Meet Krysten Barnhill!
A Day in the Aerial Life of
When and how did your fitness journey begin?
I bounced between dance and cheerleading until high school when I committed to dance. I danced until I was a junior in college when school work took priority. After graduating, I got into standard gym fitness to lose weight for my wedding. I also tried to find dance classes for adults without any luck. Then, a friend of mine found aerial silks…
Why did you choose Sky High?
I started taking aerial classes in Columbus, Ohio. Upon receiving and accepting a job offer in Massachusetts, I researched studios in the area and found only a small handful that looked like they would continue to challenge me. Finally, I found a Groupon for Sky High Studios right at the right time. (Moving expenses are never fun to deal with!)
What did you hope to accomplish?
After doing aerial silks for over 3 years, I was looking for a studio that would challenge me and teach me new tricks. I also wanted to build strength, overcome fears, make new friends, and potentially get back into performing. I wanted my family to have the opportunity to watch me do something I love.
Who are you in real life?
In real life, I am a mechanical engineer working for a company that is designing a flying car (basically just an airplane you can drive on the road). I am married with two dogs and a cat. Now that I have moved back to Massachusetts, I am in closer proximity to my family.
What were your biggest struggles before/while starting pole/aerial?
After giving up dance, I struggled to find a creative outlet. This was my biggest challenge. I wasn’t expecting to find extra self confidence that comes with being able to do something that many people never thought of—outside the circus, of course.
Did you exercise before becoming a Sky High student? If yes, what did you do?
I go to they gym 5 or 6 days a week, focusing mainly on cardio and weight training. Before getting into aerial silks, I just wanted to lose weight and become stronger. Now I focus on strength and flexibility to help me improve my aerial skills. On occasion I also like to run obstacle course races. I have run 3 savage races. In my last race, I finished in second place for women in my age group.
How do you deal with the physical strain that pole/aerial has on your body?
I focus on stretching after silks class and resting sore and strained muscles.
Do your family and friends think pole/aerial is cool or crazy?
My mom loves showing people my aerial videos. Sometimes she gets a little scared when I do drops, but that’s how moms are. Most other people think it’s pretty impressive.
How has a Sky High instructor helped you?
Kofi has challenged me and helped me become a better aerialist in so many ways—in more ways than what I realized I needed!
How has aerial/pole changed your life?
I’m often very busy at work, and most of my friends are either from work or childhood. I’m generally not good at making new friends, but aerial has given me the opportunity to meet new people with common interests. Additionally, aerial has given me ways to focus and shape my own fitness goals.
We know it hurts! Why do you keep coming back?
Aerial is my creative outlet. I love being able to do something that most people don’t. Even though it hurts, it’s a great form of exercise.
Favorite Pole/Aerial Style
I live the creativity of exploring many different styles, particularly those that are out of my comfort zone. Although it can be mentally and physically taxing, I believe it makes me stronger.
The Fallen Angel drop is one of my favorites. I’m generally a big fan of forward rotational drops. Fear sometimes can be one of my biggest challenges when doing drops, and I generally don’t know I’m afraid of a drop until I’m about to attempt one. I also love flow and poses, and alternating between the two in class and performances.
Fitness and Aerial. Working on my car. Baking and cooking. Spending time with family and friends… I’m all over the place with hobbies.
Most genres, alternative rock, and top 40 are generally my favorites.
Fun Fact #1
I love baking cupcakes.
Fun Fact #2
Tacos are my absolute favorite food in the world.