A Little Bit of Good News in a World Otherwise Filled with Woe

It has been nearly five months since I’ve posted anything to this blog. Why? Well . . . the country is a dumpster fire right now, that’s why.

When I started this blog, it was because I wanted to share my journey toward health, wellness, and fitness. Finding any of those as a middle-aged woman can be difficult, and I thought that maybe having a voice that said, “I’m here with you, trying. I see you” might help others reach their own goals.

Then along came COVID. It’s screwed everyone’s goals up—wellness, fitness, or otherwise. Between being stuck in the house for months on end and all the stress-eating, my fitness goals went by the wayside. Going outside was scary. Eating an entire batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies felt safe.

It’s mid-August now. While most of the country is still trying to figure COVID out, our tiny little state has the lowest numbers in the country. For now, we’re managing to maintain and cautiously open things back up . . . with precautions, of course.

All of that to say, two weeks ago my dojo had a much-altered Kempo Camp and I tested for another stripe on my brown belt.

Socially distanced, masked ninjas prepare for testing.

This year’s modified camp was only two days instead of the three and a half it was originally meant to be. It was restricted to those of us who had preregistered, which happened to be those of us who were testing or administering the tests.

We spent the entire weekend outside (even when it rained) because we couldn’t have the A/C on in the dojo due to CDC regulations. We stayed six feet apart when we could, because it meant we could have our masks off.

Socially distanced (and exhausted) ninjas. Photo courtesy N. Keller.

When sparred with hand pads and kick shields or anytime we went indoors we had masks. When we spent a few hours doing hands-on techniques, we were issues N-95 masks and gloves. We were all asked to get tested prior to camp (they all came back negative. Huzzah!).

It was thirteen hours of testing spread out over two days. My brain was mush. My quads were mush. We took regular “breathing” breaks because doing such strenuous physical activity in masks was freaking difficult. There were a couple times where I had to stop what I was doing to take a break. We all did. But we all persevered. And in the end, everyone who tested was promoted.

Now I have even more electrical tape on my belt!

Personally speaking, I feel like I’m still struggling to maintain the fitness I had at the beginning of the year, before all this hit. I feel like I was more active generally speaking and I had better eating habits. But, all I have to work with is what I have now.

So, I’m working on being more active again. I’m working on eating better and losing some of the weight the COVID cookies helped me gain. I’m working on giving myself a break, because accomplishing anything right now is a major event.

  • Did you manage to get out of bed today? GOAL CRUSHED.
  • Did you do the dishes today? YOU WIN.
  • Did you not fall into a crumbling pit of despair? FUCKING AWESOME JOB.

So, what’s the takeaway from all this? I guess work with what you’ve got. Nothing is easy these days, so any steps you take in the right direction are good steps. They automatically count more because it’s a lot more effort to do anything right now.

And if the most you can do is put one foot in front of the other and just make it through the day, then that is 100% OKAY. Right now, this country is in survival mode. It is really hard to give a shit about burpees when you don’t know how you’re going to feed your family, if you’ll have a home next month, or if someone close to you has gotten the virus.

I know how lucky I am that I happen to live in a place where (knock on wood) we’re experiencing fewer cases and problems. That could change tomorrow and we could all go back into lockdown. But for now, I’m stoked that I was able to spend a gorgeous weekend with some awesome people, and come out a little further along on my Road to Black Belt.

Be well, my friends. Stay safe. And keep kicking ass (whatever that means for you). You got this.

And for all that is holy, please wear a mask.