Pandemic Plot Twist!

I think it’s safe to say we’re all experiencing some plot twist in what we had envisioned for spring plans right now. Ironically, my spring marathon was canceled before the coronavirus became a pandemic in the US. I shrugged and thought of it as one of those meant to be situations.

Before the pandemic was declared, I was fortunate to visit California for 11 days for a social media conference and then some vacation after. Running in shorts and sports bra along the Pacific coast was absolute bliss. Surfing kicked my butt. I ate a lot of incredible food, soaked up the sunshine, and now I’m back to gloom and doom in Wisconsin.


With social media being my career, I’m fascinated by online culture and how people communicate their emotions through social media. Here’s what I’ve observed in just a few days:

  • People are shame posting about what others are doing. You wouldn’t shame your friend for eating a cookie, or wearing a color you didn’t like, would you? I know we’re all stressed out, anxiety is high, and legitimately care, but vague shame posting doesn’t help. If you are truly concerned with what someone is doing, message them direct. “Hi, I care about you. I see that you XYZ and this concerns for because…” If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, then you shouldn’t feel comfortable with a public shame post.
  • Just like the human behind a company social media post, there is also a human behind the e-mail you are so upset about getting from your local grocer or restaurant, etc. Chill out. It’s an e-mail. You signed up to receive communication from them. Delete the e-mail, move on. There was a caring human who sent the e-mail. I am a caring human who sent an e-mail on behalf of the company I work for. We’re not sending e-mails to spam you, it’s to communicate with you that we are aware, we care, and to inform you of what we are doing.
  • Sharing photos/videos of people hoarding supplies and empty grocery shelves is only creating more panic. I personally didn’t think I needed toilet paper until I saw dozens of photos from my local stores who were sold out. When you share, what is your intention? Does it create panic and fear? Less of that please.
  • Kindness is contagious too. Find five social media posts to compliment daily. Tell someone their hair looks great. Give kudos to your runner buddy who just ran a few miles to destress. Remind a mom friend that she’s doing a great job. It’s so easy to give a compliment, and it feels so much better.

If you’re in a bind and unsure of what to do to stay active while many gyms, races, group runs, etc are closed, here are a couple at-home things you can do to keep your fitness game strong:

  • YouTube videos. I personally am obsessed with MatFit core videos. She has full body workouts I haven’t tried yet. Another channel I’m yet to check out but trust they’re great is from a triathlete friend who has offered me great advice in the last couple of seasons is Paul’s Power Weight Training channel.
  • Downward Dog app. It’s a free app and normally there are in-app purchases, but due to the pandemic they are offering it all for free until 4/1/20. The best part about this app is you can do it for anywhere between 5 minutes to 90 minutes. Sometimes I set it for just 10 minutes and continue to stretch or foam roll after the session is over.

Other ideas that still include social distancing:

  • Trail running! For me personally my biggest excuse to not hit the trails is lack of time. Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, enjoy it in the trails. Use muscles you didn’t know you have, feel the burn in your core, breath some fresh air!
  • Track! Schools out, use their track if they allow public access. Try some 400m repeats!
  • Jump rope! Have a jump rope in your garage? How long can you jump rope for? I’m good for all of 90 seconds before I’m huffing and puffing. This can also be a fun with the kids activity.
  • Extra long dog walks.

I’d love to hear what other things you’re all doing to destress and stay active during this time.

One comment

  1. This is SPOT FREAKING ON!! Posting pictures of the mass hysteria is not helping society find the calm and kindness amongst the pandemic. Thank you for putting it so eloquently! Here are a couple of additional things that can be done to get some fresh air and exercise:

    1. Yard work: get the lawn raked, the winter crud cleaned up, put new mulch in the flowerbeds around the house, pick up ALL. THE. DOG. POOP. FROM. WINTER.

    2. Tabatas…4 minutes in total (20 seconds all out exercise + 10 seconds rest)x8 times through until you get to 4 minutes. It is a quick way to get the heart rate up and who doesn’t have 4 minutes that they can find in their day. One of my favorite is to do this set twice through…jump squats, push-ups, lunges, burpees…guaranteed to get your blood flowing!


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