Reflecting on a month of ‘lockdown’.
In what has to be one of the most profoundly strange months that our generation will ever experience, we felt it important to take a little time to reflect and seek out the positives.
Initially, before the magnitude of the situation became apparent, (and besides the risk of contracting the virus), the biggest impact, at least for the racing community, was the immediate cancellation of many of 2020’s events - and the prospect of no season. Following a long winter of training, mentally this required some adjustment.
We were therefore encouraged and amazed in equal measure to see so many athletes taking this news on the chin, accepting their fate and reframing the situation. Then, as ‘lockdown’ kicked in and access to pools, gyms and leisure facilities closed permanently, the stark reality of the new world struck.
As quickly as it happened, the community reacted by adjusting and adapting to a new regime and rhythm of life.
Home working and screen-sharing became the new norm as many were propelled into a hectic routine of juggling home-schooling and a full time job - while trying to stay on track physically and mentally.
It’s therefore testament to the strength and resolve of the triathlon community, that new habits were formed. Pain cave transformations, YouTube Yoga, HIT workouts, dry swimming soared in popularity - and for those luckily enough to have one, garden circuits and makeshift pools! For others it was about trying new things and adapting our homes and routines to facilitate the change.
As a community we came together...
Above all, we developed our appreciation of the health service - and in particular, a justified respect of those working on the front line. Back at home ‘viral challenges’ injected humour and kept motivation levels high. Hoards of us turned to Zwift, building virtual bonds with others through meet-ups and group rides…. anything to maintain fitness (and sanity levels) during these uncertain times.
During the 'downtime' many of us either volunteered, helping others, donated - or raised money. Incredible feats of endurance, seeing guys cycle endless miles, and undertake gruelling challenges - for great causes.
For some, it's been a time of reflection...
Even IronMan and other events organisers put on virtual races - something to provide the sense of 'competition' that so many are longing for. Conversely, for others, it's been a time of accepting this as an opportunity to down tools temporarily and devote time to the family. Whatever works.
On the outside everything is almost serene, but within the quiet is calm. The pace of life slowed as people began to appreciate the basics; family, friends and health. Air quality is higher, road traffic is reduced - and (some) people even seem friendlier. There is respect for one another and, with (outside) exercise being restricted - it’s become something we no longer take for granted.
How we move forward beyond this will be down to us - but this feels like a lesson we should take notice of.
Whether we’ll embrace the emotional changes we have made - or return to the rat race, only time will tell…
As a team we hope that we can continue to respect others, appreciate the outdoors, the company of those that matter - and of course, let’s get back to 'real' racing as soon as possible please :)