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SHES in Sports: Micah Murphy

Micah Murphy is the last guest blog of our #SHEsinsports series! We’re blown away by all of the amazing stories we’ve heard and gotten to share this month, and Micah is the perfect closer to this series. Micah is 26 years old and was born in the lovely city of St. Louis, MO. She’s spent most of her life living between Dallas,TX and Cleveland,OH. She’s always loved the arts and in her free time, when she’s not at the aerial studio or working, she’s cuddling with her cats,cooking or watching comedians on Youtube.

When we are children, we dream big. Some of us dream of being President, some of us want to be an astronaut,and some of us…some of us want to run away to the circus. As we get older though, how many of those dreams do our adult selves actually cash in on? For many years my younger self was a distant memory, let alone what her wildest dreams were. Then one day I was watching my guilty pleasure and favorite reality tv show, Married At First Sight, and on this particular episode it showcased favorite hobbies and pastimes of each character on the show. One woman in particular was an aerialist. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Up until that point it had never even occurred to me that “normal”people such as myself could just go and train and take classes to participate in such a daring activity. That was the beginning of my journey as an aerialist.

My name is Micah Lyn Murphy, I’m 26 years old, I’m an African American woman and I’m probably the last thing someone thinks about when they hear the word “aerialist”. However, I’m proud to say I am. If we are being technical I’m a plus-sized aerialist but that has never held me back from flying two to three times a week. In the air it is really like you’re on a higher frequency, I forget my perceived limitations, my shape and what society may have to say about it. It frees me! My best advice to anyone that is interested in aerial arts,whether it be the silks, pole, lyra or any other circus fitness is to just get out and try!

Only you have the ability to hold you back–not anything external like your size, athletic ability or flexibility. Only you can make yourself feel less than.

I have found up high in the silks is actually where I feel the most safe, where I find that inner child again and experience that same euphoric joy. Aerial dance has taught me how to become child-like all over again. To block out everyday stressors and to let go. I think with many people, especially women, we are either mostly passive or more on the aggressive side, but on the silks I am free to express both. Aerial arts expresses that perfect Yin and Yang energy to master even the smallest movements. It’s subtle yet dramatic, soft yet rigorous. Many appreciate it but few actually go out and try it. I challenge those who want to try aerial arts to find your closest aerial studio and make an appointment for yourself, not to just try a new activity, to appreciate your inner goddess.That is what aerial arts has shown me, that I am strong, beautiful and I have no business not being confident in my own skin.

Through aerial dance I have come to know some of the most amazing women. We support each other, we encourage each other to persist and thrive, we are like a tribe of Amazons! Up until aerial dance I wasn’t very involved in sports. I always felt like I was being compared to my teammates or like I was slowing my team’s progress. In my aerial dance class, for the first time the only person that I am competing with is me. To make myself better, to push myself to overcome my own fears. The past 6 months flying on the silks have taught me so much about myself. I love the place I am in physically, mentally and spiritually because of aerial dance. I have become so proud of myself and continue to be amazed at how far I can go as I push myself toward my first performance approaching in 5 weeks!  One day I can only hope that I am able to teach my own aerial dance class and open my own studio where women of all body types and colors can come to find their own sense of joy and maybe even run off to the circus!

ICYMI: We dropped #SHEspeaks Ep 9 yesterday! Check out the latest pod, featuring Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, a professor and wheelchair racing Paralympian.

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