Mark Bowron, August 2020
The Lockdown List
Before lockdown I thought Zoom was just a type of ice lolly…. That was probably true for a lot of people. What a difference a few days can make!
I joined Hawkeye back in Nov 2018. Caroline and I had stumbled across a couple of CrossFit documentaries on Netflix and unexpectedly we became a bit obsessed. There was certainly something appealing about being like one of those super humans on TV (I realise now how disgustingly easy the professionals make it look). Anyway, before you knew it, she had got us signed up for the roots course.
We both were pretty active already, (she was a regular gym goer and I’d been running for years), but after we joined we quickly realised neither of us were that well rounded fitness-wise. It was awesome to see our progress after starting at Hawkeye. The variety of workouts and group setting meant I could feel the benefit to my overall fitness in no time. It was official, I loved Crossfit.
Over the next 18 months we learned new skills, made new friends, felt stronger, faster, healthier – and then all of a sudden COVID 19 hit.
I remember being at Hawkeye the day it was announced that gyms were going to have to close and being quite optimistic about it all. I was SURE in a few weeks’ time it’d all blow over and things would get back to normal…. Yeah, didn’t quite work out like that did it?!
Losing the regular contact with our friends at Hawkeye and not having the routine of going to the gym ended up being much tougher than I had expected. Luckily though, Zoom (and of course the coaches) came to the rescue. Within a few days of the announcement, some equipment had been loaned out and a schedule of at home workouts replaced our normal sessions at the gym. Hawkeye was not going to let a little thing like a pandemic get in the way of all our progress!
I am not going to lie, I was a bit unsure before the initial Zoom class and the first time I saw my sweaty face staring back at me on the iPad was a shock, I felt sorry for the coaches who’d had to look at that for the last year and a half! However, once the self-consciousness had subsided the virtual sessions worked incredibly well and they became a daily highlight for me during what turned out to be a really challenging time for so many people, in so many ways.
Those first weeks of lockdown were HARD. Caroline and I were fortunate in that we carried on working from home but, like everyone, the lack of routine that came from being stuck inside began to feel really draining. I was normally away with work a few days a week too, so I can only imagine how hard it was for Caroline to have me knocking around the house 24/7 all of a sudden!
It quickly became clear that my optimistic view of lockdown only lasting a few weeks was way off the mark and it was time to settle in to ‘the new normal’. And so I did what I do best… I made a To Do list. With all the extra time I had at home, I decided I would set myself some targets to create something positive to focus on.
The ‘Lockdown List’ was born! Four things I wanted to achieve that I thought were just on the edge of what was possible for me. Even if I managed to cross one off before the gym reopens, it’ll be a success I thought.
And so with that list in mind I threw myself in the daily Zoom workouts, trying to join in 5 times a week. It was amazing to see everyone (virtually), have a quick catch up before the workout started and feel the benefit of a Hawkeye workout from the back garden. I loved the creativity of the at home set ups people had pulled together, lifting tins of bean, jumping on garden walls, carrying bags of chicken feed…making the best of the time and equipment we had – coming together to get sweaty, have fun and stay fit. The neighbours must have looked out of their window at our bizarre garden workouts and wondered if we had lost the plot. I couldn’t blame them if they did, but it felt great to be staying so active!
I also found the evening workout really signalled the end of my work day and helped me switch off and unwind. It turns out nothing de-stresses quite like a set or two of dumbbell snatches. Who knew?!
Before we knew it, weeks turned in to months, a couple of burpee shaped bald patches were worn deep in to the lawn, I had bought half of Amazons at home workout dept. and the garden workouts felt normal. The Zoom WODs had helped keep me sane, probably avoided a divorce and the consistency of the sessions meant I felt just about in the best shape of my life.
I am sure when the world is back on track and I think back on lockdown the garden WODs will be a big part of those memories. In a funny way, I kind of miss them.
All that said, when it was announced gyms were to reopen I was pretty excited, after all, there is nothing quite like being at the box is there!?
And as far as the list is concerned… I still really struggle with my skipping, but 3 out of 4 aint bad!