COVID-19 & Mary's Thoughts
I’ve been tasked with blogging here & there for the FTC, topics that include but are certainly not limited to workout tips & tricks, what benefits come from moving your body etc etc… This is something I’ve really enjoyed because writing was once a huge outlet for me & I’ve gotten away from it, more rather, I let it get away from me. This opportunity has given me the chance to stop saying I wanted to take up the hobby again & actually just do it. However, this past week has proven to be a difficult one & I haven’t been able to formulate many coherent sentences, let alone an entire blog post. Why has it been so difficult you ask, well as of Thursday, March 19th Arizona cities declared a state of emergency for COVID-19 which ordered bars, restaurants, gyms & more to close their doors to the public. This came on the heels of other states around the country taking similar action, New York, Washington & California to name a few, in hopes of helping stop the spread of COVID-19. For the Back to Health FTC crew, this means that we haven’t been able to be with one another since Friday the 20th which at the time of me writing this is a whole 10 days. The target date for us to re-open our doors was Monday, April 6th but a stay at home order was just established for Arizona until at least April 30th. For someone whose soul purpose in life is to make meaningful connection with others, through fitness yes but really just in general, this has been a weird pill for me to swallow. Those are the realities of the current situation & if you’re anything like me, you’ve been on this emotional roller coaster since the second week of March because of it. One minute you’re feeling happy and grateful, even super hopeful at times, the next minute you’re scared, frustrated or just plain sad. If you’re finding yourself in any part of this story, I just want to tell you that you’re not alone & it’s perfectly okay. Have any of us ever lived through a global pandemic before? No! This is a first for all of us so first off I want you to take a deep breath & give yourself a little grace.
Before I was able to jot down my thoughts, I had to sit in some silence & really just clear my mind & what came through for me in that time what this: There are other realities to this situation as well, sure there certainly is a lot of doom & gloom hang your head over but there’s also a lot of really amazing stuff happening right now too. Some weirdo named Newton once said for every action there is a equal & opposite reaction I.e.: for every negative thing happening right now, there is something positive that has happened as well. Our carbon footprint is down, there’s dolphins swimming in the Venice Canals for the first time like ever, we’re coming together like never before. I’ve picked up quite a few tools over the course of my life that have helped me find the positives in real difficult situations & I’d love to share a few with you if that's alright?
First off, perspective - It’s all in how you look at it. That’s the best part, you GET to choose the way in which you see what’s going on in the world around you, but it can be easy to forget that we have a choice in the matter. Are you choosing to look through the lens of fear & lack or are you trying on the lens of gratitude & abundance? How to you know & then go from one to the other? I’ll give you an example, at the beginning of the year, I resolved to start saying “no” to more things. These past five-ish years I was a “yes” to everything & though being that way served a fantastic purpose, it was time for me to slow down a bit & focus. However, you guys know what happens in terms of resolutions right? You back slide on them a little at times, can anyone relate? So how’s it going for me you ask? Well my entire month of March was booked solid, that’s how. This whole pandemic crept in & took over the second weekend of March, effectively cancelling the rest of my month which included two out of town trips, one of which was out of the country. Instead of being upset about the cancelled plans & asking why this happened to me, I chose to look at it like the universe was simply trying to help me slow down as I had originally intended on doing. We’ve all been given this huge opportunity to slow down which I would bet a lot of us were secretly asking for. I know there’s a lot of fear around the future & what things will look like once it’s all over but we can only control what’s happening within us right now so instead of all things in which you don’t or possibly won’t have, it pays to see the things you do have as well as what you can now add into the new found spaces that have been created.
Onto the next controllable piece - Mindset. Where is your head at? Have you ever heard or had someone tell you that your body will achieve what your mind believes in terms of a tough workout? Like when you’re digging real deep to finish your last couple reps during your last set, your mind has to be on board or it ain’t happening. Well, the same thing applies outside of the gym, what you focus on will grow. This period of slowing down gives all of us the opportunity to evaluate what we’re consuming for instance, are you looking through the lens of fear because all you’re doing while self quarantining is watching the news which is replaying how scary things are over & over again. Are you worried about not having enough toilet paper because everyone on your social media channels is talking about how there’s no toilet paper. Like at all. Anywhere. One of the best things we can all do in regards to this situation is turn off all the chaotic noise & tune into more sources that are projecting positive lights instead. That includes but is not limited to un-following people (including friends, sorry Janet) on social media, turning off the news & picking up a book, learning a new skill, practicing a new (or old!) hobby, journaling, starting a new series, praying, serving others by teaching them a skill you’ve mastered, exercising etc, etc…
Consistency is the last point I’ll touch on in terms of not only surviving during these uncertain times but thriving in them. Of course I’m talking about consistency in terms of your workouts & I know it’s not always easy &/or fun to workout by yourself at home but it’s important because movement truly matters in moving stagnant & negative energy out. Besides Ben, Heather & I have so enjoyed making all these videos for you so join in on our fun while also taking advantage of the fact that we live in Arizona right now as opposed to Wisconsin. Consistency is integral outside of your workout regime too. Be consistent in the times that you wake up, be consistent with your morning routine, in the amount of water you drink & the amount phone time you allot yourself. I shared this on a recent FB live but every morning I wake up, I have a mantra I repeat to myself, I say it either out loud or quietly to myself & then I take 60 seconds to rattle of things that I am grateful for in that moment. Being consistent with these thing helps me seek out things in which I am grateful for throughout the rest of my day regardless of what’s going on around me. I’ve been doing that same thing every day for a little over two years & now is when I’m really getting to put into play what I’ve been practicing all this time. In that you can not only see how important remaining consistent in your routines are but also how all of these points are connected. Consistency helps my mindset grow which in turn helps shift my perspective from having fear to having faith.
As I said earlier, I do really love slowing down but I take very seriously that I am one of those positive sources I spoke of earlier. Light shining & space holding are some of my favorite things to do, so if any of you need me beyond what I’m already putting out there, let’s connect. Ginormous air hugs to all of you!