covid19 · fitness · yoga

What to do when your hot yoga studio proudly breaks the law?

Last week Sam tagged me on something I wish I didn’t have to know because it was so incredibly disappointing. It’s a site called Ontariobad.ca and it’s a place where businesses who intend not to follow the province’s COVID restrictions proudly announce their intention under the misguided banner “Businesses against Discrimination.”

I call the banner misguided because discrimination goes against someone’s human rights, and requiring proof of vaccination does not. This is an important point because who could not be on the side of “businesses against discrimination”? But if they are confused about what constitutes “discrimination,” well that’s a whole separate issue.

Because so many people who I like and thought were smart and reasonable have turned out during the pandemic to have views that have shocked me, I have tried to see “the other side.” But Zoe Whittal’s tweet really resonates:

Image description: photo of a tweet from Zoe Whittal that says: “I looked at the list of businesses refusing to check vaccine status and it confirms my belief about who is responsible for the pandemic dragging on & how do I put it – Mass death? White people who support ‘wellness’ themed clinics, cafes, restaurants, RMTs, gyms, etc.”

So back to my yoga studio. I missed hot yoga terribly during the various lockdowns and restrictions. Before the pandemic I had spent $1000 on a one-year unlimited pass that I didn’t get to use because of lockdowns. Not wanting to leave the studio with a financial hit when I had the privilege of continuing to work and be paid, I didn’t ask for a suspension or any sort of compensation. The year came and went. The pass expired.

I was ready to go back to the studio in late-August after an 18-month absence. I bought a ten-class pass to start, not sure how it would feel. After ten classes I felt ready to commit to a monthly membership (instead of shelling out all at once for another annual pass) that had an initial contractual commitment for four months.

Not quite a month into my commitment, government regulations to quell the spread of the delta variant kicked in, requiring fitness facilities and various other businesses to ask for proof of vaccination. My studio refused. And advertised their refusal on the OntarioBAD website.

Zoe Wittal’s tweet resonates because let’s remember what we are trying to prevent here: not just death from COVID (which seems not to be motivation enough for some) but the collapse of the health care system. Alberta is on the brink of that right now, where ICUs are dominated by unvaccinated COVID patients. COVID doesn’t eliminate other emergencies. So if you need an ICU bed for another reason, you may be out of luck. You may be sent to another province (if they can accommodate). You may die or worsen before you can receive adequate care.

When people frame this as an issue of freedom, choice, and discrimination, they are ignoring the provision in the first clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where it says that the rights and freedoms are guaranteed “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” Have the people who make the freedom and discrimination argument ever looked at the Charter? That “reasonable limits” part is key. That’s why we can have laws that limit people’s exposure to second-hand smoke. That’s why we can have speed limits. That’s why we can limit people’s freedom to do other things that harm others, like murder, assault, and stealing. These things don’t infringe on our rights because they are reasonable limits that can be demonstrably justified.

And such is the case with COVID restrictions that are “demonstrably justified” by the current science. Is it perfect? No. Does it change? Yes. But is it more or less on track and getting better all the time? Yes.

Remember at the beginning of the pandemic when they said wearing a mask was doing your part to protect others? Vaccines are similar (and when we see who is filling the ICUs right now we can see it also protects the vaccinated). So when a yoga studio, which purports to care about health and “wellness” flouts the legal provisions which are in place, based on the current science, to limit outbreaks that could result in death and the collapse of the health care system, they are terribly misguided. They are putting their clientele at risk. And they are not doing their part as citizens.

My studio took this position without any communication whatsoever with its members. They simply stayed silent, offering no statement about how they would handle the proof of vaccination legislation one way or the other. I learned of their stance when someone outside of the community sent me a link to OntarioBAD. This too does a huge disservice to the members, not allowing them to make an informed decision about supporting a business that will now attract unvaccinated people who have fewer places they may frequent at present. This in turn increases risk of exposure to the highly contagious Delta variant.

My studio agreed to release me from my contract. I was very sad to have to go because I have been part of the community for over a decade. I don’t wish them ill and I acknowledge that this is not an easy time for fitness outlets. Many have closed their doors permanently. The studio has managed to keep its doors open under difficult circumstances. And that made many people grateful, including me. But at a certain point in these challenging times we need to stand on principle and science or lose integrity.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back or if they would have me back.

But my answer to the question “what do you do if your yoga studio breaks the COVID laws with righteous ignorance?” is: Cancel your membership.

What would you do?

hiking · traveling · yoga

Perfect Yoga in Reykjavik

We landed in Reykjavik at 6:30 a.m., jet-lagged from a too-short overnight flight. After a no-nap day, I went to yoga with my friend, Hope, at 5 p.m. Because we didn’t have to pay in advance, we’d both been touch and go about the class all day, but at the last minute we decided to make the effort.

The day was chill and drizzly, which served the purpose of waking me up some on our 15-minute walk through an adorable neighbourhood of plain, flat-fronted houses painted in bright eye-catching colours. When we got to where the studio was supposed to be, there was a bakery. Puzzling. Until we looked up and noticed what seemed to be (and, indeed, turned out to be) a big spacious room on the second and top floor of the building.

We found the entrance tucked around the side in an alley of sorts, left our shoes on the stairs and climbed up into a big, cozy space—cement walls with what seemed to be graffiti relics from another time, half-painted over with more yogic designs; a high vaulted ceiling stuffed with insulation, covered by plastic sheeting taped to the fresh wood beams. One corner was piled with blankets, props and yoga mats, free for anyone to use. In fact, the whole payment system was quite loose. I didn’t have Icelandic currency, and I couldn’t get into my PayPal account on my phone. Then, when I tried to pay after class on my computer, I had another problem paying in Icelandic currency via PayPal. None of which phased the instructor in the least, even when we showed up the next morning for another class and once again forgot cash. I did ultimately pay via PayPal.

The class was in English. A relief. I was tired enough that following along without any verbal cues would have challenged my capacities. Yet all of the other yogis seemed local—I deduce this from the class cards they showed by way of payment. The instructor was a welcoming combination of wry, laissez-faire and yes-this-is-hard-but-give-it-a-try. Plus, she looked to be only a week or two away from giving birth, which added to the earthy, rooted, yet nourishing, ambience. Quick aside here: As a woman without children, I have a sometimes-complicated relationship with my feelings around pregnant women. So, I was surprised by the unequivocal radiance of the positive energy I felt.

The class started with a seated meditation, during which I nodded toward sleep and jerked into consciousness again a couple of times, with that slight feeling of nausea that coats me like Vaseline the day following a red-eye flight. But once we started moving, my body got happy. The class was strong and focused, a Goldilocks balance between challenge and ease (for me). By the end of the 75 minutes, I felt like I had been put back together.

How perfect.

We decided to go again at 9 a.m. the next morning. I barely woke up in time, but we made it to the class. Same great instructor. Shorter class, at 60 minutes. A stimulating morning flow. I was tired. Unsurprisingly. The class cleared cobwebs, reinvigorated and set me up for a day of exploring. Perfect again. Two for two at Reykjavik Yoga.

Plus, breakfast from the bakery below. 

I love going to yoga in a new town; helps me align with the place. Other days, I ran and hiked. The Icelandic landscape cuts me to the quick. It’s an easy place for me to satiate my abiding craving for movement. We did have a slight hiking mishap involving sleet, high winds, an unmarked trail and frayed hiker nerves, but that’s a story for another post.

Landscape on an hike in the Hengill region of Iceland

Traveling is by its nature an adventure. It’s a gift when I can find points of familiarity, which help me locate, while at the same time, immersing me in the newness. Yoga is one of those locators for me.

Do you have locator activities when you’re away?   

ADHD · fitness · stretching · yoga

Christine is putting her best foot..upward?

I’ve been working on relieving the pain around my heel in one way or another since May.

I’ve been doing all manner of stretches for my calves and the rest of my legs and I have been rolling a ball under my foot to try to get the muscles there to loosen up.

It’s all been helping a bit and I can definitely feel the progress but it has been slow, slow, slow.

A GIF of tortoise moving slowly across a tile floor.
Has my progress been faster than this? Probably. But this matches my perception of my speed. Image description: A GIF of a tortoise moving VERY slowly across a tile floor. Greenery and the legs of a patio table can be seen in the background.

And it doesn’t help that my brain keeps telling me that the slow progress is because I am not working hard enough at my stretches. That may or may not be true (it’s hard to tell) but my brain doesn’t have to be a jerk about it.

In my first post about this, I mentioned getting on my own nerves by having to learn the same lesson over and over again and I am finding myself at that same annoying spot of relearning something I already know.

So, I have been been pretty consistent with my stretches and with rolling the ball under my foot. I was trusting in the process even as I was watching the clock. (Gold star for me – )

But in my frustration with my slow progress, I forgot that there are many different exercises that will accomplish the same thing. So, since my progress was slow, it might be time to think about the problem in a different way.*

Since the ball rolling didn’t seem to be loosening my feet very much and I couldn’t stand to press any harder, maybe I needed to stretch my feet just as much as I needed to stretch my calves.

So, I did a quick search and found this marvelous video from Yoga with Cassandra. Not only are the stretches good but the video is short – a definite bonus in my books.

A YouTube video from Yoga with Cassandra. The still image shows a slender white woman with her hair in a braid, she is doing a version of downward dog while perched on a grey yoga mat on a wooden floor.

I’ve done the stretches in this video every day for a week now and the difference in my heels is astounding.

I think that the ball rolling was even less effective (for me) than I had realized and these stretches mean that I am finally addressing the whole issue instead of just a part of it.

I am finally seeing measurable progress and I am so relieved.

PS – I’m really tempted to make a list of ‘Lessons I’ve Already Learned’ so I can give them a quick read every so often to see if any of them apply to any current circumstances.

*It’s funny that divergent thinking is one of the creative strengths of the ADHD brain…but I forgot to use that tool for this issue!

fitness · season transitions · yoga

Christine and the nighttime patio yoga

I love doing yoga outside at any time but especially at night in the summer. I bring out some soft lights, set up my mat on the patio, and pop in one earphone so I can follow along with a Youtube practice. *

So, right now you are probably thinking ‘Christine, that sounds great but it’s not summer any more.’

And that’s true, it’s definitely fall and I usually stop doing nighttime yoga by now. Luckily, though, I had an errand to run and I realized that it was pretty warm night for September so patio yoga was totally feasible.

A dimly-lit photo of Christine outdoors at night. A string of star-shaped lights are visible over her shoulder.
You’ll be pleased to know that my smirk works just as well at night as it does in the daytime. Image description: a dimly-lit nighttime photo of my face. My hair is held back with a bandana, and I’m smirking. You can see a string of star-shaped patio lights over my shoulder and my headphones are visible where they hang around my neck.

And it was great.

Sure, there was a chill in the air but it kind of nice actually.

And the company was pretty swell, too.

A light-haired dog is standing on the grass at night, looking up at the camera. She is illuminated by a string of lights that can be seen on the left aide.
Khalee couldn’t let me be outside by myself at night without supervision. Image description: a nighttime photo of Khalee, a light-haired dog. She is standing on the grass, looking up toward the camera. Her tail is mid-wag. My string of round lights is dangling from my hand and can be seen on the left side of the photo, illuminating Khalee and the grass.

Now that I have turned evening patio yoga into a fall activity, and since I am the owner of very many sweaters and several pairs of non-slip socks, I’m wondering just how far into the season I can get away with practicing outdoors.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

A nighttime photo on my patio string of round, white battery-operated lights are arranged in the shape of a heart on my blue yoga mat. My feet are visible on the mat below the lights,
Cheesy? Yes. But when I placed the lights down they ended up in a vaguely heart-shaped form and I couldn’t resist tidying the shape a bit. Image description: A nighttime photo on my patio string of round, white battery-operated lights are arranged in the shape of a heart on my blue yoga mat. My feet are visible on the mat below the lights, my toenails are painted green (the colour is called ‘My gecko does tricks.’

*I don’t usually watch the practice, the bright screen would kind of ruin the mood but I do listen so I can stop my mind from galloping off into thoughts of what pose to do next.

fitness · yoga

When restorative yoga becomes face-plant yoga

Exactly 17 months to the day after I last did in-person restorative yoga, I returned to the mat inside my local yoga studio. There was live music– a guitarist playing quiet improvisational melodies– and the usual mood lighting of battery-operated candles, clustered around each of the columns on the pristine hardwood basement floor. I could hear the whoosh of the enhanced air filtration system, and see masks on the faces of many. We were all required to show proof of vaccination in order to be mask-free (note: from now on, when I do in-person yoga, I’ll wear a mask even though I’m fully vaccinated; seems like the thing to do).

My friend Norah was next to me, all set up for being lulled and transported to the land of yoga bliss. I dutifully configured my mat, bolster, blocks and blankets (restorative yogis don’t travel light) for gentle stretching.

Little did I expect what was to come: a series of poses designed to accentuate relaxation, but which– for me– resulted in face-down claustrophobia and uncomfortable body balancing attempts. Suffice it to say there was more gritting of teeth and thoughts of “are we done yet?” than moments of oneness with the totality of being.

What happened? Did restorative yoga get a lot less kinder and gentler? Did I accidentally stumble onto a Restorative Bootcamp 101 class by mistake?

No. Here’s the culprit: change happened! Changes in my body, changes in my yoga practice, changes in teacher, changes in poses. But I failed to change my expectations in concert with these changes. Let’s look at some of the poses and how things went wrong.

Woman doing a restorative side twist pose with her chest down on the mat and her head turned to the side.
Woman doing a restorative side twist pose with her chest down on the mat and her head turned to the side.

This pose– I have no idea what it’s called– has always been my restorative nemesis. You sit sideways against a bolster, then twist so that your chest is on the mat, and you turn your head to one side. Yeah, right. I’ve never EVER been able to do this pose with any degree of comfort. I have a large bust and it gets in the way, so that my face feels squashed. I try turning my head, but my neck is sometimes fussy, so that’s not a great option, either. So far I’m zero for two here.

Of course, this is a pose that we do on both sides. Great. I asked for a little help on the second side, and the teacher suggested I extend my top leg, which gives more stretch and stability. I did this, but then felt like a human tripod, balancing on my foot, elbow and head. No good, either.

The next pose was a variation on child’s pose. With the bolster. Uh oh.

A woman in child’s pose, chest down on a raised bolster, knees wide, arms by her sides.

Once again, I’m supposed to lower my chest to the bolster (by this time I’m actually sweating, both from the fidgeting and the dread), turn my head (but it doesn’t like to do that!), and basically sit on the tops of my feet. Doing this last thing is always torture for me. Hero pose is not a possible yoga pose for me (or Samantha, it turns out).

Of course, the teacher (who was really knowledgeable, attentive and helpful) planned ways to make the pose more comfortable for us. We had two blankets folded into nifty squares to place beneath our bums for more support. Whew, good!

But here’s the rub: With the blanket supports, my weight shifted forward into a full face-plant position. Without the blanket supports, I was in pain from the tops of my feet.

Honestly, at that point I should’ve just declared defeat, picked up Thai takeout, and turned on Netflix. But we were almost done, so I hung in there.

Thankfully, we moved to our backs, did some poses that were indeed restful, and then did savasana (corpse pose), so all’s well that ends well.

What did I learn here? That I cannot expect to drop back into all the pre-pandemic things I used to do and expect them to be the same. I’ve changed. They’ve changed. That calls for increased awareness, increased self-accommodation, and a little courage to make adjustments whenever they’re called for.

Because no one wants to do face-plant yoga.

fitness · meditation · rest · sleep · yoga · Zwift

Sleep, stress, and exercise: Sam’s vicious cycle

I’m the Nap Queen. Sleep is my super power. I prioritize rest. These are some of the songs I sing on the blog.

La La La.

La la la la

But lately it feels more like…

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I have a very stressful job and lately I haven’t been sleeping that well. I’m worrying a lot.

So I have been tired and also some days, not feeling much like hard exercise. I mean, I’m still working out. I still bike commute. I still throw a little yoga in here and there. I walk Cheddar and I do some rowing on the erg. But my passion for big. heavy lifting or long efforts on the bike? Nope. Nada.

That’s very not me. So I’ve been listening to the voice that says ‘more rest.’ I’m going to bed early.

But it hasn’t really been helping. I’m sleeping but I am not sleeping that well. Stress and heat are both factors but also without the serious exercise, I’m just not that tired.

One thing that’s occurred to me that is that I use exercise to burn off stress and it makes me tired. The combo makes for an excellent night’s sleep. I slept my best during the pandemic when I was zwifting 5 or 6 nights a week. If I’m too tired to work out, I don’t exercise in the evening and then I have a crappy night’s sleep.

Listening to your body doesn’t always mean more rest. Sometimes the message is more complicated than that.

I’m going to try exercising even when I don’t feel like it, knowing I’ll feel better after. I’m usually the sort of person who uses exercises as a reward. It’s a fun thing that I do. I might have to change my thinking a bit.

I’m going to also look for some non exercise stress relief. I’ve got Adriene’s Find What Feels Good app on my phone and I might see what night time yoga and meditation do for my sleep.

What helps you get a good night’s sleep?

Sat with Nat · yoga

Nat’s Adventures in The Underbelly

Recommended soundtrack Gimme Sympathy by Metric

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Jessamyn Stanley for a while now.

https://fitisafeministissue.com/2020/10/24/nat-reads-every-body-yoga-by-jessamyn-stanley/

In January she had a sale on for an annual subscription to

www.theunderbelly.com and I thought “uh yesss!”

The subscription unlocks video content that is parceled both in terms of explaining yoga postures, elements based flows, and remedies.

The first class I tried was “stiff kitty”. At just under 20 minutes it was a short class to help alleviate upper back and neck tension. My partner joined me as we went through the class.

I appreciated her frank discussion of biomedical stuff, like lifting bellies off thighs or how your hand freaks out sometimes. Jessamyn acknowledges that we do yoga in the spaces we have available to us in our bodies, no striving for perfection, rather radical self love and acceptance. I feel at home in her classes.

The time flew by as we went through a series of seated postures. Her approach to twists got me to a new awareness and engagement in my body. Pure gold. My partner and I both felt much better after the class. Yay!

Jessamyn’s delivery includes swearing. That works for me. She is an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. I live in Canada so that is not controversial for me. More than that, she shares her challenges, what she finds helpful and invites you to explore your practice with self compassion.

She is also hilarious and her wonderful sense of humour keeps me from taking myself too seriously or adding tension to my practice.

But also. Friends. She added a class in April 2021 called 1-900-sexercise and I have never felt so seen.

It’s a class about opening up hips, about feeling good about being on top, and celebrating what our bodies can do.

After having gone through a lot of the content I realized the thing that most impacted me about Jessamyn’s facilitation style is her class is ABOUT ME. Unlike other instructors who seem to be putting themselves out there demonstrating advanced postures with a smile, Jessamyn dials it down so I can try something new.

Of course she can do all kinds of amazingly impressive postures, she’s a professional athlete! But her classes are not about that, they are about you and me being on the mat, trying new things, revisiting old favourites, and taking time to care for ourselves.

My absolute favourite class is a twenty minute meditation class found in the “sprouts” section called “Open Mind”.

Jessamyn is seated facing the camera explaining that we don’t need to rush through our meditation practice.

Have you found a new way to approach exercise that is working for you?

fashion · fitness · inclusiveness · yoga

Can evil companies change their ways? Yes, that’s you we’re talking about Lululemon

Last year I wrote a blog post called Lululemon might still be a little bit evil but now they are also plus sized evil!

“Over the years I’ve gone from thinking that Lululemon is BAD ( Just walk slowly away from that rack of $100 yoga pants) to thinking they are an annoying company (Is Lululemon trying to annoy me?) to buying their leggings when I could find my size online. Sell-out, I know. But I love their high waist Align. In black. Size 14 please. Thanks Ann!

And now you plus sized friends can have them too. Wow.”

They’ve gone from saying that their clothes don’t work for larger bodies to selling clothes designed for larger bodies to appointing one of my fave plus sized fitness spokespersons as a brand ambassador. That’s a pretty big shift.

See Lululemon’s new campaign star has a body-inclusive message: ‘Running is for everyone who has a body and wants to run’

“The athletic apparel brand has tapped ultramarathoner, author, speaker and former Fat Girl Running blogger Mirna Valerio to front its new global “Feel Closer to Your Run” campaign and offer better representation of runners whose body types are typically overlooked within the fitness space. The Vermont-based Valerio tells Yahoo Life that she hopes to inspire and empower both people who have felt excluded by activities like running, and the brands that have the power to provide better quality gear for bigger bodies.

“Make no mistake: All kinds of people in all sorts of bodies want to be able to engage in movement that is meaningful to them, and they need apparel that fits, is functional and well-made,” Valerio says. “There was this prevailing idea that plus-size folks didn’t do or want to do things like running, cycling, swimming, etc. But guess what? We’ve always done those things and have had to contend with ill-fitting apparel — because we’ve been forgotten and ignored — poorly constructed clothing that is not fit for any athletic activity, or if they do fit, pieces in limited colors and styles.”

Never has a post attracted so many likes/comments as this one on our Fit is a Feminist Issue Facebook page. I asked some of our readers if I could share their comments. Mostly, as a group, they weren’t convinced by Lululemon’s efforts at inclusivity.

Whitney writes, “No thanks, Lulu! Not only are their sizes not inclusive, their clothing is prohibitively expensive!”

“Love her but I abhor lululemon and everything they represent is antithesis to this. I hope she gets loads of money out of them and carries on then continuing with her work leaving them in the dirt,” says Sivapraya.

Jessy says, “Well that’s quite a change from the ripping pants at the crotch because “some women shouldn’t wear their clothes” (not verbatim but we get the point).”

What brands did readers suggest instead? Superfit Hero, of course. Here’s my first post about them: I’m a super fit hero and the gym is my phone booth.

Pretty much everyone was a fan of Mirna.

Marlena says, “Yaaaaas Mirna is a goddess, so glad to see her being featured by larger and larger outdoor/athletic companies!”

And I think we can all agree about that.

Here’s Mirna:

Ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio hopes that her work as a Lululemon ambassador shows that
Ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio hopes that her work as a Lululemon ambassador shows that “running is for everyone who has a body and wants to run.” (Photo: Lululemon)

Me, I like their yoga pants and I guess I hope companies can change. We’re all works in progress, even Lululemon. And yes, capitalism and yes, co-opting. But there’s no pure path. This is the world we live and work in.

And I’m happy that the world now contains this billboard.

May be an image of standing and outdoors
Lululemon, Toronto

What do you think? Share your opinions in the comments.

#deanslife · cycling · fitness · rest · yoga · Zwift

Saturday is Sam’s rest day

For me, the grind ends Friday at the end of the workday. I eat dinner. I race my bike in the TFC Smashfest Friday night series. 🚴 Maybe I watch something. I definitely eat something. And then I collapse into bed. Zzzzz. 😀

Saturday is my rest day. It’s not that I don’t move at all. I often walk Cheddar. I sometimes do Yoga with Adriene. But there’s no fast riding or heavy lifting. This is a chance for my body to rest and recover.

I try to make sure I eat well too. And I aim to get enough sleep, sleeping late if necessary to log the needed hours. It’s a conscious effort. Sometimes naps are involved.

So when this image flashed across my social media newsfeed, I thought actually yes it does. On Saturday I rest.

The grind doesn’t stop just because it’s Saturday.

Tomorrow I’ll do something more active. I’ll also get back to some university work, the review essay I’m trying to write and the college budget for sure.

In my pre pandemic busy times I didn’t need to plan a rest day. Often they just happened when life got in the way off intentional movement. These days I’m finding it helps with the blurriness of time to have things I do on particular days.

On Sunday for me it’s a gradual return to work, a preparation for the week ahead, and my Zwift team social ride. I race in a series on Monday nights. On Tuesdays I watch an episode of Star Trek Discovery with my mother. Wednesdays are the one day, pre stay at home order, that I work on campus. I’ll start doing that again next week when the stay at home order is lifted. Thursday is team time trial night. Friday we order take out from a local restaurant.

None of these things is a big deal. But it helps me to place myself in time, and keep track of time in the pandemic blur. Also since working out is one of the fun things that I can do, I’m realizing it’s easy to do too much of it.

And so on Saturday, I rest.

A blond dog resting in a red hammock

221 in 2021 · covid19 · fitness · yoga · Zwift

Will I be this physically active when I have more activities to choose from?

There’s a bunch of us in the 221 in 2021 group speeding along, racking up big numbers of workouts. It’s just the start of February and I’m up to more than 50 workouts.

An aside: Want to join us? Here’s how. It’s a very friendly, supportive group.

We had a discussion the other day, those of us who are often working out more than once a day, about why.

Here’s me: “Yes, I’m working out more than once a day most of the time in these strange pandemic stay at home times. It’s partly the Yoga with Adriene January challenge. It’s partly lifting weights with adult serious lifting offspring who has moved back home. Family bonding over sandbag deadlifts! And then it’s Zwift team stuff. I’m taking Saturday as my rest day with a a commitment to no serious lifting and no Zwifting. But even then there are extra long dog walks and yoga.”

So why? And will it last through 2021?

  • This pace of working out certainly won’t last once there’s evening work commitments out in the world plus theatre and music to go see. So the part of the explanation this year is that it’s a thing I love doing that I can do. I’m missing out on a lot of my work and entertainment activities. There’s no gallery openings and no theatre. No parties on the weekend, no lunch Sunday brunch with friends. Options are somewhat limited right now.
  • I do read books and watch some shows but when I am stressed I can have a hard time concentrating. I have a short attention span when I’m worried and I’m worried a lot through the pandemic. Again, moving my body in ways that challenge me phsyically is both a thing that I can do-it’s an available fun option– and it helps with stress. I sleep better if I exercise in the evenings and go to bed physically as well as mentally tired. See Bikes and Books, about the dangers bikes may pose to books, and Virtual Communites, which talks about my international book club.
  • There’s very little everyday movement in these stay at home lives. All movement, it feels like, is intentional movement. I’m either sitting at my computer not moving much at all, working some ridiculously long days, or I’m working out. In the run of the day on campus I do a lot of walking between meetings. I also bike commute to work. There’s none of that anymore. As Cate said, way back at the start of all this, we’re all indoor cats now.
  • Not everyone has the space to set up a home gym or the means to buy exercise or sports equipment. But we’ve got a lot of stuff and some space. That said, things are cramped even here. I’ve got a combo home office/gym and it contains my desk and computer and several monitors as well as three person’s worth of workout gear including three bikes, a lot of free weights, and soon, a rowing machine. It’s all here. It’s nearby. And I’m wearing workout clothes to work (with some dressier clothes thrown over top) and that makes working out easy. Again, this won’t be the same when I’m back in the office.

So, yes I’m working out more than I usually do during the pandemic for a slew of reasons. You?

I’m not sure I’ll go back to the gym. Maybe the hot yoga studio. Maybe. What about you?

And I’m pretty sure I’ll work out less–but I’ll also have more everyday movement–once the pandemic is over. You?

That’s Sam doing yoga in the dining room with Cheddar the dog