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Is there a Silver Lining to Corona?


Can There Be a Silver Lining to Corona?

Can there be an upside to something as horrible as the Coronavirus?

Well, maybe.

While I (we) can’t ignore the tragedies and hardships CV has visited upon so many of us, I think it helps to realize there have also been benefits that will accrue to everyone who makes it through these troubling times.

We all have goals of one kind or another. Some are easy to accomplish, like a “to do” list of daily errands. The ones that are higher on the food chain of goals are more challenging. They require more effort, perseverance and imagination.

What if I told you the CV pandemic made my higher goals easier to accomplish?

Grant me a few more paragraphs to explain.

Since the pandemic began, I’ve taken the mental pressure off of myself. I’ve cut way back on what I expect from myself. As a result, I’ve been more creative, more productive, and I’m having more fun.

In other words, the stay-at-home Covid lifestyle gave me the perfect excuse to slow down and relax. I’m guessing many of you have had a similar experience?

Here are a few examples of what I mean.

First of all, I’m not pursuing happiness with a vengeance. I don’t feel the self-imposed pressure of making myself or someone else happy. I’m just dealing with the Coronavirus situation one day at a time. I’m keeping it simple. I’m not forcing myself to be active. I’m not running around all over the place trying to “do something meaningful with my life.”

As a result, I’ve been working out more than I usually do. And I’m doing most of it at home rather than trekking to a gym somewhere. I’m saving time and energy. I’m in better shape. And guess what; I’m a lot happier than I’ve been in a long time.

Secondly, I’ve had a creative renaissance. I’ve dropped the “shoulds,” the “ought to’s” and the guilt. I’m not thrashing around thinking; What are you going to write today?  What, no ideas? How can you be so empty and lazy?

Instead, I’m not worried about writing anything. And voila. The ideas are coming to me spontaneously. The idea for this post came to me unbidden. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But it wasn’t happening. Now, I’m enjoying writing this stuff. It’s not torture. Imagine that.

On to music. My music. Well, it’s not exactly my music. Plato said; ““Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” That’s a nice quote. I especially like the part about music giving life to everything. I feel the truth of it.

I enjoy singing and playing acoustic guitar songs by my favorite artists. When I get them down “just right,” I record and post them on my blog and on Facebook. I do it because I just plain like doing it. Since I’ve been happier lately, I’ve been doing it a lot more. And I’m downloading inexpensive tutorials to learn exactly how an artist like Cat Stevens plays a song I like. It’s fun and a good way to improve the old guitar technique.

I’m hoping some of this musical joy will rub off on my friends.

There are so many other silver lining stories like this one:

A personal trainer friend of mine told me she has increased her income and clientele by offering her coaching sessions online. She is no longer bound by geography. And she saves time, energy, and gas money with online sessions. Now that gyms have re-opened, she can do sessions online and in person.

I have to give some credit for my new-found happiness to the spiritual community I participate in. There are now nourishing online events I can attend almost every day of the week. It gives me the focus I want and it has helped me to be more grateful for what I have in my life. These community events, which started out as online support for the journey through CV, will now be extended beyond the Covid period.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” We are responding by developing creative solutions to the CV crisis, both individually and collectively. So hang in there, and find the silver lining shining through the clouds every day in your life.

David Gittlin has written three feature length screenplays, produced two short films, and published three novels. Before quitting his day job, he spent more than thirty years as a marketing director building expertise in advertising, copy writing, corporate communications, collateral sales materials, website content/design and online marketing.

 

Categories
Do-It-Yourself Fitness

How to Easily and Inexpensively Create Your Home Gym


Nordic Track Recumbent Bicycle

In these difficult times, it is essential that you give yourself the opportunity to work out at home.

It’s surprisingly easy to set up a home gym. And you don’t have to be a millionaire to do it. Public gyms are not safe right now, and it might be awhile before you can work out in a public gym without risking your health and, let’s face it, your life. So here are some simple steps to help you create your in-home gym.

I’m talking about an affordable gym with just the basics.

The first thing you will need is a stationary bike. These obviously come in various shapes and sizes as well as price ranges. You might need a spinning bike. You might need a recumbent bike if you have back problems or if you desire more comfort than a standard bike can offer.

Prices for exercise bikes will range from $500 to $2,500. I bought a very good Nordic Track recumbent bike for $1,000. While this might seem expensive, I’m looking at it as a long-term investment. As well as protecting my health, I’m saving time and energy working out at home. And, it’s very likely I’ll need my home gym if there is a second wave of the virus during the summer or in the fall.

Be prepared to assemble the bike when it arrives in a carton. I found the hardest part about assembling mine was opening the shipping carton and getting the parts out. They sure don’t want those parts to break. If you buy an upper-end bike like a Peleton, chances are a team will come to assemble your bike free of charge.

If you can’t live without a treadmill, you will have to cough up at least $4,000 for a decent treadmill. Hopefully, you can live without one (unless you have big bucks).

The next item on your shopping list will be exercise and stretching mats. If you don’t have back problems, you can probably get by with a single padded mat or something like a Gaiam 5/8 inch thick Yoga mat. Gaiam is a trusted and reliable supplier. They make quality products. I’m not getting paid to say this. Honest.

The exercise mats I use are six-feet long and two-feet wide. I’m using a padded mat plus two Gaiam mats for reasons that will remain unspecified. The point is, you need to protect your body. Don’t be afraid to use extra padding. Your body will appreciate it and treat you better in return.

The Gaiam mats I mentioned sell for $17.00 each. It’s a great price for an outstanding product. The padded mat I bought cost $37.00. The Confidence Fitness Mat I bought to put under my bike cost $42.00.

You need a mat to go under your bike or treadmill to protect the equipment, your carpet or floor, and yourself from your wife’s ire over messing up the house. If you aren’t a married guy, you still need the mat.

Next, you’ll need some free weights. You don’t need many sizes, unless you happen to be a serious body builder. I bought a pair of 10 pound and 15 pound free weights. I have achieved better results by doing more reps with lighter weights. I discovered this by accident when my gym closed down. I couldn’t get heavier weights so I tried lighter ones. I’m never going back to heavy weights.

Heavy weights can cause all sorts of injuries and they aren’t a whole lot of fun to lift. If you’ve been lifting heavy weights for a while, I’m sure you have the aches and pains to corroborate what I’m saying.

If you like bulging muscles, you won’t agree with me. If you want good definition and reasonable musculature, I’d recommend using lighter weights. The two pairs of weights I bought cost $165.

Yes, good free weights are expensive. Read the reviews for any free weights you buy. Customer reviews helped me big time to buy the right weights.

And that’s it. You’ve achieved some independence by setting up your very own home gym. My gym cost a total of $1,245.00 USD. You can do it for less. If you like company and extra motivation, sign up for online spinning, full workout, and Yoga classes.

You’re good to go. Hope this helps.

Exercise Mats and Free Weights

David Gittlin has written three feature length screenplays, produced two short films, and published three novels. Before quitting his day job, he spent more than thirty years as a marketing director building expertise in advertising, copy writing, corporate communications, collateral sales materials, website content/design and online marketing.