One of my students, who is also now an instructor at High Expectations, is famous for asking me, “But why would we do that?” whenever I am teaching something new in class.
We laugh about what, but what she doesn’t know (until now!) is that I LOVE that she asks that question. Sometimes, it startles me and it can be a very vulnerable place to be as an instructor: standing in front of a group of people who are paying you to teach them and being asked to explain the “why” of something. BUT, it forces me to actually know, really and truly know, why I am teaching what I’m teaching. And that, folks, makes me a better instructor and it makes me a better aerialist.
And it can make YOU a better aerialist (or really, just a better anything). This reminds me of one of my favorite business quotes (that can also apply to overall life):
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ~Peter F. Drucker
Most of us in today’s world are on auto-pilot. We wake up like zombies and reach for our phones. We eat the food that is presented to us in the drive-through line or the grocery store aisle. We watch whatever is on TV. When was the last time you paused, and asked yourself, “Why would I do this? What benefits does it offer me? In 20 years, will I be glad that I spent my life on this activity?”
As aerialists, it is important to ask ourselves that question a lot. If you are anything like me, your training schedule is limited by other life tasks, like parenting, a “day” job, and the busyness of running a studio. I’ve gotten really good at identifying what is most effective in my training and what isn’t, and only focusing on that which is going to give me the best bang for my buck. Also important: what works for me might not always work for someone else, and vice versa. And what works for me today might not work for me tomorrow. The important thing is to remain present and continue to ask yourself if what you are doing is actually worth the effort.
I would encourage you to look at your own training and asked yourself the “why.” And don’t be afraid to ask your teachers. Challenge them. Push them to better explain to you the value of what they are asking you to do. If they can’t or won’t, to me that is a red flag.
And if you come take a class at High Expectations, I promise that I will try my best to answer the question: “But why would we want to do that?”