A Little Diversion
Thoughts on Hope: A Story About Showing Up

Checking In: Let's Talk Fitness Again

Last year, when things felt settled and plans were more reliable (y'know . . . in the Before Times), I talked a lot about fitness and wellness here. And I especially focused on the importance of building our strength and fitness levels as we, (well . . . ) age. I harped on talked about the benefits of regular movement and strength training. I posted sample workouts and fitness tips and inspirational stories. I even got some of my fitness pals to share their stories and workout strategies!

Now that we're deep into . . . a whole new way of living . . . I thought it might be fun to check back in with my fitness pals again -- a year (and a lifetime) later. Y'know . . . to see how they're doing, what's changed for them fitness-wise, and to see if they have any tips or words of encouragement for working out during a pandemic.

Let's kick things off by checking in with . . . Claudia.

(Here's a link to last year's fitness post featuring Claudia. In case you want to refresh yourself before moving on.)

TRX for Kym

Kym: So, Claudia. How are you doing, generally, during these pandemic times? What’s happening for you? Are you working at home? Going to the office? 
Claudia: As a well-resourced White person with the privilege to quarantine in a comfortable suburban home, I am doing great as compared to many, many others.  I and my family are (so far) healthy, and that's the most important thing to me.
Kym: What hasn't changed?
Claudia: I worked from home even before the pandemic hit and I work at home now.  What has changed?  I don't go anywhere.  My gray roots are un-dyed, and groceries and all other shopping is curbside-only or delivered.  I hauled out my long-neglected sewing machine and have sewed lots of masks to give away to under-resourced people.  I am doing the uncomfortable work to be anti-racist and an effective ally to Black people.  It feels like every moment of every day is taken up with something.  A pandemic bright spot:  I can now bake decent sourdough bread.
Kym: What's happening for you fitness-wise? Are you able to work out in the same ways you used to, pre-pandemic? Have you added anything? Modified your routine? Stopped working out altogether?
Claudia: Being that I don't go anywhere, that includes the gym where I used to do my weight-training and go to spin class.  Early on in this pandemic, my husband and I purchased some additional dumbbells, a stability ball and a TRX trainer to add to the home fitness equipment we already had.  But other than the change of location to a home-gym, my fitness routine isn't significantly different.  I continue to do alot of bodyweight exercises.  I do chin-ups on my doorway chin-up bar; rows, presses, fall-outs, squats and lunges with the TRX; and basic exercises like pushups, Turkish-Get-Ups and stability ball roll-outs
What saves my sanity from the afore-mentioned not-going-anywhere and the stress and anxiety of our current pandemic/racial injustice/economic collapse situation, is the frequent, long tandem bicycle rides that my husband and I take every week.  Urban, suburban and rural.  Mountain biking and road biking.  The fresh air, change of scenery and exercise is the difference between going nuts and keeping my s**t together.

Kym: Do you have any advice for others who may be struggling or trying to figure out how to add fitness into their lives?
Claudia: If I'm honest, and well....why not be....if it weren't for my workout buddy a/k/a Husband, I would be much less motivated to do my at-home workouts.  When he is motivated and I'm feeling tired or just not enthusiastic, I'll start a workout even when I just really didn't wanna.  And you know what?  I've never regretted a work out once I've started.  So even in this time of social-distancing, I'd suggest trying to get or keep up with a fitness buddy.  Can you get someone with whom you live to join you in a yoga or weightlifting routine, or a daily walk or bike ride?  Can you set a walking or bike-riding date (masks and appropriately distanced) with a friend, with the prize being some social interaction along with your dose of exercise?
Being fit during a pandemic can literally be life-saving.  If obesity is a risk factor for a bad COVID-19 outcome, then doing something about the situation takes on a whole new urgency.
Kym: What helps you cope with life in the time of pandemic?
Claudia: Meditation.  As daily as I can make it.  I recommend the Ten Percent Happier app, and in particular my favorite teacher, Joseph Goldstein.

Claudia's commitment to her strength and fitness - like my own - remains as solid as ever. The big difference for both Claudia and for me? Switching from an outside gym to a home gym for our workouts. It takes some "figuring out" to make that work, but it's certainly doable. And worth the effort!

I would also like to echo Claudia's words about the importance of a workout buddy. Like Claudia, I'm fortunate to live with a committed "worker-outer," so I can get an easy (but effective!)  kick-in-the-butt whenever I don't really feeeeeel like working out. (Because face it, folks. Thinking about starting a workout is usually draining in itself. Worth it -- because you feel better as soon as those endorphins kick in. But motivation to get started is always tough.) (That's normal, by the way.) Anyway. Find yourself a workout buddy. If it's not someone in your household, find a friend -- even a long distance friend -- that you can whine to . . . AND that you can rely on to tell you "Do it anyway!"


How about YOU? How has your fitness-life changed in the past year? Let me know. Let's get this fitness conversation started again!


NOTE: If you try to leave a comment on this post, but are unable to, would you mind sending me an email (link to the left in the sidebar) to let me know. I've had reports of a problem, and need more data to report the situation. Thank you.



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I enlisted my daughter as an accountability buddy. She does yoga or Pilates every day so now she sends me a text to see if I have been on my mat. You can bet I don’t want to say no.


Turkish get-ups...the worst! (Fortunately my instructor hasn't thought of them for a while!) Nice going Claudia!


I love the name Turkish Get-ups...but I’d much rather do a Bulgarian split-squat :) Claudia inspires in SO many ways here... While I’ve been a regular exerciser for 31 years, I have to say that as I get older, I appreciate more and more having a partner who shares the commitment. We work out differently—and I’m one who FAR prefers to work out alone (save for recreational activities). Still—we feed off each other. For example, I might feel like slacking one day, but if Troy decides to run 4 or 5 miles before breakfast, you can bet I’ll be taking off my slippers and putting on my sneakers! So yes to the Buddy System and all the different ways it can work for you.


I'm using Microsoft Edge to comment so it would appear the problem is Chrome. Yes, I downloaded an additional web browser, that's how much I love you. And also, hello long distance friend. Thanks for all the support!


Wow, I got tired just reading this! LOL I also just got back from a 5 mile walk. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've stopped working out at home (yoga, weights, crunches, etc.) but I am walking a lot and loving that. I'll probably get back into working out again when Winter is upon us.


Thanks for re-visiting Claudia to show us that fitness can still happen during the pandemic, and is probably more important than ever. John used to be my everyday walking partner, but he's wimped out on me too often, so now my accompaniment is a good audiobook. I also love meditation with the Ten Percent Happier app; it has made a real difference in my meditation frequency.
P.S. I'm using Windows and Chrome and think I've successfully left a comment, so it looks like Chrome may not always be the issue.


Thanks for the kind words. For sure, prioritizing fitness during a pandemic is a struggle for everyone, including me. Some days more than others!


Thank you for recommending Yoga with Adriene more than once. Our fitness routine, such as it is, has consisted mostly of daily walks with the occasional bike ride. And while not intensive, I've found the daily-ness good for my body AND soul. But this week, with air classified as "Hazardous" (this is three steps up from "unhealthy for sensitive population") we have not been walking for exercise. Enter Adriene. It feels SO good!

We are praying for rain and cleaner air. And got our flu shots today, because healthy has lots of parts.


I'll be honest -- Claudia makes me feel a little lazy! But I've definitely been much more active since the start of the pandemic, and I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in. I still don't feel any desire to go to a gym (in fact, I'm probably less interested in visiting a gym now because of other people and their germs), but I've really come to look forward to my time outside every day. I've mainly been trying to maintain my weight loss, but I've actually noticed the scale tick down a bit, I think because my body mass is more muscle and less fat than it used to be. I just hope I can keep it up when the weather starts to get bad.


My *workout* consists of doing my back exercises morning and night. If I keep doing them faithfully, in a couple-few weeks I will be able to walk to the mailbox and back -- about 1,000 yds total -- without pain. And then, the sky is the limit! (The hard part is doing the exercises 2x/day. I forget, or I remember when I am already snugged under the covers and almost asleep.)

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