This weekend, I went back to Aerial CLT- a place that was once a second home to me. I used to show up at my happy place multiple times per week to take classes, practice, and to just be around a group of fun, crazy, and supportive people. I wish I was going back to resume my normal practice, but I am not there yet. I am gaining much of the strength back in my shoulder that I lost from my injury, but still not enough to resume my aerial practice.
Instead, I went back to play Hungry Hungry Humans. Basically, a bunch of adults dress up in silly costumes and use the silks to propel themselves to pick up plastic balls & place them in a sack created by the knot on a the bottom of the tied up silk. A picture is worth a 1,000 words with this one.
I was hesitant to show up there, as I have been hesitant to come to any aerial related event these past few months. To be a part of something and then to suddenly have it taken away, left me feeling like I was stuck in no (wo)man’s land. I wasn’t sure if I belonged any more. In my last post about my injury, I talked about the feelings of loss and depression that I have experienced with this, as well as it’s impact on my parenting. After I posted it, I had others reach out to me to say they related to this. Some of them were away from their aerial practice or sport of choice because of injuries or because of financial issues, moves, illnesses, or other stressful life circumstances. I am far from alone with this experience.
When coming to these events, I am afraid that my jealousy will keep me from enjoying myself. After all, just about everyone else in the room is able to do something that I can’t do right now.
However, I’m glad I did show up. In the moment, I was just happy to see friends, laugh, and play a silly game in a ridiculous costume. I didn’t focus on my limitations and just had fun in the moment.
5 things I have learned from this injury so far:
1. It’s okay to express your emotions. At times, I felt silly being so sad about not being able to do an activity I enjoyed. After all, I have so many other good things in my life. However, a loss is a loss, whether it is temporary or permanent. You can mourn an activity, as you can mourn the loss of a relationship, a job, or a place.
2. Set limits and boundaries. I had a friend who would send me pictures after each of her classes. I was proud of her accomplishments, but seeing her pictures just made me sad. I let her know that I was happy for her, but to stop sharing them with me.
3. Stay connected. Even though I am not around the studio, I know I am not forgotten. They are still my friends even though I can’t climb to the top of a 20 foot silk and drop to the ground with them. I love seeing them outside the studio, getting texts, & calls from them and hearing what’s going on in their lives and listening to the gossip (I know I’m bad, but I am a sucker for gossip.)
4. Find another activity that you enjoy. For me, I decided to start writing this blog to give me something else to focus on. I also love running.
5. Patience. This one is the hardest one for me and will be always be a work in progress. I had a very wise friend say to me, “what’s a year in the course of a lifetime.” Initially, I was annoyed by this comment. I thought there is no way this is going to take a year. I can’t miss out on a year. That would be the end of the world. (I’m a bit dramatic sometimes). Now seeing how long this is taking and understanding that not every injury is straightforward, I see that she is right. A year is nothing in the course of a life time.