This post honors my two year anniversary of discovering aerial silks!
Ever since I first came across aerial silks almost exactly two years ago, I’ve been hooked. I love love love watching videos, going to class, practicing on my own, and daydreaming about finally being able to execute those tricky moves I still wrestle with (I’m talking about you, fickle wheel-down).
Separately, my interest in sustainable food has deepened in the past year. I found an appreciation for watching videos of lectures, practicing growing and cooking food, and reading about the food movement.
These seemingly disparate subjects constantly battle for space in my head. When I built this website, I couldn't select just one, so I picked both!
Are aerial silks and sustainable food really so mutually exclusive?
I’ve decided that no, they are not.
Join me today as I summarize for you 5 things aerial silks can teach us about sustainable food.
1) Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
In aerial, it's critical to be extremely self-aware and responsible when it comes to your body. That means warming up really well, stretching, and never jumping straight into the most challenging moves. It also means honestly checking in with yourself when you’re up in the air. You should continuously ask yourself: does any part of my body feel wrong or seriously painful? If so, stop. Operating in this careful and patient way isn’t always the most fun, but it’s vital in taking care of future you.
It's the same situation with eating! Remember eating all kinds of unhealthy terrible foods back in the day? (I do!) Well, now you’re mature and responsible (at least most of the time) and you know that putting crappy food into your body doesn't feel good now and certainly won't feel good later. Instead, if you take the steps to eat better-sourced, healthy food, your body (and the environment) will thank you for it long into the future.
2) The outcome you get is a direct result of the time you put in.
Research on expertise states that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. That’s 1000 hours a year for 10 years. Regardless of whether I’ll ever reach that number for aerial (probably not!), the mental and physical time I put into it every week results in greater strength and skill than before. I'm constantly improving.
The time I put into thinking about and preparing foods that are more sustainable builds my knowledge base and skill set in the kitchen. I’ve learned so much in the past year through tweeting (follow me at @justfoodnews!), auditing online classes, and writing this website! I’m much closer today to being an expert in sustainable food than ever before and it's because of the time I've put into it.
3) Being uninformed is dangerous; learn from experts.
I see this issue come up frequently in online aerial forums. A talented aerialist will post a video of an amazing move and aerial students will view the video and try to copy it on their own. Unfortunately, the viewer often doesn’t understand the mechanics of the move without instruction. This leads to, at best, an unsuccessful attempt and, at worst, a dangerous situation.
In food, there’s a plethora of information and strong opinions on the internet. Obviously multiple people can't all be right when they take diametrically opposed views on issues like GMOs and veganism. So, get some instruction from credible sources, become an informed consumer, and seek out experts in your learning.
4) It’s alright to be uncomfortable when trying something new.
Ready to try a new drop? Yes! I mean, no. I mean, yes, but I’m scared!
Aerial involves expanding your comfort zone every time you try a new move. That's one of the things I love about it. Similarly, a lot of folks feel uneasy when trying new foods, incorporating new eating habits, or changing shopping patterns based on food values. The first time you say: “I’ve decided not to eat that,” at a friend’s party because of your newfound sustainable food principles, it can be uncomfortable. Accept that discomfort and don’t let it stop you.
5) It’s always better when you’re part of a community.
I train by myself, I cook by myself, and I often eat by myself. But all of these things are so much better when I do them with other people! Aerial with friends is awesome because you have someone there to remind you which way is left and help you out if you tie yourself in a knot (not that that's ever happened to me.…).
And for eating? Meals with friends are so much better than alone! The experience is richer when food is created together and consumed together. Thinking about the origins of the food you’re eating and discussing issues in sustainability are best done communally.
So there you have it. See, we can learn so much about sustainable food from aerial!
Now I’m off to eat a grass-fed burger while hanging upside down in a split!*
*Disclaimer: this should only be attempted by a professional; it will be very messy.
What do you think? Did I miss any other ways aerial and sustainable food are connected? Let me know in the comments below!