Restructure your outlook of what "outside" looks like and maybe we can start having some fun again.
Some of the quarantine memes are funny and restrictions definitely suck but did the outdoors really close? Perhaps the rules just changed a bit. If you're not living near Central Park, Union Square or Prospect Park in New York City, your playgrounds are possibly chained up. In my neighborhood, the NYC Parks Department took an extra measure by removing the basketball hoop across from my home several weeks ago. But let's be frank for a few minutes: If you're living in the United States, the outside never closed but it's doing a great job limiting our options on how we play on our free times, particularly in the fitness community. It might be safe to say that you're tired of this quarantine life because it's been at least six weeks. We've groaned, threw tantrums, experienced depression and mourned the loss of loved ones and things -- but when are we going to go back outside and possibly do something else?
Reframing Your Language & Perception
Let's get something straight: Our quarantine is not as rigid as it could be and hopefully things don't get tighter any time soon. Yeah, I miss running in groups. Wait, let me back track that lie. I miss having the OPTION to run in groups. And I miss access to the track, running into a buddy and reducing my slow pace to an even slower pace or getting irritated about the gym bro who is probably struggling with the concept of 6 feet apart. Don't interpret my ramble as dismissive to legitimate feelings. You are allowed to grieve about canceled events, not seeing your friends or even that bomb ass barbecue that's no longer a go thanks to this pandemic. But I think there's so much chatter on the internet and our everyday lives about constantly seeing our four walls and what we cannot do. We've brewed ourselves a strong coffee full of fears and frustrations about our restrictions that we left no room for explorations or solutions. Before we knew it, we've invested hours into our self-crafted mental prisons forgetting that the door was left ajar intentionally. We could leave at any time but we just ordered a shit load of decor from Amazon.
Sometimes we need that bitchin session - I know I do - but where's the room for gratitude. And I'm not going to get all Hallmark card cheesy on you about writing lists inside of a book; that was the last blog post that I put up. Instead, I'm asking for you to evaluate the things that we can control, infused with conversations or celebrations of what we accomplished. Don't you think we've been gifted too much opportunity to dig into our pessimistic side? Can't speak for you but I know I had two weeks of entertaining the "fuck this shit" theory. Now I've entered the "sick and tired of being sick and tired stage," wondering how I can change the way that I speak to myself. I'd rather do it without censoring my truth nor listing my side affects over a playing pharmaceutical commercial style track. Here's some things that I blurbed on a down day. Consider these questions and quiz yourself if you dare:
Living in the Moment & Not for an Unknown End Date
After the passing of one of my closest friends, I went through a lot of dark thoughts. My sleep patterns still suck and my new bedtime is 3AM. Unfortunately this means I sleep through my multiple alarms and miss a golden opportunity to go for an early morning run. Surely I could force myself back into better sleeping habits if I could shut my brain off but I opted to adapt to my new normal. I've been learning how to discover my power hours of the day and tap back into my spontaneity. Besides, if she was still here, she'd tell me go through the motions, pick up the pieces and be proactive.
When I see or hear about post COVID-19 bucket lists, I have mixed feelings about it. Nothing wrong with goal setting but I wonder why we're not touching some of these items now if they're available. Again, I know each person is different in processing their feelings or moving their bodies. Years ago, I used my weight as a scapegoat to not do certain things; honestly fear of failing and resistance to change was really the culprit. Now granted: Going skydiving at 265+ pounds probably wasn't a possibility before because of weight limitations and right now, I highly doubt this is considered an essential business. But when I think about things like running my first half marathon distance, learning how to do proper pushups and pull ups or sporting a tank top in public, these things are always available. Your scapegoat may not be weight - and that's if I'm assuming correctly that you have something that you're pushing off - but if the opportunity is available, why are we not doing it right now or in the very near future.
Unlike that eye rolling commentary about this is the time for creatives like me to shine and be "creative", I'm simply asking you to think outside of the box of your possibly once rigid regimens. For instance, I'm the ultra runner who is finding herself not running that often. I experience FOMO when I see my buddies running on trails. Meanwhile, I'm stuck in my NYC home on a sunny day with my with my paranoia losing time and fretting how I have to wait until the wee hours to practice social distancing. Catching the green eyed bug about someone I'd typically be celebrating is not their problem. Instead, acknowledge your displaced rage and justifications for not hitting a double heart on their Instagram hiking photos and try to find something else to quiet down that envious monster. The goal is not about one upping your friends but to curb your depression.
Indoor cycling and at home calisthenics drills are my bread and butter these days -- well that's when I'm not actually cooking up 30 meals a week for my family of three. I've changed up the strategy of how I run. When I want to go for a run, I surveil the area by going for a brisk walk. Allot in time to bask in the sun and if possible, go dash off and run where it's safe. Unfortunately I do not have all of my gym items on hand. I've used backpacks and water container jugs to take place of heavier weights, harassed my family to help me during fitness routines and find excuses to get in extra steps.
But what about non essential establishments like clothing stores? Be patient and shop online like the rest of us "saving money". You can insert your dirty chuckle and sobbing bank account here.
...and what about waxing or professional hair styling services? Honey, I've been looking up YouTube videos like nobody's business on how to take away this five o'clock shadow from my chin for WEEKS. Don't get me started on these locs.
But I want to have a drink with my friends! Social distancing drinking anyone? Some establishments are allowing patrons to get pre mixed drinks to go. Have a virtual dance party with D-Nice like the rest of us from your phones and log onto Zoom from your computer. You better pull out your good wig, take off those 4 day no shower pajamas and dance your ass off. And for those who want to enjoy a mocktail or coffee in the sun, maintain at least six feet distance and air cheers on a separate bench away from each other.
But, but, but... Hey listen my loves -- The harsh reality is that everything cannot be modified BUT everything don't have to be a shit show everyday either. Some days these modifications will not work for us. This pandemic is disrespectful to our mental health; even more, it's dangerous and contagious to our physical health.
It is frustrating waiting to get the green light but we're not there yet. Spring is here and not everyone want to do a virtual birthday party but it's the hand that's dealt to us right now. Imagine if this pandemic happened decades ago. I wouldn't be able to talk to you through a screen or view your smiling faces on my phone. While it's small, I'm thankful that I'm able to still have that luxury -- ayyy, just slid in a moment of gratitude on y'all real quick.
Tell Alexa and Siri to play "All in Love is Fair" by Stevie Wonder and have that slow dance at 2AM in your backyard or that tiny ass kitchen with your partner. If slow dancing isn't your thing, I created a fuck ton of quarantine playlists on Spotify. I have practically everything except country music and few other genres; working on a jazz/blues playlist because why not. Play with your makeup palate and impress yourself. Sharpen up those barber skills or maybe give yourself a baldie because nobody can see what it looks like; only takes a few weeks to grow back--am I right or am I trippin? Pretend you're Picasso's distant family member or have a conversation from across the street to your neighbor.
If you are tired of what's playing on a certain sitcom, it is our responsibility to not rely on the remote to do the work for us; manually change the channel and see what else is playing. Let's do our part in not only trying to adapt to the things outside of our control but figure out our plan for the new normal that's in our unclear future. We are much stronger than we give ourselves credit. Wouldn't it be great to shock ourselves once again? See you on the outside.
Fast Company: What is an 'essential' business anyway? A cheat sheet for getting through the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Run Experience: Coronavirus Quarantine is the Best Time To Start Running Again
BuzzFeed News: How to Run Safely During Quarantine and Wondering How to Stay Safe and Healthy
Track Shack: Quarantine Training
Rolling Stone: D-Nice Can't Wait to Turn 'Club Quarantine' Into a Real Life Party
Instagram: DJ D-Nice on Instagram
Spotify: Latoya Shauntay Snell's Spotify (To see my public playlists)
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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