Up to 2 weeks ago things were pretty normal. Back working, in something I was very much enjoying. Running again - including managing a half marathon in under 3 hours with no training. Even involved in parkrun again each weekend.
And now? Now we’re allowed out for one piece of exercise a day - running, walking or on your bike. No more. At the moment allowed to go for as long as we need, although asked to be sensible and stay close to home. If we abuse it or if things get worse this will be taken away. It’s great people are now exercising regularly. We feel if we don’t take it we’ve somehow missed out and it’s a way of keeping us sane. If we used to swim, or spin then this is all we have. I never used to exercise every day, other than my walk to the station and home again. I had just started to run again regularly but now I’m using my once a day to go out with Keeley, my wife. We’ve all become attached to our one exercise a day, quite rightly as it’s all we have and if you think you’re going to lose something you hold on to what you’ve got.
And in that is how we keep ourselves together. We need to hold on to what we’ve got. Our humanity. Our compassion. Our kindness. Before all this happened I’d finished reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown. Her focus on vulnerability, shame and daring greatly is just what we need right now. We are face down in the arena and this is where we need to pick ourselves up and face where we are, without falling into traps of nostalgia for a past that’s gone but also through the fundamental belief that everyone around us is doing the best they can. We are far from perfect. Each of us. We may not like everyone around us. How could we? Why should we? But we can believe that even those we think are arseholes are just doing the best they can, with the set of circumstances they’ve been given.
I’ve made mistakes this week. I’ve been judgemental. Misunderstood. Angry. Sad. Falling into the rabbit warren of social media - like White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland “I’m late, I’m late” - late to understanding what matters, what’s important and what we need to hold on to. But I’m here now. I’m settling into to a new routine, making sure I give myself time and do what I need within the boundaries we’ve been set. And I know people think those boundaries don’t go far enough and I think likely they’ll get tighter, but we cannot judge others for following the new rules. We need to look at ourselves and our own behaviour. Trust others to look at theirs. Mud slinging. Personal politics. This isn’t the time for that.
We can get through this, today on our walk we stood 2 metres way from Sally and had a lovely chat. We talked about trauma, the need to reflect, feel, and not close down or just move on - this is about processing. If we do that and support those around us through they’re own steps we can get through. If we judge and question and spend the next 6 weeks on social media, well we will get through but we’ll go insane.
In the same way I’ve given up strava and comparing myself to people when I run, this is a time to stick to our own swim-lane. We can support the other swimmers in the pool, cheer when they finish and offer them encouragement but we don’t need to compare. We just need to be. That’s what will get us through, let’s just be....