My mother remembers a time when I would cry every time I attempted to push a button.
As a child, every time I pressed down, my finger would bend backwards to an extreme extent and the button would not move. I would tear up in frustration. I didn't understand why my fingers wouldn't do what fingers should do.
Extreme hyper-mobility is something that I've learned to live with. Every joint in my body bends the wrong way. When I was 10, I went to a doctor who told me that if I was not diligent in my exercises I would be immobile by the time I turned 30.
Well, I am 13 months shy of turning 30 and I am in the best shape of my life. It has not always been an easy journey.
I've been teaching movement for a decade, trained in danced all my life (with a few exceptions during my pain flair ups), and for the past four years, I've been studying, training, and performing in New York's underground circus community.
Every person has a weakness that seems to undermine all the good work that they are trying to accomplish. We can make excuses out of these perceived weaknesses, or we can find a creative way to turn them into a strength. Aerial circus arts changed my weakness of extreme hyper-mobility and turned me into an artist and athlete.
I will admit to feeling frustration when someone sees me do a pull-up or a meat hook and tells me, "Oh, I can't do that, but I know it is easy for you!" Trust me, the more effortless it looks the more effort was put into making it that way.
The belief that "nothing can be done" or "I'm too old to change or learn something new" is a mindset that is rigid and can cause physical harm. When we become rigid and inflexible in our bodies or minds, we become resistant to the constant change that is happening around us.
Change that is not welcomed we rush to define as Chaos. And we view change as inconvenient to our routine as opposed to embracing it as something new.
The old saying is well-known, but not always easily accepted: Change is the only constant.
We need to find ways to embrace change as growth, and turn our weaknesses into our strengths.
This is why I named my studio Kudzu.
Kudzu is an invasive vine that was introduced to the the Southern region of the United States in the 1800's from China and Japan. Kudzu grows rapidly and takes over forests and gullies bluffs, and buildings. It has been seen as a nuisance, but it doesn't have to be. Kudzu is believed to have medicinal properties, every part of it can be used to make paper, clothing, jam, candy, or tea! In some areas of the south, kudzu has been used manage erosion and has become part of it's identity.
Kudzu isn't native to the American South, but it has found a way to become part of what it means to live down here.
In 2012, I brought aerial silks to the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.
Whenever I am in Fairhope, I try to introduce circus art to the community. While not everyone wants to run away and join the circus, I believe that almost everyone can benefit from incorporating silks into their workout routine. Be it Aerial Yoga (for yogis, but not just for the yogis) or Aerial Conditioning (for those who want to spice up their strength building routine), or Silk Stretch for flexibility training, balance, and meditation, Restorative Aerial that relaxes connective tissue and fascia in order for the body to find balance.
It has become my mission to become as knowledgable I can with how aerial can profoundly impact our health and state of mind. Over twenty-five years of ballet training, nearly a decade of teaching dance and movement, and being a Certified Fitness Instructor with ISSA, training at Circus Warehouse and The Muse in New York City, and receiving my certification in Aerial Yoga from Om Factory NYC, performing in several circus groups around the country, and working with several members of the medical field to make sure that I am training properly has culminated in starting a program to inspire you to take your fitness to new heights.
I know that to some this is exciting and scary, but don't let that fear win! If you need it, I will set up personal introductions with you to the silk and address your concerns before you take a class.
To some, trying something new takes a lot of effort, but I want you to have fun (because aerial is fun). Let me help you find what weakness you want to turn into a strength and let's fly together.
At the end of the day, we want to all feel like we are effortlessly reaching towards the light, always growing and changing. We need to embrace change and grow with it. If we can wrap around but not clinging to what we love, we can be the best form of our truest self.
Embrace Kudzu: Let it Grow on You.
Megrez R. Mosher
Founder of Kudzu: Aerial Fitness and Kinetic Arts