On remarkably varying scales, we are all born with a sense of danger. Our drive to survive is powerful and can define how we choose to live on a daily basis. Perhaps it might be double checking our cars for faults before a journey, or going back to check we’ve switched off a pair of hair straighteners (yes, we we’ve all been there) or even the feeling of grabbing on to something as we trip across an underestimated front step. These are all moments of self protection
The fear of flying is certainly not defined by physical strength. Some of the most powerful aerialists in the world can come unstuck when faced with a drop they aren’t used to. It can feel illogical when we know we are in the safety of professional guidance with a crash mat laden environment. But it can be a tough one to overcome! So how can we get past that moment of resistance? What are some of the ways we can fight the urge to climb down and give up?
1) Breathe. Yes, really. You may think this is a given. But you might be amazed at how often we can stop our breath from flowing easily when in a situation of fearfulness. If you’re in a lock of some kind, or semi-comfortable where you are, take a moment to inhale and exhale deeply 2 to 3 times before you try and tackle whatever drop or trick it is you’re struggling with. It can do the world of good for your body’s fight or flight reactions!
2) Talk to your instructor. Spending time talking about your fears ahead of a class or even before tackling a new trick or combo can really help to alleviate the core stress you may be building. Follow the guidance of your trusted professional. Perhaps they might even be able to relate, and offer stories of success from their own experiences. We’re all human, don’t forget.
3) Eat! Make sure you have eaten something wholesome and nutritious ahead of classes, although not immediately before a session. By doing so, you can regulate your blood sugar levels which can aide with combatting adrenaline spikes and stress. Staying hydrated can help hugely also in keeping our mind and body working most efficiently. A dehydrated brain really won’t help.
4) Research! By learning more about your art form and its technicalities away from the studio, you are likely to feel far more informed. Instead of following step by step, you can take a hold of your own learning process and therefore feel much more confident in the air. This is such a simple method, but it makes the world of difference at any training level!
5) Listen to yourself. You know yourself better than any teacher, colleague or classmate. You know your limits, and when you might need to take a break. Equally, you also know what you’re capable of. Your gut will do the talking, when you’re at a crucial moment. Don’t be afraid to fail. Even if it means throwing yourself off on purpose on to the crash mat to realise it’s not so bad! Do the things you need to do to get where you need to be. The circus is made for adventure, but equally for joy. Do what you love, and know that each moment is leading you to exactly where you want and need to be – sky high or otherwise.
Never forget – we’re here to help you overcome your fears, and any of our instructors are more than happy to help you on your aerial journey. Enjoy your training CircusMASHERS – see you in class!
To book any of our aerial classes, click the link! https://circusmash.co.uk/adult-classes/