I grew up in Germany doing artistic gymnastics at my grandfather’s gym. He was one of the most successful gymnasts of his time and the national coach of East Germany on rings.
Having not qualified for the national team by age 15 I did not exactly live up to my family’s expectations and ended up quitting rather frustrated looking for something different. While I did enjoy the activity of doing gymnastics my head was not in it at this young age and I just was not so good with the order and strictness of things.
Trying to continue on with my physical education in a manner that I would enjoy, I found myself moving to Montreal, Canada at age 15 to study at the national circus school (thing college for contemporary dance but circus. Yes. It’s a thing). I had been used to training 6 days a week, twice a day up to 7h daily pushed by something that did not inspire me sliding into a new system where I was responsible for my own future with all my dreams layed out in front of me.
What would have been any teenager’s nightmare was my absolute dream. I came to Montreal full of hopes and sparkles in my eyes. I wanted to make up for everything I wasn’t able to do in my gymnastics career. I wanted to become the next start of the circus. And so I did.
I was a minor living at the residency of the school. Students staying on premises was a new project. We were not allowed to leave the school during the week and there was a tunnel that connected the hallway next to my room with the training studio. Yes. You heard me right. I could wake up and without even washing my face I was already in the big rehearsal hall. I would stay there all day just to drop back to bed with the occasional bi weekly shower 😉
To anybody wondering why I did get as good as I did in handstands it is down to 1 thing and 1 thing only. I trained handstands twice a day. 6 days a week. 3h on the floor in the morning and 2h on canes at night. While this sounds like a lot it did not feel like it to me at the time. I was loving every moment of it and was dreading the end of every single training day I had.
Despite having been forced by administration to leave my dream residency room abruptly on a rainy Thursday morning after a rather short night during my second year of studies I managed to stay at school in Montreal for 5 years focusing on hand balancing, aerial straps and power tumbling before graduating at age 20 in 2014.
I have spent my entire life performing my solo hand balancing and aerial straps act. Traveling from city to city from show to show I’ve seen most parts of the world and all kinds of venues. Each show comes with its own specifications and difficulties and with each contract you meet people in completely different situations and lifestyle’s.
At Cirque du Soleil I was training backstage with the strongest acrobats of the world from Russia, China or really whatever else people prepare for the Olympics. In Miami I would perform alongside famous rappers or pop stars and in late night venues in NY and London you get to meet and live a completely different kind of breed of performers that works at 3 or even 4 am.
Getting to meet and share precious time with so many outstanding individuals has been an incredible journey. Soaking up stories and live experiences I started to understand how truly different people are and how everybody reacts to completely different impulses. Working on shows and spending time backstage your castmates quickly turn into family and you gain a new brother every 3 months. Venues are small and everybody usually lives together. If someone gets engaged, everybody gets engaged. If someone falls in love, we all fall in love. Whenever your family wins, you win as well. You get to witness up close and personal everybody’s ups but of course also everybody’s downs. Touring might seem glamorous but it is not always easy. Away from the comfort of your home and the support of your loved ones, depression can settle in quickly and you really get to know what you are made of. Over time you learn in depth what really drives people, what humanity is scared of and how everybody really hurts. While this sounds harsh there is a beauty to it. Subconsciously you learn to support everybody’s dreams and to inspire each other going through life lifting up others instead of just passing by.
United by passion yet separated by upbringing, lifestyle and personal choices it becomes quickly clear to see that personal attention, dedication and love to the detail is the key to everybody’s success.
Everybody should, can and deserves to succeed in life.
And from time to time. Everybody needs a helping hand to push through this last plateau before the next big success.
With these lessons learned from a lifetime of creating connections I am here now to share this knowledge with you and the world. With today’s day and age technology exactly this becomes easy.
Handstands, flexibility and bodyweight Fitness are hard work. They require discipline, pushing through discomfort and an amount of patience that could most definitely be considered as stubbornness. Maybe even foolishness. Yet, they are absolutely worth it. They are an incredible way to connect with yourself and to improve health not just physically but also mentally.
Improving bodyweight strength, skill and overall flexibility is something that nobody else can do for you and something that no one can ever take from you. Your body and mind is the only thing you truly own. It is your secret weapon and something you should cherish and take care of forever.
Training and physical expression has given me direction and a life full of joy and passion. You can get to work and train anywhere with up to no equipment necessary and by following a few key rules your workouts will be healthy and beneficial.
While I believe that there are plenty of outstanding coaches I’ve come to realize that most are not willing to go the extra mile to provide truly efficient and customized programming for everybody. Many are caught up with poorly designed workout routines and missing progressions ending up frustrated and quitting due to a lack of results.
My mission as a coach is to bring high quality, well researched and tried programming and technical advice to the world available to everyone. Everywhere. At any time. There is barely anything as beautiful as seeing what your own body and mind are capable of and everybody in the world deserves to see how far they are able to take things.
Join me on my journey and become part of the revolution.