MARK GALLACHERins: @markgallmac
We’re being told to keep going. But to keep going when there’s no end point in sight, that’s hard.
Most of us can accept what needs to be done even though this is unlike anything we have been through before.
I am a Financial Controller of an importer and reseller of commercial catering equipment. And now I am working from home 90% of the time in a workspace that wasn’t designed for work. My children are not able to attend school so we are trying to homeschool them and maintain a good lifestyle for them.
I miss seeing my Mum and my friends. It’s okay for us to miss our liberties of freedom. They were what used to make up our “normal”.
At least I can keep running...
At the moment in the UK we’re fortunate that we are still getting the opportunity to get out once a day into the fresh air to exercise – be it a walk, a run, or a cycle.
We all run for different reasons but for a lot it’s a boost to mental health. I certainly know that from my perspective – currently doing a few people’s jobs remotely from a claustrophobic loft – that 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour or whatever I can squeeze into a day when I finish can help my sanity.
I’m a middle distance runner, from 1500m on track up to marathons. This year before lockdown I had already smashed my PBs at 1500, 3000m, 10k and half marathon. I can’t train with my club anymore, I can’t do parkrun, and I miss racing. I miss having the set plan I had when preparing for a race.
With those complaints though, I know how lucky I am simply to be able to run. To stretch my legs in the open air and clear my head. Running gives me a chance to be me, in the open air, away from my stresses. It also keeps me healthy, and a healthy body helps a healthy mind.
Every action is a meaningful one.
The virus itself is discussed in detail in so many other places, I am no expert so I won’t preach. I will only preach about what I know about. And that is the importance of staying active through all this.
Have that walk to clear the head. Do a yoga online session, spin that bike that’s been in the corner of your room for 5 years, there are umpteen different kinds of online classes free and available out there for different disciplines, indoor cycling, general fitness. Let your mind drift away for that small time and make it about you.
Unless I am doing a particular speed session, I always run with my Titanium linked to my watch. I make Spotify playlists and also listen to podcasts. My favourite podcasts are the running ones: “Tartan Running Shorts” (a Scottish running podcast) and “Running Commentary” podcast. Running and music together are the two things that free my mind.
Stay connected, stay safe.
While it is crucial we all go by the rules to protect ours and other physical health make sure we look after our own mental health in the ways that work for you. Keep the spark alight.
Open up and talk to others, ask for help and suggestions, don’t get swallowed up in your head. On the flipside don’t look for loopholes and don’t go abusing each other behind your keyboards for taking a different perspective on the rules. In most cases if you have to question it then it’s outside the real scope.
We’re lucky that the world of online shopping retains some degree of “business as usual”. It’s easy to browse, purchase and receive things from the click of a button. Support local where you can, treat yourself when you need to and keep the wheels of normality turning as much as possible.
Try to keep engaging, being it on online forums, through blogs, on Strava, on insta, but keep the community going, you never know who you might be helping through a dark moment or period. Be civil, be respectful, and let that spark in yourselves never go out.
Over to you now, make sure there is a light that never goes out. Stay connected and stay safe.
ShokzSquad member Mark Gallacher kindly provided his insight and words for this blog post.
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