Depending on where you live in the world, things are either opening back up slowly or they are going to Hell in a handbasket because things never really “shut-down” in the first place. If you’re lucky enough to live amongst a majority of people who don’t think that every possible issue is proof of a huge consipiracy and a have a modicum more self-discipline and sense of civic duty than sugar-crazed toddlers than chances are that gyms are opening back up. And that, of course, is at least a small amount of good news in seems to be an unending stream of bad craziness. If 2020 was a person, it’d be that person you hooked up with very briefly in your early 20s before you realized they were absolutely bat-shit crazy…mad, bad and dangerous to know. For a brief unsettling period you are on high alert, ducking and weaving, as you scramble to extricate yourself and come out the other end with your sanity, finances, health and reputation intact. Yep, 2020 it a bunny-boiler of a year. Adversity, sayeth the hackneyed cliche, is opportunity in disguse. So what have we learned from this shit show, what nuggets of wisdom and metaphorical chicken soup for the soul can we glean?
- Mindfulness – This is the biggest payback from all the fear, loathing and general unpleasantness of this situation. The best news? You’re not trying and pitifully failing to become mindful (via silly apps, youtube videos, etc) – it’s a byproduct of the situation. We’ve stopped taking a whole lot of things for granted and realized our true priorities. Enjoy this time (yes, even now) with your loved ones. Being present comes easier when we are forced to realize don’t have a lot a time in this mortal coil and nothing is guaranteed. The rest, as the Buddhists say, is maya or as I like to call it, bullshit.
- Gratitude – see above. You can’t and won’t be mindful if you don’t have gratitude. Are you and your family/friends healthy? Do you have a place to live and enough to eat? If the answer is yes, chances are you’ve been contemplating this a lot recently, and gratitude has manifested itself even in your bling, bling, cheeto-eating, Kardashian-watching vacuous lifestyle. And we’re all the better for it.
- Good habits are reinforced because, well, we don’t have a choice – Just before the lockdown, my Ex and I put our jointly owned appartment on the market. As we wanted to show it “empty” she moved into my place for what was going to be 2 months, tops (the RE market was red hot where I live). Yep, the sale we had lined up within 2 weeks evaporated like petri dish of water in Death Vally with lockdown (talk about bad timing). Next thing you know, we are all stuck in lockdown at my place and we’re obliged to get along for an extended period. She and I instinctively knew that we didn’t have a choice so we better buck up and be adults for the duration. Patience, consideration and a sense of humor are the only way to get through a situation like this. Ditto, self-discipline like making your bed and keeping the house clean all by your entitled lazy-ass self. When your back is against the wall, you’ll rediscover those attributes.
- Training related good news – Yes, you will have lost strength It’s inevitable and you won’t be shocked or depressed when you finally return to the gyms as you know that a 3 month break in training does not equal mad gainz. It’s also true that you’ll muscle memory is indeed a thing and you’ll regain the strength faster than you thought. I’ve been back at the powerlifting club for about a month now and I’m encouraged by the progress. Hell, I’m just grateful to be able to train.