“Taking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way”
-Pink Floyd, Time

As a fitness coach during a pandemic, I’ve fielded questions about one topic more than any other at a ratio of about 10 to 1. Because you’ve seen the clock picture and have read the subject head, you already know the answer to this one: time.

Not repetition schemes, not rates of perceived exertion, not how many calories the workouts are burning (thank goodness).

None of that, really. It’s all about time.

We’re struggling to get our workouts in, manage our kids and families through this labyrinth, take a little bit of time to ourselves, and through it all we’re generally tying our quite natural sense of mudding through these days to a nagging feeling that these hours have slipped through our fingers, never to return.

If this is you, I get it. It can feel in some important ways like these last eight weeks have passed with marginal return.

Setting aside all of the awesome and wonderful things you and your family likely have done, starting with just getting through this!–that’s for another post–we want to be careful with that feeling of loss.

Because when we do get back to our routine, to our gym, to our workouts, we’re coming back to a new reality–one that begins with a title card reading “After a 12 Week Quarantine.”

The temptation is to make up for lost time by pushing beyond your limits before you’re ready.

The temptation is to make up for lost time by piling extra work onto your back before it can handle it again.

The temptation is to make up for lost time by cramming four weeks of re-adaptation into two workouts.

There’s nothing more understandable, more human, than that temptation. We’re not going to pretend it doesn’t exist.

But within a well-coached environment or program, you’ll have help with that feeling and workouts to push you gently towards that magic moment in your car, at the water fountain, on a bench–that moment of exertion and joy and accomplishment and the voice in your head as clear as day:

“I’m back.”

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