Just like most of the rest of the world in the spring of 2020, your friendly neighborhood Ranger is safe at home. When as a society we are suffering from a shared trauma that we cannot outrun, out lift, or even outfight it’s important to take care of yourself in whatever way you can. For me, physical activity does far more than JUST improve my ability to do the things I enjoy. It helps to keep me grounded, regulated, and generally more positive.
For the past 18 months or so, my main physical outlet has been going to CrossFit several times per week. It has helped me make progress towards my fitness goals, has introduced me to a whole new community, and has become part of how I define myself. What happened when this huge chunk of my life got removed because it isn’t safe to be around other people? Well, at first I was in mourning. I was a bit lost, and didn’t know what to do. That’s okay. When we experience loss it’s perfectly normal and healthy to be sad. After a few days however, I decided I really just needed to get more activity into my “stay at home” life in order to be even remotely successful.
I’ve written about “at home” exercise before, have discussed the equipment I use, and how to use it (You can find one of those articles here). Until quarantine however, I hadn’t had to develop a regular practice at it. As with many things, developing a daily practice is somewhat trickier than throwing down an “at home” workout every so often when circumstances align perfectly.
The first challenge was finding a place to actually do so. When this all started there was still plenty of snow on the ground here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire so, working out outside was a dicey proposition at best. My solution was to move my wife’s car out of the garage, sweep, move a few things around and resign myself to getting positively filthy every time I did strength training with a sandbag workout. Regardless of where you are and what your living situation happens to be, it is likely you can find a place big enough to do a push up and a burpee. You simply need to resign yourself, like I did, to the fact that you may be getting really dirty when you do.
The next issue to solve was what, specifically to do. The internet is both a glorious and a terrible thing. It has more information on just about any topic than you could possibly ever want or need, and finding good information is a lengthy process of filtering through a thousand and five different attempts to sell you something. What did I end up doing? Buying a thing. Yup, I bought a workout program that looked both fun and interesting from a company I trust. As my primary equipment was a Brute Force Sandbag (I recommend starting with any of the “Athlete” models), I went to their site to see if they had any training advice. As it turns out they did, I downloaded their APP and bought the Operator Series: Alpha program. Now I had both the means and information to start training.
All I needed now was the motivation. Motivation ebbs and flows, but overall I have been pretty consistent. After the weather improved a little I started working out outside, and adding lots of hiking, biking, and even running to the mix. The main point here is that the only really necessary tool here is my own desire to keep going. Now my gym is opening back up on a limited basis, and I’ve decided to drop my membership down from an unlimited number of classes per week to just two. I may not even keep that up long term, but I really love my community and want to stay plugged in to it.
With just desire and a few tools it is absolutely possible to keep moving foreword on your fitness goals. With this mindset, and a little help from Noom I’m down almost 10 pounds now since quarantine started. Additionally, I’m working on improving my flexibility and range of motion by using Romwod. Does this mean you should be? Absolutely not. The entire planet is experiencing a shared trauma right now. You need to do what you can do to get through the day. For me it’s been focusing on my health. For you maybe that means you are playing video games all day. Your journey is your journey. Run your race.
I have had more days since this began where I could only muster up the “spoons” to do the bare minimum work to not get fired. I’ve had difficulty getting out of bed sometimes. I’ve been a great dad and a terrible dad. I’ve made gluten free sourdough bread, run a 5k, and written a post graduate level paper in the same day. I’ve also done nothing other than play online video games for days at a time.
While I really hope my kids remember this time in a positive light I realize they may not. I have done my best to be focused, compassionate, and helpful to whomever I can. I’m sure you’ve done the same.
There will be a world after quarantine, we just need to make sure we are there to see it!