I’ve never blogged during a global pandemic before! There are first times for everything.
What a depressing couple of weeks it’s been, thanks to the coronavirus and all the awful news that’s resulted because of it. On the whole, I’m in really good shape. There have been no confirmed diagnoses for anyone in my life that I know of. (Then again, I’ve been drastically cutting back on my social media usage, so maybe there’s people I don’t know about.) And while a mandatory lockdown hasn’t been issued in my state (yet), I’ve been diligent with my social distancing.
On the whole, my situation isn’t extraordinarily difficult. I don’t have kids that are out of school and need to be homeschooled while I work. I don’t have to worry about losing my job. I don’t have any medical conditions that require regular trips to the doctor or hospital. I’m in good shape.
I started working from home last week. I’ve worked from home before – for five years – but have really relished my current job, because it has a very vibrant, lively office. But now I’m back working from home, where I’m physically isolated and way more easily distracted. I should point out that I’m not truly alone – I live with my parents, and having them around is really nice.
I’m not going to lie and say that everything going on hasn’t been difficult. I’m sure I won’t be alone when I confess that all this could be pretty crummy for my mental health. I’m naturally rather solitary, and generally have no problem spending time by myself, but there’s a big different because choosing to be solo and being forced to be. So I’m trying to stay connected to family and friends and remind myself that my sacrifices are minor inconveniences, at best, when compared to what so many people have to endure, on a daily basis, even under the best of conditions.
I was competing in two different weight loss/fitness-related contests at work, and both are currently on hold. But I’m still making good decisions surrounding my food, and exercising every day. I’ve long juggled going to the gym and using my own at-home equipment, and right now, with all the gyms in the state closed, I’m feeling thankful that I have so many options at home.
Exercise is great for my mental health, so I’m not going to stop exercising. I’m going to need that outlet moving forward, because I know this will continue to be tough. Plus, I like exercising and feel so good afterward!
I have other big news, but the past two weeks have rendered it completely irrelevant. You may recall that my 2020 race goal is to compete in five stair races in cities I’ve never competed in before, and I’ve already crossed the first two off the list: Indianapolis and Omaha. Well, Bowflex agreed to sponsor me for the rest of the races, and additional races beyond that, which I’m super excited about. It’s such an overwhelming, affirming feeling when a big, global company like Bowflex gets in my corner.
Naturally, within one week of their email arriving, all three of the stair races I was registered for were postponed or cancelled, along with lots of other races everywhere. So, that money is going to get socked away for future events, once the all-clear is given to allow gatherings again. There’s still a chance I’ll be able to reach my 2020 race goal, but who knows, at this point, how long we’ll all be housebound. That’s a bridge I’ll cross later.
In the meantime, I’ve been leaning on all my Bowflex equipment a lot. My Max Trainer makes me work up a big ol’ sweat…
…and the HVT is my favorite way to strength train…
…and my Classic Cruiser (from Bowflex’s sister brand, Schwinn Fitness), is an excellent cardio option. I put on some of my favorite tunes and do intervals where I push myself during the hook or chorus, and go a little easier during the verses.
I also have Bowflex’s SelectTech dumbbells, which I haven’t taken a picture of recently. Lately, I’ve been using them in a circuit where I alternate between lifting weights and using a step to get in some cardio.
Bowflex isn’t just strength machines, folks. They have awesome equipment no matter what kind of exercise you like doing, and no matter your fitness level! And they’re currently having a Spring Into Fitness sale, so check them out!
All my race news isn’t bad news, though. I’m geeked because I’ve got some new race action shots to share! A lot of the stair races I do have professional photographers chronicling them. Sometimes, they share those pictures with the athletes, and sometimes, there’s a great shot of me! This one is from the Oakbrook Terrace race I did last month.
And I have three from Trek Up The Tower in Omaha. Judging by the sweat, I’m pretty far into the race when this one was taken:
Whereas this one is much less sweaty. Herego, this one was taken earlier!
Finally, a close-up!
Lastly, an update from Bop to the Top, which was the first race I did this year, in January, in Indianapolis. This was the race where I forgot to attach my timing chip, and raced up a 36-story building only to learn that my time wasn’t officially recorded. I felt so dumb. You can read the whole story here.
Now it’s time for good news. My race recap from that day (the very one linked above) made it into the hands of the head timer from the timing company. He dug into their manual logs and confirmed that the unofficial time on my own watch matched their back-up data, and updated the official results. My previously unofficial time of 8:42.4 is now official, and I jumped from finishing 383rd in that race to 237th!
In light of all the negative and scary news, I hope you all continue to find some light and joy in your lives. Little things like these photographs have made a big difference for me, and helping others also feels great. In the past week I’ve reached out to a couple elderly women on my street, asking if they needed anything, dropped off a couple bags of groceries to a local food pantry, and scheduled an appointment to donate blood.
In short, don’t be afraid to offer help, nor to ask for it, and don’t let uncertainty or change deter you from taking care of yourselves. We’ll all get through this together, and we’ll be stronger from it.
Keep it up, David!
Follow me! I’m @keepitupdavid on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There’s also a “Sign Me Up” box on this page (at the top of the right-hand column) where you can subscribe to receive new posts via email!