Welcome to week twenty-six of The Full Curl. So often in life, we take what we experience on a daily basis for granted. The smile of a coworker, going out with friends, going to a movie theatre, or simply enjoying a sporting event on television. While there are many negatives we are all experiencing through this crisis, perhaps the one blessing we can all share is the appreciation for what we at one time thought was unimportant.
For me, the absence of athletics has been especially difficult. The ending of our basketball season was the most challenging, but not being able to enjoy MLB’s opening day or watch the NCAA Tournament have certainly been impactful as well. While sports have currently gone the way of shaking a friend's hand, there is still one aspect of sports that we can all enjoy and therefore, use to help get through each day. Let me explain.
I am an introvert by nature, so working quietly in my office with nobody around was really not a problem, and the direction to stay at home was initially not as challenging for me as it may have been for most. However, as we enter what is now about four weeks of isolation, I feel a greater sense of frustration. One can only watch so much Netflix. Perhaps it is the fact that the past ten days has seen me hop in a vehicle and go somewhere with purpose only twice. Whatever it is, I don’t feel as if the quarantine situation has gotten easier.
So where does athletics fit in to all of this? One of the aspects of any athlete’s quest to reach their full potential is training. Regardless of what sport you choose, you must be in shape. You must strive to reach your athletic ceiling. As a young athlete, we train for an edge, to be better, to win. However, somewhere along the way, we learn the value of training goes far beyond gaining a competitive advantage. We learn that through training, we can find good health — both mental and physical. We come to understand training can help us maintain a balance in our life.
As we all feel the walls close in around us, I would encourage all of you, along with your children, to find some time to work out each day. No workout equipment? No problem. There is no shortage of options available to all of us through Youtube, many of which require nothing but a willingness to sweat. Most of you reading this have some type of workout equipment that you have neglected, most likely sitting in your garage, or spare bedroom. In fact, there are probably more elliptical machines and stationary bikes in American garages than there are vehicles. Now, more than ever, you need to be using this equipment. The concept of a quarantine does not equate to good health and developing healthy habits. Most of us will sit or lie down more. We will find ourselves not only more stationary, but we will find it easier to snack. We will use eating as a means of comfort, helping us to feel better, when ironically, we are only working to diminish our mental and physical well-being, ultimately looking in the mirror and feeling worse. I would argue a daily workout is the one way we can all combat the above challenges. There is only one shortcut to happiness and feeling better. As Brian Kight says, “Discipline is the shortcut. Do the work.”
I have never worked out and felt worse -- it just doesn't happen. Even when I am sick, getting a workout in always seems to help me either immediately feel better, or expedite the recovery process. One of the most important feelings you will enjoy through a daily workout is a feeling of accomplishment and eventually a feeling of self-confidence. I can tell you with all sincerity, the one thing keeping me sane is getting some level of exercise in every day. Had it not been for my involvement in athletics, I’m not sure what I would be doing right now to cope with the challenges in front of me.
Make your workouts fun. Do them with your spouse or child. Set simple goals. Challenge coworkers or friends. Find some time every day to raise your heart rate and sweat. Don’t use your current situation as an excuse, use it as an opportunity.
I’ve taken the liberty of including some workouts you may want to consider at the bottom of this week’s edition. None of these requires much in regard to equipment, if any at all. However, feel free to use your own workout. Whichever workout you choose, whatever you’re doing, stick with it. I am confident a daily workout will help everyone more easily navigate the challenges we face and feel better about themselves while doing so. Now, let’s get to work. Let’s win the quarantine.
Workouts I use these in my conditioning class, which by the way, I miss terribly:
Frank Ostanik, CSF Athletic Director