Covid-19. It has changed the world in so many ways. Races have been cancelled, training plans scrapped, exercising with a mask?! has been a crazy challenging experience. We've been quarantined, diagnosed, affected, treated, shamed, threatened, guilted, suppressed. To say things have been difficult, is an understatement.
Personally, since the pandemic began, I've had a daughter get married in a small private celebration, had a mother who died of the disease in a Covid-19 hospice unit, and a daughter who gave birth to grandchild number three -- life altering events that all happened within four weeks of each other. What I thought was going to be a short simple "flatten the curve" glitch, has drawn out over months. I no longer forget to bring my mask when I leave home for errands -- partly because I have one in my purse, a few in the car, and several in a drawer in the kitchen. It's normal (ish) now to have fabric covering the face.
How has your life changed since the isolation set in? What is your new normal? Sometimes you have to look hard to find the beauty in things. As a coach, I've seen athletes return to a more relaxed form of training and exercise. The triathletes at Dream Big have branched out beyond swim, bike and run to conquer bucket-list items like climbing Half Dome in Yosemite, Mt. Humphries in Arizona and Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon. They've tried paddle boarding and gravel bikes. They've even taken breaks - gasp - to spend time with their families at campsites and parks and staycations near home. And that, my friends is GOOD.
Never one to be enamored by virtual races, I have since changed my mind. Virtual races are great. They give athletes a date and a goal. They keep us motivated to keep on keeping on. I've never been so proud of my dear friend who qualified for the Boston Marathon after many attempts, and then trained and ran a virtual Boston with her fellow qualifiers on a Saturday in September. She never got to get on the bus to Hopkinton. She never got to Heartbreak hill or saw the huge Citgo sign which signals the end of the race is near. She has still never crossed that blue and yellow finish line in downtown Boston. But she persevered and followed a plan and finished a goal - in Utah instead of Massachusetts. Amazing.
It's time to make the most of this crazy new world. Let's get on with life. Let's sign up for races. Let's live. I'm all about trying new things and revisiting the old: master a new yoga pose, give meditation a try, explore a new bike route, and regain your love for running! Let's back off a bit in pace and distance and discover elevation instead. Or jump into a pool and get the kinks out without checking your Garmin for yardage. Speed and strava PRs have for too long overshadowed the love of a slower ride with a friend. Let's get that back. And celebrate the idea of being out there because we love it, once again.