Social Distancing, Isolation, Athletics and Perfection

I was going to start with “Social Distancing is more than staying two yards away from other people”. Then from there this post turned into a rage-y rant of negativity. So I am going to start with “Knowing how to land like a superhero is important”.


First however: social distancing and athletics. There are different bits of information out there, from medical to myth and LOTS of questions. How far is two yards on a path? Can people who live in the same household walk closer than that? What about dogs on a leash or children running about? Is it okay when there are a lot of people on the paths? I won’t pretend that I know any of the answers. There’s tons of research being done, by different countries and by international governments. Legitimate research and random theories.


But athletics. What do you do when the thing that brings you peace is not quite the same option anymore? Quit? Start yoga or workout videos from YouTube? I love being outside. I crave it. Running is my meditation, my workout, my version of yoga and now, it’s not as easily available.


Running was starting to cease to be enjoyable to me, because I was mad at all the people on the trail who weren’t respecting social distancing. As a person with an underlying medical condition and compromised immunity, it meant if I wanted to run, I would have to run really early in the morning to avoid people. If I ran during the day, I spent more time focusing on running two yards around people than enjoying the run.


It sucks and it made me mad.


Between the isolation and not having my usual means of stress relief, I’m lashing out at people I care about. Or I’m pushing them away. It’s a hard thing to acknowledge, but I’m being a super jerk. I don’t answer calls or texts. Sometimes when I do, I lack a filter and I say things that I would never normally even think, nevermind verbalize.


We are all in this together, but we are not experiencing the same thing. For example, I don’t know what it’s like for parents. I don’t know what it’s like for a couple who have just moved in together and are still getting used to each other. I don’t know what it’s like for people who are still out working in the world. I don’t know what it’s like for people who have lost their jobs. All I know is what I am going through, and in that there is also the knowledge that no one knows my exact situation.


The intention of this post is this: don’t worry about learning something new if you don’t want to. Don’t worry about your physical fitness if you have other things you would rather do. In my non-medical opinion, I would say, focus on your mental health. Don’t lash out at people you love (or even at strangers for that matter). Focus on making sure you have some kind of peace. I’ll say it now, whether that peace is from yoga, wine, napping or reading (or a combination thereof), accept that it’s what you need. All of this is hard, and we are struggling.


Some mornings I wake up early to run. It actually happens at 5:00am. Some mornings I don’t. Sometimes, I feel like a massive failure because I am not engaging every day. While it’s still a work in progress, I am trying to remind myself that I don’t have to run every day (I don’t have to do anything). I can do makeup. I can lie on the couch and watch Empire Records on repeat (“What’s with today, today?”). I can dress up like dystopian post-apocalyptic savage wearing leather. I can dress up like a pirate for a whole weekend and drink rum.


Sometimes good and weird things happen. This morning I went for a run. There were people on the trail. In order to give space to another runner, I ran up the side of a rock face that goes parallel to the path. After she went by, I jumped down… and landed in a three-point stance like a superhero. I didn’t think anyone saw me, but as I kept going, a guy on a bench gave me an 8.5 out of 10 for the jump and the landing. I’m pretty darn proud of that 8.5. All that practicing in my apartment came in use!


We aren’t perfect. More significantly, we don’t have to be. But our attitudes are our decision, and clearly, superhero landings are important to know how to do.

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