COVID-19: A View From 50k Miles

After college, I moved to NYC for a job. Young, strong and filled with energy I embarked on an unsuccessful career with Calvin Klein (no, definitely not as a model) as a sales rep. I learned a lot selling and made very little money. I was 22, stressed and put on a pair of Stan Smith’s and began to run. I didn’t dress like a runner. I didn’t feel like a runner. And, I didn’t like running more than a few blocks. I never set out to run this far, but daily activity added up. Change was occurring.

Little by little, my stamina grew, my distances increased and my stress decreased as my moods grew sunnier. Today, I’ve run the equivalent of 50,000 mile or 2x around the planet. I’m impressed because most runs we’re around 5 miles for many years. No marathons or ultra-stuff, I reserve that for the ballers!

I learned much from running unplugged from technology, on the street and against traffic. Now, hunkered down in self-isolation due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and having extra time to eat…I’ve begun to notice similarities between all that running and dealing with the awful crap that has taken over our lives and taken many lives world-wide.

As I write this on June 2nd, I want you to know that I stand firmly with Americans and much of the planet when we say that we need to get out, socialize, have fun, dine out and even hug again. The U.S. alone has well over 100K deaths. Unemployment is very high and civil unrest due to another senseless killing of a black man has brought out emotions, protest and riots. 

Folks want to gather, dine, play and go about their life again. I do too. However, life is anything but normal. After looking at recent trends and flair-ups in COVID-19 cases and deaths abroad, I am concerned that we’re moving too quickly and risk many more outbreaks and deaths. You may have a different opinion. That’s cool.

Running 50k was not on my radar. As an average American working and dining out CO-19 was not on our radar. Cooking meals at home all that time-well, that’s just asking too much of me:)

CO-19 grew, attacked many people and is on the way to reaching 100k deaths in the States. That’s too many, but we were warned that this # was a real possibility!

Running didn’t appear to me as a long-term deal. It grew daily, weekly and yearly as will our ability to live full lives again. It’s going to take time. Collectively, we were hit hard.

One day at a time, one run at a time and too many reports that make us think that we have the right answers are simply confusing-at least to me and probably you as well. Yet, I approach CO-19 with caution, I still don a mask and I’m not hanging with large groups any time soon. But, I focus my news information weekly and sometimes daily to alleviate TMI, too much stress and too many question that have 77 different answers/responses.    

What to do? Some will jump back into the “new normal” and grab life by the… and say “I’m ready to live again. I want my life back. I need a hamburger!”   If that’s you, you’re right. If you’re afraid and don’t think we’re through this crap you’re right as well, ‘cause we’re not sure even if we think we are, when we’ll be together in groups again. The change is flexible and not ready to show us our new normal yet.

My friends, I don’t know when this will end. Perhaps with a vaccine. I know that looking at things from a 50k perspective leads me to believe that:

1) We’ve got a way to go before it’s totally safe to work together in close proximity week in and week out, dine together indoors and hang together on a regular basis.

2) If our goal is to live, survive and one day even thrive again, then it is essential that our goal be to make it through the weeks and months and continue to check in and monitor the pandemic.

3) Daily walks, runs or laughs will add up quickly and bring you positive results. Less stress, less cookies (Yeah, I’m trying-kind of) more happiness during these unprecedented times.

Consider looking at life, work, the news and social activities one day at a time. It’s less overwhelming, less stressful and helps to build a foundation that supports your challenges, triumphs and sanity.

We’re not sure what the end of 2020 will look like. Hopefully, there will be a vaccine (although we’ll need 7 billion+), fewer new cases and deaths and a renewed zest for helping others stay safe as we wash hands, elbow bump trying to remember what hugs felt like.

Like running 50k, it began with 1 short run and grew into something that balanced me, gave me clarity on many fronts and propelled me forward. Collectively, we’ll need to do the same as we face our COVID foe, keep others safe and regain a sense of control of our lives again- 1 day at a time.

What are you doing to move forward, stay sane and continue being healthy?

You are missed. You matter. Together, we’ll get through this