Redefining Goal-setting

Screw New Year’s Resolutions.

Unless you have success with them, in which case: good for you!!!

Either way, here we are.

It’s the First Friday of 2019.

Friday’s are for thinking about stuff.

I decided to wait a few days to let the hullabaloo of the New Year settle down a bit. The potential energy of the New Year hasn’t completely faded, though. I love that about this time of year.

I love seeing people taking steps towards their goals. Especially when I’m in the gym.

I love the earnest effort I see being made to achieve a goal. There’s something vulnerable and honest about it that I have such deep respect for.

What gets me—every year—is how many of those people disappear from the gym landscape shortly after the initial high of the New Year fades away.

I am not fond of New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s why:

In my experience, New Year’s Resolutions go like this:

This year, I am going to (insert thing I want to do/change/improve about myself here)!

And then, I might take some sort of half-step in the direction of achieving/making real the accomplishment/change/improvement I said I wanted…

But, by-and-large, it doesn’t happen.

Actually, I have never successfully achieved/made real/whatever a New Year’s Resolution that I’ve made.

I have, however, spent way too much time feeling guilty about my failure to do so.

I do not see this as a productive practice.

Goals, however, are good. Under certain circumstances.

Since the calendar-printing companies have got us using calendars that go from January to December, the calendar year does seem like a good frame of reference to use for goal-setting.

12 months. One year.
Pretty standard.

And, there is a lot of potential energy surrounding this time of year.

I say we use it for good.

So, let’s talk circus goals.

What I love about circus is the way that it speaks to possibilities and human potential. I love the way that it provides us will all sorts of ways to confront and challenge our ideas about our own potential. I love that it provides the opportunity to do more than you may once have thought you could.

And for 2019, my wish for you is that you get to do some or all of the cool circus things you are dreaming of doing.

Real talk.

For some of you, your circus goals will ask your body to be stronger or better conditioned or more mobile (and thus, more stable in other places).

For others, your goals may be more straightforward: you just don’t want that nagging pain to turn into an injury. Or you don’t want that injury you just came back from to be a problem ever again.

In both cases, this is where we would benefit from having a look at the unsexy side of circus training.

I like to call it Functional Strength and Conditioning for Circus

You might call it “conditioning”…but as you may or may not know, I’m kind of big on making a distinction between strength training and conditioning (which is basically circus-specific endurance training).

But that’s neither here nor there because this is about doing both.

This is how I think of training for circus:

From the ground up, (ideally) we begin with a robust foundation of general strength and athleticism.

There are layers here. We definitely want to be able to perform functional movement patterns, which require a baseline of mobility and stability, but from there, we want to build some pretty significant strength…which requires even better mobility and stability. This level also includes the “ABCs”: agility, balance and coordination.

Next, we take the strength developed at the foundation level and use it to develop circus-specific strength—all while maintaining the functional movement capabilities developed at the foundation level.

And finally, we have the skills and tricks that you practice, based on your circus discipline-of-choice. All of which are possible because of the work that happens at each of the preceding two levels.

In many cases, it’s when we skip the foundation work that imbalances and compensations develop.

The work is ongoing. You never really finish with your foundation—instead, as the upper layers of the pyramid grow, your foundation needs to grow to support them.

But what happens quite often is that the foundation doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

To be fair, working on the foundation tends not to be as glamorous or sexy as the upper layers.

That doesn’t make it any less important though.

And that’s what I’m here for: to help you with the foundation work.

For 2019, I want to help you Get Circus Strong.

I am looking for 5 more circus artist-athletes who are looking to do some work on their ‘foundation’:

  • Badass, functional, whole-body strength
  • Improved mobility
  • Rock-freaking-solid stability
  • The ABCs: agility, balance, coordination

All of the things that will keep you healthy, happy and doing circus for years to come.

If you are ready, willing and able to commit to putting in the work for “the long game”, this is a 6-month training program (that can easily expand to longer) that will help you to get stronger, move better and feel better so that you can do cooler stuff in circus (and in life).

If you are ready to start now, click here and we’ll get you lifting heavy things and on your way!

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We work with people in-person and online and would love to help! Send us a note here.

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