In the early days of my Fitness First morning ritual, many people asked me “what are you training for?”
They wanted to know if I was preparing to run a marathon or if I had enrolled in a fitness challenge.
My standard response was “I’m training for life.”
Tackle the Important Before It’s Urgent
At the time, I meant that literally, on the physical level. Physical fitness is important. In my 20s, I was often sick: bouts with mono, fibromayalgia, and consistent sore throats. I had knee problems in high school and shoulder issues in my early 30s — the latter a side effect from flying trapeze.
Fitness has always been important to me, but it had fallen down the priority list behind clients and other urgencies. I resolved to make my fitness a priority. This is something that’s important, and if you wait until it’s also urgent, it’s usually too late.
Side Benefits of Fitness First
After a while, I began to see how the energy I get from my morning workout fuels my day, ignites my creative spark, and helps me focus better. This made my decision to devote time to my morning workout easy.
I get an immediate benefit and a long-term benefit.
My morning fitness ritual, and the rituals that follow it, is time when I’m off the clock. I find my calm center even when other things are pulling at me.
This skill translates.
Circus is Life
Typically, I spend Saturdays at Trapeze School New York, working on my fundemental skills on the trampoline and pushing my physical and fear limits with skills like front tucks out-of-safety lines. I share a lesson each week in a broadcast of my show, My Circus Life. As I say in that context, the lessons translate to life, because Circus is life.
Life is a Circus
I’m with my family for Passover, so I did not go to trampoline practice today.
Family gatherings at the holidays can be fun, but also filled with triggers for stress.
My sister has twin girls, age 6. My brother has 3 boys, ages 10, 8, and 3. It’s a lot of time with everyone together.
I love my nieces and nephews. But I’m used to living alone, operating on my own schedule, and — crucially — not hearing whining in the background of my activities.
It can be chaotic and feel overwhelming.
I Stick to My Routine No Matter What
Even when I’m away from my home and my typical routine, I keep the essentials of my morning rituals: fitness first, meditation, reflection and journaling time.
My daily fitness regiment gives me energy to run with the kids on the playground, and also the inner strength to remain calm when I hear kids crying and whining for “mommy.”
Fueled by my morning workout, I can show up with more patience when kids are screaming and crying or otherwise being kids.
Calm Amidst the Chaos
Of course, family moments are not the only ones that come with potential for drama and chaos. On any given day I interact with people who can potentially send my day off the rails.
To navigate life without being pulled into the swirl of chaos, to stay calm in the midst of the drama, requires patience, inner strength, and presence of mind.
These are the qualities I train in my morning practice.
Circus is life.
Life is a circus.
This is what I train for.