My mindset as both a coach and an athlete goes one of 2 ways. Typically, I’m a realist. I take things at face value, I think logically and practically. Sometimes that’s taken as being harsh or cynical. There’s a part of me that absolutely can’t deny is an eternal optimist. I want to believe that good will come from bad situations, I want to think that we can work hard and believe in the universe and we’ll be taken care of. I usually go back and forth easily between the two, I think that’s why I’m a good coach – Realistic expectation paired with ‘what could be.’
So while I’m very realistic that the situation we are in right now is not going away soon and we will likely have setbacks and life might feel like a yoyo for a while, I’m optimistic that some good things will come out the other side.
Someone who was planning on racing and training hard but battling injuries might be forced to take a step back and truly rest, and those aches and pains might go away. Someone who gets FOMO quite easily and ends up stretching themselves thin literally cannot do that and will stick to a plan or training schedule. Someone who hasn’t exercised outside in a long time or ever might lace up their runners or hop on their bike. They might pick up a new hobby that in turn has a positive impact on their health. Our dogs might get more walks than they used to and we might actually start to work on those on-leash skills like we said we would when we had time. Someone who is used to the luxury of a gym with all the equipment might get creative with a couple weights or a backpack.
Fitness aside, What about the rest of our lives? What if we really found out who was important to us? What if we made a point of connecting with friends virtually more often? What if companies came out with better sick leave policies? What if we HAD to stay home when we’re feeling unwell? How many times have you gone to a family dinner, work or anywhere and you felt like death? What if employers realized that some of their staff could work from home and they kept it that way? And what if traffic eased because of this? And what if because there’s less cars there was less pollution? And what if being close to home allowed you to spend more time with your kids? Or plant that garden? Or finish that project? What if we always tried to support small businesses? What if we only ordered in from local restaurants? What if people stopped going to the ER for non-emergencies? And what if hospitals were only for really sick people? And what if we were as grateful to nurses, truck drivers and front line workers as we are right now?
I know a lot of sources are saying that we will never go back to a normal we knew before, and while the realist in me says that’s true, and we will forever be changed by this…What if we were changed for the better?