Street Parking gives its members access to tools to help you take control of your fitness every single day, from the Daily Workouts customizable for your equipment, time, and fitness level to the over fifty Extra Programs to add variety to your training. We are excited to share about a new program to add to your toolbox! Street Parking has collaborated with the co-founders of Between the Ears, Karianne and Bill Anthes, to make a very special program available to our members: The Sisyphus Gauntlet.
SO WHAT IS THIS EXTRA PROGRAM ALL ABOUT? WHY IS IT NAMED THAT, AND WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?
The myth of Sisyphus is about a slippery fella who cheated death twice, according to Greek mythology, by using wit and intellect. Zeus stepped in and banished Sisyphus to the underworld Hades. Sisyphus’s punishment was to push or carry a boulder up a mountain, and when he was right at the top of the mountain, the boulder would roll right back to the bottom. So he would have to hike back down and push it up again, and he did this for eternity.
There's two different ways to look at this story. One is that life is determined to be unbearable — it’s inescapable, and it's meaningless. This is a very nihilistic or apathetic outlook. The other way to look at this story says yes, life does present suffering, adversity, and obstacles, and how a person chooses to orient themselves to those realities, how they choose to engage with them and find meaning through the suffering is almost an amelioration of suffering and meaning. People can find meaning through their challenges and have a much more positive proactive approach to the inevitableness of life. Everyone will face a boulder and a hill and repeat the cycle at some point — we all will face a gauntlet.
This Extra Program is written to put people in a kind of event-like experience with multiple days of doing multiple hard things in a condensed timeline, but can be integrated into regular life as well.
- For background information on Between the Ears and how they structure their events, check out this podcast.
The Sisyphus Gauntlet Extra Program is four hour-long sessions. Just like with every Street Parking program, the sessions are simple in that you don’t need a lot of equipment. Even the ones that include equipment have customization options.
WHO IS IT FOR?
This program is the first of its kind for Street Parking members, as it’s ONLY available to Street Parking members who have logged 200 days(or more) of workouts. WHY? The sessions are very challenging, and members need to have a certain base level of activity in their lives before participating. When it comes to fitness, everyone’s first hurdle is to just find consistency before adding and tackling more complex things. Two-hundred workouts equals roughly a year when somebody's working out four days a week. So with a year of consistency, someone may be looking for a new element in your fitness journey.
WHAT'S THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE SISYPHUS GAUNTLET? (OTHER THAN THEM BEING FOUR VERY CHALLENGING, LONG-EFFORT WORKOUTS.) AND WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS THAN AN HOUR-LONG “HERO” WORKOUT?
Mirroring the story of Sisyphus, each session has a repetitive element coupled with the length of time. For most of our Daily Workouts we experience a lot of distractions — multiple movements, focused time frames, not to say that that's better or worse or harder or easier. With the four Sisyphus Gauntlet sessions there's a redundancy, a cyclical nature to them. The type of movement that each of them includes lends itself to some introspection, some awareness, some opportunity for thoughts and emotions to bubble up.
Another unique aspect: each session has a “mindset” that goes along with the movement. There's a framing of the workout that you will read prior doing the workout, along with journal prompts for after the workout. We encourage you to take a little bit of time — maybe it's five minutes, maybe it's longer if you get on a roll — to make space to think about, “What came up for me?” For most, we do a workout, it's awesome, we had a great time, and then we're on to the next thing. There's a time and a place for that, but these sessions allow for a little bit more to organically come up. That's one of the reasons we program them to be an hour long. It’s an invitation to try something that might be a little bit outside of your comfort zone.
If you really want to do this program — to do it properly and get as much out of it as possible — watch the videos about mindset and journaling. Read all of the notes, and then participate.
Members can earn the badge by completing all four sessions. The sessions aren’t scored — it's for completion with the note box for information you’d like to remember. There's no score or goal like you see with our regular workouts, but there's an invitation to do more than just go through the motions of what the workout is. Because they're so repetitive, there's not a lot to think about other than whatever naturally pops into your head. Because there's no score and goal, you're not pacing it to be “I need to do one round every 10 minutes” or “I need to travel this far every 10 minutes to hit the goal range.” It’s an invitation for you to get more out of it than just doing something hard.
THIS EXTRA PROGRAM CONSISTS OF FOUR SESSIONS: THE HILL, THE CARRY, THE PUSH ANDTHE EFFORT.
They each have a theme, and each of them has a mindset piece to it. One example: The Hill. The mindset piece for this one is “turn and go.” When we use the term “mindset,” they're triggers for action that also capture an intention or a way of thinking. “Turn and Go” represents how we orient to and engage with our challenges, so in the case of The Hill, the hill is the challenge, and challenges require transcendence, and transcendence is like this vertical force. Turn towards the hill is turning towards your challenges, and going up it — sprinting — going whatever fast is for you — transcending that and really working for what is important to you.
On the way back down, the guidance is also to vocalize one thing you're proud of yourself, one thing that matters to you. Our approach is a little bit more on the internal piece. When you're at the base of the hill, have your back to the hill — face away from the hill, not in an avoidant manner, but in a way that is then inviting you to deliberately turn, face your challenges, and go. So we have this experience to use the physical, but have that just kind of be like a representation of this deeper concept which is orienting towards your challenges. Finding meaning. Using this notion of transcendence or ascending your challenges. The important things to you. The things that you're either proud of or are valuable and meaningful to you to fuel that ascent, and do that for an hour.
Each session is an hour of repetitive movement each time with a little bit of a different take on mindset — but with that same undertone of just being honest about your effort throughout all of it. We really can't stress enough how much part of doing these correctly, if you're a check-the-box type person, is actually participating in the mindset piece.
HOW TO APPROACH THE GAUNTLET
A couple logistics: We encourage you to do all four sessions within a month. They don't have to be done in a specific order, and if you don't complete them all in one month, you still can get the badge as long as you log all four of them. But we do encourage you to do them within that month.
Why is this the best way to do it, as opposed to letting them be really spread out? There's something to be said about not only making a little bit of a commitment and a promise, a deal with yourself. When you go through a session, maybe you had greater clarity or insight or other challenges popped up in your life. You have a full week now to really look for where this theme that you experienced during the workout is presenting itself in your life and hopefully apply this mindset towards the thing that's challenging you in a more meaningful manner. Not physically or not from a fitness standpoint, but in your life. So each week you do the session, and then go learn, go apply, go allow it to spill over and carry that into your day-to-day life.
One component to the Sisyphus Gauntlet is journaling. For people who don't normally journal, it is a practice. There are prompts that are helpful. For people that are really uncomfortable, what would they write? There is some guidance, but you might surprise yourself. Most of the time if you've never journaled immediately following a workout, there are physiological/psychological things that happen from doing.
“Who is this for?”
Yes, you've got to earn your way into it. If you're curious and if you've established consistency, then it's appropriate. If you're curious and also perhaps have this little whisper of doubt, it's for you. We've had people who are in their late 70s do it, we've had kids participate in it. It nests so well with fitness freedom — if you're curious, resourceful and want to perhaps step into that doubt and uncertainty and challenge yourself in a manner where any workout can be challenging but just a different type of challenge — then regardless of your fitness level, it's for you. You have to be honest with yourself where you're currently at and where you're trying to get to. It's very approachable.
“Is there anyone who it's NOT for?”
If you're very pregnant, maybe wait. If you've got an injury, if you've got something that's preventing you from doing your normal workout, if you were just cleared to work out after you're in PT.
It’s not for the person who wants to impress everyone else — there's no score.
It's not for bragging rights. We encourage no strategy, no gaming.
We encourage you to go into it with the idea that you’re just going to go and see what happens and not try to over-strategize it, not try to overthink it, not worry about how far you’re going or what anybody else did. Just do what you can do and put yourself in that situation.
“Why should a person do these sessions?”
If you're looking to challenge yourself, there's something unique about new and novel experiences. It's part of neuroplasticity, and you rewire neural pathways and change our thinking. As you go through these sessions, you hopefully glean a couple nuggets — maybe just one thing, maybe you get a dozen things, but then those are like little seeds of growth that you plant in your life, but also you can bring those into your other workouts. You can bring those into what you're choosing to do for your lifestyle and health, even just your daily life. When you overcome something that you really didn't want to do or you didn't believe that you could do — an hour of pushing the sled or an hour of burpees — and then you actually do it, it changes your brain.
HOW TO ADD IT IN
Because of the time involved, it fits naturally as a Saturday or a Sunday event, (but it doesn't have to be). Do it solo, do it with a group, do it virtually. If you're doing this at a meetup, the most important thing for you to do is to make sure that everybody remembers that it's an individual experience. If you do that properly, the shared experience is amazing, but as soon as people start playing the comparison game, then it detracts from the main goal of all of it.
We can't wait to hear all of your success stories and the things that come up. You can't fail unless you just are not honest. There's no failure to it. There might be flexibility required — maybe you start one way and you need to make a change. We can't wait to hear how it goes for all of you and how you've tackled it and what it meant to you, so make sure to share those stories. Go get after it.