An Interview with Self-Acceptance Advocate Brandee J By Guest Writer Emma Medeiros FabUplus Magazine:…Read More →
Aerial Arts at Any Size, Let your confidence soar!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 31 years old and grew up in the small town of Keokuk, Iowa. I currently live in the slightly bigger town of New Prague, Minnesota with my husband and my fur baby, Gretzky. I love animals, music, and nature. I’m a hippie at heart. It has been a little over a year now that I have been participating in the aerial arts and I have absolutely fallen in love with it and has become a true passion for me. I’m enjoying my journey of working on being the best person I can be and just improving myself.
Tell us about how you got into your sport.
Well, to be honest, aerial is something I never would have tried. In fact, it wasn’t until an ad for aerial came across my Facebook feed did I even know that it was a possibility. At the time I saw the ad I had been in a 2-year plateau in my weight loss after losing 120 pounds. I was trying everything I could think of to shed more weight as I needed to lose another 50 pounds to be considered a candidate for a skin tightening procedure.
After expressing my frustration to lose more weight with my doctor, she suggested that I need to increase my strength training. It was that same day after the appointment that I saw the ad for aerial. I thought it looked cool and fun but I was very worried that I would be the most unfit, out of shape person there and that I would make a fool of myself. Between the timing of my doctor’s suggestion, my desire to lose the pounds, and that ad, I decided that I did not care if I looked like a fool. Worst case scenario, I never go back to that class! Well, fortunately for me the complete opposite happened. The moment I stepped through the door, the girls were so sweet, so supportive and I ended up having an incredibly fun and rewarding first day of class!
How has your sport changed your life?
Participating in aerial has given me a sense of community, helped me accept my body, and improved my confidence. Weight loss continues to allude me, but aerial keeps me healthy and active. I can actually say I enjoy exercising now!! It amazes me to see how strong my body is and what it can accomplish. This sport has really ignited something in me. I am now focusing on aerial nutrition and reading fitness magazines so I can become stronger and healthier so I can keep progressing with the sport. I’m improving my mind and body all while I am having fun; I love this sport!
How does participating in this sport make you feel about your body?
The more I progress with aerial, the more I am surprised by my own physicality. I was working on a climb for weeks thinking I would never be able to do it and then one day, it clicked. I was so excited to finally be able to execute it, but as I thought about it, I was so proud that I kept at it, fighting my mind to stay positive and then crushing it! It’s been such a rewarding experience. It’s proved to me how amazingly strong my body actually is. It has given me an incredible sense of accomplishment and achievement.
Where do you think this sport is going for women?
This sport is really starting to grow and become more mainstream. I believe more women and men will be doing more aerial art fitness because it is fun. It is exercise and it does take work, but at its core, it is just fun to do! Find a studio you’re comfortable with. It may take trying a few to find your fit. Know that it takes about 3 classes before you really get the swing of things. Start with a beginner class your first time. Take it slow and be patient. If you’re ever in MN check out Aerial Affinity. They have been so supportive and are the best!
Who is your inspiration?
Chris, my mom, who always told me to chase after my dreams and follow my heart.
Mike, my dad, who told me to work hard, keep pushing and never give up.
My sister and best friend, Lauren, who always gives me honest advice and is smart, brilliant, and humble.
Travis, my husband, my rock, who supports, loves, cares, and believes in me.
My Aerial family, who inspires and encourages me to soar to new heights.
What do you want to say to women who may not yet have the confidence to follow their dreams?
Just do it! Try something new even if you’re scared. Who knows, it might just be your new favorite thing. It takes a little courage to try, but once you start down that path you will get to experience a sense of community, positive healthy changes, both mentally and physically, and begin to fully realize your potential as a person. Take the leap, you won’t regret it!