What's replacing your swimming and everything that it brings to you and those around you during the Coronavirus Lockdown?
So many of us have had to find alternative ways to work, to stay fit and well, to shop and to keep in touch with our friends and family. People are finding creative and inventive solutions to the fast changing situation as it evolves.... Some things seem to be common threads and everyone is finding their own way.... Here are some of my substitutes!
The camaraderie.... I'm still keeping in touch with my Swimming Family. Our closest swimming friends - The Soggy Squad... have had a WhatsApp group for a long time. In the early days of the Coronavirus story in the UK, we had already begun to share our funnies and our lift-me-up stories to the group along with some random videos of Sumo Wrestling in our dressing gowns! Various other social media platforms mean that I can also keep in touch with all the groups and pages that other swimmers and coaches share... there are so many and they are filled with brilliant inspiration and positivity as well as accounts of what everyone else is up to, shared workouts and how to spend the time productively for those of us who now find ourselves either furloughed or out of work completely.
The routine.... swimming is a huge part of my daily routine, knowing that the alarm will get me up and out and that hitting the water marks the start of a new day where anything is possible... When the UK lockdown was announced I knew I had to get a new routine in place or I would be scuppered indeed without the water and it's magical power to heal and keep me moderately sane. So I dug out my Pilates ball, stretch bands and fitness mat that had been collecting dust in our kit room. Dusted off and ready to rock and roll I found that the old Pilates moves came back to me and I remember how much I used to enjoy them. But oh my word.... how hard they were in week one!
The Meditation and calm... finding this now every day by connecting with nature in whatever way is possible. We're lucky to live in a village with woodland and footpaths within easy reach. We have a garden - 3 weeks ago it had lots of weeds in it.... The evening 'falling asleep' CD has been replaced by mindfulness practices and meditation music.
The rush and sense of accomplishment.... As well as the daily Pilates I've found a host of online land based workouts and training ideas.... The likes of the very popular and well known Joe Wicks and blast from the past returned in Mr Motivator (I so love his outfits and enthusiasm!!), as well as our club coach sending out daily training via Zoom, and the absolute gem that is Marc Trussell and his 'Project Hardcastle' (thanks to Sarah L for putting me on to him... Just you wait till I see you in Guildford!). And no day would be complete without at least one round of the '7 minute Tabata workout'. Its always a relief to get to the end and yes... there is a sense of having managed to survive it! And then there's the vegetable patch that needs weeding!
Tempting though it is to keep eating the same foods at the same pace as during training .... this isn't sensible or practical.... so the cake is on hold as are the bacon butties and the two breakfast routine (one pre and one post swim). For now....
Upskilling.... online learning and making sure that all my ducks are in their proverbial row ready for when the Lockdown is over and our new 'normal' can get underway. There are lots of swimming related courses and CPD available online - thanks to the STA, the ASA, the RLSS and others. Some of these have had prices significantly reduced or have been made available FOC for everyone in the current climate. Also enjoying exploring some other online courses, not necessarily swimming related but health, business and social media related through sites like 'FutureLearn' and 'Virtualcollege'. All super interesting and useful to add to the skill set.
Applying for jobs.... This spring was due to be the start of my first Open Water coaching season, I had cleared the decks and made way for clients and coaching sessions, time at the beautiful Lake 86 in the Cotswold Water Park and all the excitement of doing something that I absolutely love. Posters, business cards and leaflets were ready, a Social Media campaign was drawn up and in the diary..... I now find myself applying for all manner of temp work, including Funeral Care and mail sorting for the postal service. I even had my first Skype interview this week.... Watch this space!
The new routine and the new 'normal' is anything but routine or normal for our household.... but it is what it is, it is we have here and now. Reminded of how important it is to be living in the moment we're very grateful and quick to acknowledge that compared to some out there, we're ok and we will make it though this unusual and unsettling time.