Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Pandemic blogging: 19 during COVID-19

As promised, I made a list of 19 things for me to do during this COVID-19 pandemic to keep myself busy, productive, entertained, and healthy. I will also litter this post with my favorite COVID-19 memes, because, why not.

I learned from the mixed results of last year’s 19 during 2019 to be more realistic, more specific, and...well, less ambitious. For example, #6 was originally to do both push-ups AND burpees during 2 strength workouts per week. HA! Am I really going to do that? How about just one strength workout per week (which is one more than I usually do) and have the option of push-ups OR burpees? I can always do both if I’m feeling ambitious. But let’s be honest, I hate both push-ups and burpees. 😉 Another thing that didn’t make this new list was the reappearance of “paint the ceilings” from last year’s list. Am I really going to do that? Only if this pandemic goes on way longer than we want it to, and I absolutely run out of other productive things to do. #truth 

1. Support a small local business at least once per week. So far I have bought new sneakers and socks from our local running shop, Delaware Running Company, which is offering delivery and curb-side pickup. Trail shoes with BOA dials! I considered this my one “Coronavirus splurge” as I didn’t really need them, but wanted to support the shop.

2. Donate blood. I have never donated blood before, because my high school track coach taught us to be greedy with our blood (not really, he just didn’t want us passing out at track practice). Right now, Team RWB is encouraging its members to donate blood (#WR2GR = wear red to give red) since many blood drives have been suspended to limit the spread of COVID-19.

3. Reach out to friends & family members in 10 different countries.
I have made many friends in my travels as an international triathlon superstar, and I’ve been curious how everyone is doing in different parts of the country. If there’s one good thing to come out of all this madness, it’s that I’ve gotten back in touch with many friends from all over the world (and USA, see next item). So far I’ve hit up friends in Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and Canada. Wow! Only 4 more to hit 10!

4. Reach out to friends in 25 other states. Same as above except in the USA. So far, I’ve chatted with many family members in California (duh), but also friends in Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Alabama, Montana, Colorado, Rhode Island, and probably more I’m forgetting about right now. The real question might be, do I really know people in 25 different states? Maybe!!

5. 30 minutes per day of intentional movement. I have read multiple sources stating it is actually detrimental to your immune system to work out for more than 90 minutes (and this article here supports it). So even though I have enough time on my hands to train like a professional triathlete again, I am not planning to do more than a 90-minute easy run or bike ride (and definitely not every day). Most of my workouts will probably be in the 45-minute range. I also not intentionally driving somewhere to run or bike, because that kind of defeats the point of staying at home and social distancing, and I hear many local parks have very crowded parking lots (because that’s how you get people to go exercise—tell them they’re not allowed to go outside). So the starting line is always out my front door.

6. 1 strength workout per week (push-ups and/OR burpees included). Strength workouts are my least favorite, and I only seem to do them in a group setting. That’s not actually possible right now, so I may look into other options, like how Peleton is giving people 90 days of free access to their online classes, and I think TRX has live classes as well, but that would require me to actually have their equipment. 🤔 

7. Figure out best use of the “smart” bike trainer. I was really stoked about finally getting a smart trainer (the Wahoo SNAP) after over 15 years of grinding it out on a “dumb” trainer. But other than it being quieter and smoother, I’m undecided about how much I actually like it. I had a free 14-day trial on Sufferfest, which I used to love on the dumb trainer just going by RPE’s, but on the smart trainer, the watts would sometimes go out and freeze the video. I had a 30-day free trial of Zwift, and it was cool to make my own avatar and see all the people from all around the world biking at the same time, but I feel like either I am really weak on the watts or it’s not calibrated properly. And I know I am an out-of-shape retired triathlete, but I am pretty sure I should still be a mid-pack rider when I am out of shape and retired, yet everyone is still passing me and that sucks. 😭 

8. Leave positive reviews for favorite podcasts and local businesses. This is just something I’ve always meant to do. Why not now? Let’s spread the positivity!

9. Clean out the junk drawer. This is also in the category of “JUST DO IT”.

10. Teach Aero to come when called (bribery is okay). So, Aero was valedictorian of her 6-week obedience school—actually, she was the only puppy out of 5 students that made it to the sixth week, final exam, and graduation, but like her mom we know a win is a win. But she still has trouble with her “recall” AKA coming when called, especially if she ever makes it out the front door and into the neighborhood—it’s GAME ON SUCKERS! She has “high prey drive” as we think she is a whippet/terrier mix which are both hunting breeds, and very much wants to kill all the squirrels, bunnies, and birds. I’ve gotten pretty good at getting her back into the house when she is playing in the backyard (bribery is ok!) but I still don’t trust her to get loose in the neighborhood.

11. Blog at least once per week. Hey guys!

12. Watch/read/support films and books by Asian-American creators. I absolutely loved 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians and made a conscious effort to incorporate more Asians and Asian-Americans into my Instagram feed (athletes, actors, authors, comedians). It’s ridiculous that it had been so long since there was a really big Asian-American movie here in the USA. Last year I did a pretty good job of supporting local Asian restaurants and this year I am going to support more Asian-American entertainment and content. So far I have borrowed Ali Wong’s book, Dear Girls, for free from the local library in eBook form (she would be so proud!) and also rented “Go Back to China” on Amazon Prime. Currently watching season 4 of Kim’s Convenience on Netflix. I am also planning to rent Parasite! Other suggestions welcome!

13. Learn to make jook (AKA congee or rice porridge) in Mom’s fancy rice cooker. Last year “Learn to use Mom’s fancy rice cooker” was on my 19 for 2019 list. WAY TOO BROAD. I decided to go super specific and learn to make jook!

14. Obtain at least 25 continuing education units in prosthetics & orthotics. Every 5 years, my certification as a prosthetist-orthotics renews. Mine just renewed in January. I don’t typically have trouble getting the 100 credits we need during each 5-year cycle, but plan to make an extra effort to take continuing ed courses while I’m not at work.

15. Watch and re-watch classic and newer Disney movies. We got Disney+ last year and I am loving it! Some movies I haven’t seen in decades, and some I hadn’t at all. I just watched Frozen 2 and Moana last week for the first time, and bonus for item #7, did them both while biking on the smart trainer.

16. Sleep in every day I don’t have to work. I’m NAILING this one!

17. Clean the gutters. We just got a new roof, so I want our gutters to look pretty too.

18. Cut Aero’s nails without making her bleed. EPIC FAIL on this one already. I tried this over the weekend and we agreed never to do this again and never to talk about it again. I have never heard her scream so loud and seen so much blood come out of such a little dog. And that was only for one little toenail! I have come to realize that her nails apparently file themselves to the perfect length when we go on our little 2-mile runs together on pavement. Also, I am definitely returning those clippers to Amazon. We can use that $18.99 for more dog treats, because I am a very, very sad and sorry dog mommy.

19. **NEW SECRET PROJECT!** 🤫  That’s all I’m saying! 🤐