How Aerial Arts Saved Me

Picture this: darkness.

To some, darkness is solace, but to others, a complete terror. This is how I feel when anxiety hits. For me, darkness is terrifying.

I have struggled with anxiety most of my life. I went from doctor to doctor seeking help with this. It was always to be solved with medication. I didn’t mind taking meds to help me get through my day to day life, but the medication began to bother me as it turned me into a statue of the person I really was. So, naturally I stopped the medication and continued to have my anxiety triggered by even the slightest thing.

When I say the “slightest thing” I truly mean just that. I didn’t even realize such things (4 way stops, parking, music, the list goes on…) caused me such anxiety. I have my terrible relationships to thank for most of it, though. I survived. I’m lucky and thankful I was able to have such support to get me through the relationships and save me from who I was becoming and the men that were stealing my dignity. These men I can now view as pathetic and I am so happy I’m able to be at that point, finally. I could get into this and talk about it forever and if anyone ever needs support on abusive relationships please, reach out to me.

Fast forward to last July. Oh July 2016, you sneaky witch. I had a terrible partner who made me feel like I was almost nothing and who made me stop working out and being part of yoga, simply because of the clothing I would wear or the people who would see. He hid me in the worst way possible. I hid myself with him thinking this was love. It was not love. It was not. Anyway, by the grace of something amazing, I walked by my now yoga studio — Reaching Treetops in Downtown Waukesha, WI. This place is one of the many things that saved me and found me again. This studio had it all, including giant silks hanging from the ceiling. I was intrigued.

I came in that following week for an introduction workshop. It was love. THIS was love. The next months were a whirlwind. I found passion hanging in an aerial silk. The support it gave me and the challenge I felt was nothing like before. I found my niche. My focus and passion (and my crazy flexibility, which I am ever so thankful for!) was my strength. My strength to finally break up with my loser of a boyfriend and be proud of who I am. Again, this was love.

I can’t say it enough, aerial arts saved me. The amazing people around me stood by me during every part of my struggle. They saved me too. I can’t wait to keep growing and hope to inspire others with my story and with my love for the art of flying.

Now, picture this: Happiness.

Images courtesy of Nenetus at
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Cori Montesanto

About The Author

My name is Cori, and I hail from your friendly Midwestern state of Wisconsin! I started my aerial career in July 2015 when I found a studio a block from where I live. From that moment, I was completely inspired. I started to go every chance I got, and by January, I had become certified as an instructor! I feel the best thing about aerial is that it helped me overcome my anxiety. I found my niche in aerial; whether it's yoga, Lyra, static or flying trapeze, silks or sling, I am in my true happy place. Visit Cori on the web HERE.

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