posted on March 25, 2020
These are very uncertain times that we are living in. With things changing day to day in the world, it’s hard to tell what tomorrow will bring. Unfortunately, there are many things that are out of our control right now. That’s just the reality of it. However, it’s important to stay focused on the things that we can control. Especially those things that are most important, but which we often easily overlook. During these times of change, it’s easy to force ourselves to keep moving just to stay busy, even if that means adding more stress. My advice, slow down and challenge your perspective.
A little over a week ago, I was admitted into the hospital for a few tests and precautionary measures. I ended up having a case of the flu, as well and pneumonia. It’s safe to say that this put me on my ass for a while. During that period of forced downtime, I began reflecting on different things. Things that I had never really thought about before, or at least for a very long time. Over the past week, I have reached out to friends and family to see how they were doing. One of the common responses I received was that they were worried about their training, or bummed that the gym was closed. Believe me, I completely understand. Especially when you’ve done something a certain way for so long and have established progress and a routine. Then all of a sudden it feels like it was taken from you. But guess what, it’s going to be okay! Maybe even a blessing in disguise.
I’ve been training in one capacity or another for 12 years straight. During that time, I have never gone a week without training, until now. While I was sick, I went 13 days without any sort of exercise. Yesterday was my first day back, and it felt like I had never exercised a day in my entire life. My routine was simple. I walked 2 miles, then did 2 sets of 10 tempo goblet squats with a 25lb bag of jasmine rice, 2 sets of 10 pull-ups from an I-beam in my basement, and 2 sets of 15 push-ups. I was absolutely gassed. The flu and pneumonia definitely took a toll on me. After I was finished, I sat down and reflected. I was not one bit depressed or upset with how much I had declined while not being able to train, or the fact that I did not train 2 weeks, for I understood that 2 weeks of not exercising is not going to erase what I have built in 12 years (remember that). In fact, it gave me time to focus on other things in my life. Things that maybe I’ve been over looking and taking for granted. That’s very easy to do if we let it happen.
The same holds true for all of you reading this. It makes me happy to see everyone continuing to find ways to workout and train during these times, but remember not to let it consume you. Don’t train because you feel like you HAVE to, or because you want people to know that you still are. If you chose to train, do it because you love it, and because it gives you joy. If you chose to take a break, that’s fine. Honestly, there’s no better time then now. If you’ve been exercising for any extended amount of time, there’s even a good chance that your body actually needs a break, and it will help your progress in the long run. Your strength wasn’t built in two weeks, and it certainly won’t leave you that quickly.
During this time of quarantine, the lack of worrying about my workouts has given me time to focus on my perspective. What is really important in my life, and what can I learn today? I challenge you to do the same. Slow down, and take some time out of your day to reflect on what is truly important in your life. I’ve talked to my parents every day since the start of this Pandemic. That’s something that I’ve now realized I don’t do enough of. I’ve gotten in touch with friends and family who I haven’t spoken to in quite some time. Yesterday I watched my Fiancé sew masks together to be donated to Hospitals in need. That inspired me more than I can explain, and even inspired me to learn how to sew. I saw a picture of a friend of mine on Instagram with his Guitar. Something that maybe he hasn’t taken the time to do in a while.
During these times of uncertainty, slow down, and take some time to challenge your perspective. Reach out to those who you care about, put your phone away and go for a walk, read a book, write something, and learn something new that you’ve always been curious about. Believe it or not, this will all be over before we know it. When that time comes, I hope we are all able to look ourselves in the mirror and know that we have become a better person because of it.