be back next week.
We’ll be back because we got a taste of it, and loved it. We’ll be back because we watched the other students in the class and knew that with some work we could do what they were doing. We watched as each move got harder and more complicated.
Each student showed more and more strength, and more flexibility.
More courage up there in the air.
And more grace than I can even hope to display.
They climbed, they spun, the stretched and they flipped.
And at the end of the class I wanted to be just like them.
I’m so in!
And I’m going to be so sore tomorrow!