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Reflections From A Pandemic Summer
Summer is usually a time for fun, gathering with friends, vacations, and so much else. Unfortunately, this summer has been a bit different since it fell smack dab in the middle of a pandemic. I don’t think it’s a big secret that I am a child of winter, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the summer, but I’m much happier in the middle of a snowstorm than on a beach. That being said, I still really look forward to summer, and this summer was no different.
Before we go much farther, I want to be honest about the purpose of this post, I know this is our office blog, and most of these posts are about injuries or things you can do to stay healthy, and I promise this will have some of that, throughout our current situation I have used this as a place to put thoughts that I hope to look back on later.
As the spring came to an end I had no idea what to expect of the summer, but I welcomed the opportunity to start to spend time with some close family and friends and get outside. I also knew that so much of my normal summer wouldn’t exist, there would be no running races, triathlons were canceled and I found myself with nothing to train for. I was running here and there, and even got out on the bike a bit, but really found it hard to motivate myself to do much. I was at the bike shop one day, and saw a mountain bike, and knew exactly how I was going to get my motivation back. I needed to challenge myself to try something new (and not break any bones).
For the rest of the summer, we fell into a great routine. I would spend Saturday mornings attempting to not kill myself on the mountain bike, come home, and then I would take the kids to my parents’ house to play and relax in the pool. Sunday we formed a great group of people and would explore all sorts of different road biking routes. Occasionally I would mess up and put us on a dirt road, or a hill that felt like we needed ropes to get up, or I would have to bend the truth about our true planned distance to get my sister to agree to come along with us. No matter what, we had a lot of fun.
I was also lucky enough to be able to see this summer through the eyes of Hayden and Madison, who are 7 and 3 years old. At first, I was worried about how they would view all of this. Would it become the summer that camp was canceled, we didn’t go on vacation, and got stuck at home with mom all day? Thankfully it became pretty clear that all they cared about was getting to play with their cousins, being able to swim, and go to playgrounds. I think in 5 years they will remember this as the year their cousin moved closer for summer, they got to play all the time, and finally mastered the deep end.
I was also really worried about what the summer would mean for business, how would we recover from having the office closed for 2 months? Would people be comfortable coming to see us in person? Would people even need us? If they weren’t out training and/or racing would they find value in what we had to offer? I’m happy to say that thanks to the amazing team Ashley, John, and I have become, we got each other through all the scary times (and will continue to get each other throughout the ones that will certainly come in the future). Our patients were as motivated as ever to use this time to continue to improve themselves, and it turns out even in a pandemic, people get hurt. I have always found it very rewarding to help people who are going through a tough time, and throughout this unique time, I have found it to be even more rewarding. Especially now, being able to give someone a piece of mind that their ankle sprain will heal, their back pain will subside, and they will one day have a race again, has probably been more helpful to me than them.
There have been lots of internet experts telling people not to waste this time, to use it to better themselves, to make sure they don’t waste this opportunity. I’m sure some of that is right, but it is easy to say and hard to implement. My advice and big takeaway from this pandemic filled summer, try new things, live on the edge of your comfort zone. Not just now, always, it can be really easy to talk ourselves out of trying new things, or doing things we fear we may not succeed at, but where’s the fun in easy? As we get into the fall and winter to come, try new things, and you will be surprised at the lessons you can learn.