At the start of this pandemic, when it came to looking after myself I did fairly well. I went out walking or running every other day, and I was watching what I ate. I was even meditating fairly regularly.
But the interminability of the crisis and the unpredictability of the future got to me after a month or so and I fell into an extended period of languor, disinterest and general malaise. I know I am not the only one to have had this experience because when I tell other people I have “Quarantine Brain” or “Isolation Brain,” they tell me they have it too.
In addition to Quarantine Brain, I also have Quarantine Body, by which I mean that I’ve gained a few pounds that I really didn’t need. And now I need to get rid of them – which, as we all know, is more easily said than done. (As you may also know, I have been fighting against excess body weight for long enough that I have written a novel about the challenges of dieting, trying to work out why almost any diet will do the trick as long as your head is in the right space, and why nothing will work when it’s not.)
I am not sure that my head is anywhere near the right space, but I do know that I can’t afford to put this off any longer. I am having some surgery on my left foot in early September to remove a bunionette, which will mean no running for six weeks. And we all know what comes after October in Canada: winter. If I don’t get around to addressing my lack of condition and extra pounds until after that — well, I don’t want to think about it. I am no spring chicken and if I let my body go, I might never get it back.
For several weeks, I’ve been absolutely determined to get up in the morning and go for a (slow) run before it gets too hot. The only problem is that I’m totally determined until the instant before the alarm clock goes off. When it does, I find myself quite undetermined to do anything but roll over and go to sleep again. My husband is kind enough not to point out what a lazy-butt I have turned into, so I need to build some external accountability into my life. So here we are.
Since we’re unable to travel, which means I’m unable to regale you with stories about our trip to Spain (which is where we were planning to go when COVID-19 raised its ugly head, or its nasty coronas to be more accurate), I will be giving you a tour of my running program in the days and weeks ahead. Enjoy. I hope you will find some humour and possibly even some inspiration here.
And if you’re engaging in your own Quarantine-Brain-and-Body Battle, share your experiences in the comments section below. As they say about masks and social distancing, we’re all in this together.
See you tomorrow.