Work. Family. A social life. Circus. This might not be your entire list of priorities – we’ll allow that you might have other hobbies (gasp!) or additional responsibilities, but even if you’re just trying to balance the four things above, it can be challenging. As we head into fall and start preparing for the busy holiday season ahead, let’s take a moment to look at how we can keep our circus dreams alive when we’re too busy to train the way we want to. When your time is limited, what do you prioritize?
Drop-In Classes Are Your Friend
When things get really busy, committing to a weekly series class might not be the right solution for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with your training. If you’re able to squeeze in an hour before work, sneak away on your lunch break, or come in on Saturday between the kids’ soccer games, sign up for a drop-in class. Choose conditioning and fitness classes to keep your strength training on point, or try handstands and acrobatics as a great cross-training tool (pushing vs. pulling!). And remember that it’s important to take a break from that go-go-go mindset – our Saturday afternoon Self Care and Repair class might be the perfect reset button to help you make it through another busy day/week/month.
When looking at the schedule, keep in mind that most drop-in classes have no prerequisites. So if you’re a diehard silks fan, but Lyra Fit works nicely into your schedule, go for it. You’ll still get the benefits of a great upper body and core workout, and trying something new can help wake up your brain and invigorate you for whatever comes next.
Make the Most of Open Studio
So you’ve managed to clear a few free hours and you’re headed to open studio for the first time in weeks. Oh, happy day! You’ve got so much you could work on. Before you get overwhelmed with all your choices and waste a bunch of studio time thinking about what to train, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to create a plan ahead of time. Pick one or two fundamentals to work on – maybe front balance rollups and skin-the-cats. Find your notes or videos from the last time you were in class and review those skills. Write yourself a simple sequence (entrance, your three favorite skills, exit). Whatever you do, just have a plan of action in mind, so you can use your time effectively!
Note: It’s important to acknowledge that sometimes what we really miss isn’t so much the training, but the camaraderie of being with our fellow students – and that’s okay! If you wake up to discover you’re not quite as motivated as you thought, give yourself a break. Put your plan aside, and just head into the studio. Say hi to your friends (but be respectful if they’re working). Stretch. Do a few shrugs. Do the skills you love most. Be inspired. Remind yourself that whatever is keeping you from regular training is temporary and that you’ll be back eventually. Remember that circus is a joy, not an obligation.
Make Your Own Circus
Sometimes even getting to the studio for an hour every few weeks is impossible – but it doesn’t mean you can’t train. Turn to your trusty pull-up bar. Hold hollow body for a minute before bed. Take a five-minute stretch break at your desk. Just keep moving – stressful times are when we need physical exercise most.
You can’t train all the time – circus is just one part of a full and rich life. Sometimes other responsibilities will take priority. But don’t despair – do what you can. The circus will still be here when your schedule allows!