Social distancing Sedona style before it was a thing - during the Sedona MTB Festival
Have you felt like you've been on an emotional roller coaster while following stay-at-home orders during this pandemic?
I've alternated from having a positive outlook by realizing that things haven't really changed that much for me in the short term, to feeling despair when I think about the loss of life to patients and sacrifices of those on the front line dealing with the effects of this virus. On a more personal level, my inability to travel outside of my area, ride with friends, and introduce Enduro Bites and Beta Red to more of you is a big downer.
Like everyone else, I wish I'd never heard of COVID-19.
I'm fortunate to be in good health, but my struggle with Valley Fever and resulting pneumonia a few months ago has me a concerned that I may be more susceptible to the virus. I feel good and it seems as though my respiratory system is at least close to full strength based on my performance on the bike, but there still a little paranoia in the back of my mind. I'll call it a healthy awareness of what this virus can do.
A lot of talk is about COVID-19's mortality rate, and rightly so, but even those who just get "sick" at home can be dealing with it for weeks. A few of my friends who believe they may have had it reported that they felt the worst they ever had while dealing with sickness over the past few months. I'd like to avoid that.
As a result, I've stayed at home except to walk the dog, get physical activity, or go grocery shopping (with I've been putting off). In many ways this isn't a great departure compared to my non-pandemic daily routine, yet it feels onerous. I rarely go out for dinner, catch a movie at a local theater, or visit shopping malls. Yet, like so many others, my new forced daily routine has me struggling. I think part of it has to do with the fact that no one really knows when life will get back to normal, how the new normal may look, or whether more restrictions will be put into place before then. It hasn't helped that we've had politicians denying the seriousness of our calamity, as well as giving false hope as to when our prior daily routines will return.
When the weight on my mind becomes too heavy, a bike ride is in order. My recent ones have had pharmaceutical-like effects. Whether exploring local dirt roads and familiar training climbs or getting back on our awesome trails, I've had a markedly better mental outlook by the finish of each ride.
I'm still regaining bike fitness following my bout of Valley Fever and pneumonia, but I've been careful not to push too hard too often. The last thing anyone should want to do is suppress their immune system during a global pandemic. Ride to enjoy the ride! It's not bad to put in some work, but now isn't the time overreach with your training. Some days I view my bike time as more mental vacation than a workout. Getting outside to enjoy the beautiful weather we've been having is a bonus and it feels good to not finish my late day rides with frozen fingers.
What activities and/or techniques are you using to remain centered? I'd love to know how everyone has is dealing with this. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from one another. Feel free to leave a comment below.