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This Quarantine Life

I first told the CHHRC marketing department that I would draft a blog post shortly after COVID took hold and the club shut down, but I just couldn’t get my thoughts together; they were changing daily as has my relationship with fitness and healthy eating in the last six months (SIX?!? Has it really been SIX months?) Ugh!   

You see, the first two to three weeks of COVID were among the best of my life. The fridge and pantry were stocked like the snowstorm of the century was rolling through and I had all my best loves under one roof all day, every day. My husband no longer commuted to anywhere but the basement and my daughter, then 3, now 4, and I played and hung out upstairs. My husband came up every day at noon for a homecooked family lunch, and again around 5:30 for a family dinner. Nowhere to be, nothing to do. We walked the neighborhood, staying six feet from anyone else doing the same, played in the yard and enjoyed each other each day.  

But, slowly, slowly, this all became a new kind of grind, mostly for me… 

It wasn’t the cooking (and baking and eating) and caring for the house and family that became fatiguing, at first, but the freedom that came with having nothing to do and nowhere to be – because you couldn’t actually GO anywhere! — became confining. I am more of an extrovert than my husband, and it seemed my daughter was similar. They loved it! I was growing weary of the four walls of our house. My solution came in the form of exercise and socialization.  

Walking was my savior. It was spring. The weather was beautiful and the days were growing longer. After dinner a few nights a week, I would lace up my shoes, put on my headphones and listen to a podcast, or as COVID drew on, I would make phone calls and talk… and talk and talk. It saved me. I called friends near and far—friends I didn’t see much but I thoroughly enjoyed. And, guess what?!? I BARELY got anyone’s voice mail… everyone else was stuck at home, too. I called Brooklyn, Phoenix and Des Moines. Everyone was in the same boat. We shared our COVID experience and our lives. It was the freedom and connection I needed.  

In addition to walking, I was doing some yoga on my own and weekly ZOOM fitness classes led by my friend, Nina, for exercise. I realized a few weeks in that if I continued the baking and eating at the rate I was going, they’d soon have to roll me out of the house, but, man, was it fun while it lasted… new recipes with everyone home to enjoy them with me… it was a sugar-shocked, fat-ladened bliss!  

I curbed the baking and was doing what I needed to do to get by and feel good, physically, but nowhere near the fitness routine I was used to pre-COVID.  

As time wore on, simply feeding my family became a success. There were days upon days where my daughter lived in her jammies. It all became fine, and this life became my new normal.  

We slowly and safely expanded our circle—our “Quaran-team,” if you will, to include friends and neighbors, mostly those in close proximity with kids around my daughter’s age. We played outside and then a little more inside as the late summer heat made it oppressive to be outside for more than minutes. Like so many, we put in a swingset while the playgrounds were closed.    

Here we are now an astounding six months later and life is starting to resume anew. Masks are the norm now and may be for quite some time. I feel like we made it through the worst, I hope. I am more appreciative of my health and home and the amazing people I get to share it with, but I sure am squishier in many places and a little worse for the wear—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. I look forward to heading back to the gym, when I feel the time is right for me.  

Until then, like many of us, I’m going to do my best to keep my mind AND body fit to handle anymore repercussions of COVID, or whatever else 2020 decides to throw our way. I am tremendously hopeful that anyone reading this will be able to do the same.   

My inner circle, always, but especially these last six months