Oh! What lovely weather we have had this week!
The blistering heat that has fallen over the country has given us all a glimmer of hope that the joy of summer may not be so fleeting this year, but a long period to enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds us.
As I write my fortnightly blog post, I sit upon a hill and I am looking across a Richmond park filled many families, friends and athletes taking advantage of the freedom such lovely weather affords us all. It is a park now filled with an excitement, and an energy that is synonymous with the sunshine in this country.
In this moment I am easily fooled to think that the world is normal again. That there exists no pandemic, nor any restrictions upon our freedoms associated. The view before me affords a comfort within that the norms of the past, that we all are desperate to grasp onto in a future, may not be far off.
Yet, as I return home, I was surprised to be greeted by the news that July 4 will mark a critical moment to us all as the point where we regain many of our former freedoms. We will soon be able to enjoy a pint again at the pub, a sit-down meal at a restaurant, have a long overdue groom and most importantly, have friends and family over to our home again.
All of these liberties form many of the activities that we had all grown to miss over the past few months and have been ever desperate to regain as a part of our ‘normal’ life.
The list of what we regain on July 4 was not short, nor long, but within the many items that we would get back, there was one that was missing – The Gym. The date 4 July, (that I have no doubt will one day be known as ‘super Saturday’) does not give us the freedom to head back into Peak Physique Studios and finally submit ourselves to the wonderous work of Miguel and his team in the flesh. We will be forced to wait a little longer – mid-July – for this freedom to return to our place of joy and comfort and be with our community once again.
I am quite angry that we are all to be denied the freedom to head back to the studio, and I know I will not be alone with such a frustrating reality to accept. I know Miguel, Catherine and most of us all are all bemused by the logic to such a decision.
How can a pub be any less dangerous than a well cleaned gym? How can the government be willing to trust in the sensibility of those consuming alcohol to keep social distance best practice against those who are actively seeking to better their physical and mental well-being through exercise?
I have not the answers, nor shall I give much thought to those two questions, as to convey any time to them would bring little joy or positive use to our time.
So, with that thought in mind, I thought perhaps it would be worthwhile thinking about the ‘new normal’ that we will have from July 4, and post the question to our community – Whether or not the lessons we have learnt about ourselves, our lives and routines over the past few months will inform upon how we ‘readjust’ our lives back to normal?
Or whether our innate human nature will ensure we are limited in how we push forward post Covid-19 and soon find ourselves back to where we found ourselves before the world suddenly changed in early March.
For many of us, myself included, this period of isolation has given rise to a greater appreciation for home cooking and time with our partners.
I have been able to build in a healthier diet, free from all the ‘fast food’ that had underpinned my pre-lockdown diet, and crucially, place a greater emphasis on exercise, either at home (via zoom) or about in Richmond park.
The competing pressures of both work and social demands were not present to curtail my desire to be a better version of myself, but I always known that a time would soon come where my commitment to my body and mind would be challenged by the rigours of ‘life’ again.
For me, that moment came early May as I took on shift work at Amazon. My hours were 14:30 to 01:00, four days a week and this instantly had an impact on my ability to place exercise and healthy eating at the forefront of my mind.
I went from attending Migs wonderful zoom lessons 2-3 times a week to zero, eating poorly at the office and struggling both with energy and motivation again.
All that I had gained over the previous six weeks seemed to dissipate overnight. Though, I was very thankful to have found work at the time, and that is a point that is not lost on me, for I know there are many out there across our community struggling at this time.
But that daily grind of struggling to balance it all was back. Each and every day. However, I have recently commenced work on the standard Monday to Friday office hours in a field that I love.
A joy! A blessing! I can get back to the routine I want – or so I think – as I soon learn that after sitting inside my ‘home office’ staring at a screen for 10-11 hours during the day, the last thing I want to do when I sign off at 17:45 is remain indoors. I want to run outside and sit in the park, stroll around the town or anything but be inside – a pain, as the classes I love commence at 18:00, and that is the struggle right there.
How do I balance work with life? Work with my body? – That grind is there, again, ever present.
So, the question to us all must be, as the world turns back to the ‘new normal’ on July 4, and we start to piece back together the complexity of life, how will we as a community hold onto the healthier balance we developed during lockdown? The perspective we gained on our own lives and the importance of human connection with friends and family?
I guess it is up to us as individuals to answer that question and to find the motivation to hold tight against whatever comes our way, and I know that with the support of each other, we can help each other along as a community to remain centred to our shared values of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
And with that note, Miguel, I will see you bright and early Saturday. For I need to start again, and tomorrow morning seems as a good as any time to start again, right?
Miguel & The Team,
Peak Physique Studios