Corona Catch-Up

Life in COVID-19 quarantine: we are good - stable, all healthy, no anxiety, not even bored, we have all the things we want to eat, & online school isn’t a problem. I'm out of work, but JB is considered “essential” since he currently does HR for a group of nonprofit government medical clinics, so he still goes into work every M-F; the kids & I are calmly going with the flow at home, just going out for socially-distant neighborhood dog walks and groceries. And tea...

Dine-in restaurants are closed, but those with drive-thrus are open for takeout, so I can still get my bubble tea! #lifeblood   We had to document photo evidence earlier this week when, after bubble tea, we actually found toilet paper for the first time in 10 days at a very quiet Aldi!
Surely this will be hilarious in the future, right? :-D

I had a mild grocery scare when the H-E-B by our house ran out of my two favorite chopped bag salads - my lunch almost - but luckily, we went to the H-E-B beside bubble tea, and they had cases full:
(Slightly dramatic, maybe - but then who among us would have guessed there would be a psycho run on toilet paper? There could just as easily be a psycho run on delicious bagged salads! :-P)

•3 weeks, so far, for the kids at home (Spring Break, 1 limbo week, 1 week of new normal online school)

During the limbo week, (social distancing in effect, but a week before our official “stay at home” order,) the kids & I volunteered at the local food pantry for a shift. We really didn’t have to interact with anyone but ourselves: we pre-packed bags of grocery staples that people can drive by & pick up in a safer car hop system outside:

Starting online school has been really easy. The kids wake themselves up & get to work without me. I am NOT their school teacher. Tech advisor, maybe, but I already graduated. This is their work, not mine. I didn’t hold their hands through their work before, why would I start now?
This week was cake, mostly just checking in with their teachers and a few easy assignments to make sure everyone has online access. Next week they are supposed to have two grades, one of which should be major, in every class; so we’ll see what the verdict is after that. I say, big thumbs up. (Online school is currently scheduled through April 13, but I would not be upset if they just finished the school year out with it. We finish May 21, anyway.) Our kids are so much less stressed, sleeping in until 9-ish, and doing their assignments in whatever order they want. I told them that I think this is awesome, that the initiative and responsibility this fosters will prepare them more for real life than regular high school will.

•1 full week of no teaching for me (all 3 of my gyms did close 2 weeks ago, but I got to go in alone to one of them during that limbo week to video 10 classes I usually teach)

It was a ton of work to set up the space alone, edit, & upload each class link to my private YouTube; but I’m very thankful I had the chance to do it, and if nothing else, document where I am in my teaching for myself. The owner of that gym who authorized me coming in is having me charge our members here $5 per class link, though - half to the gym, half to me. :-/ I hate charging for them, esp. under these economic circumstances. I just wish the gym owner could pay me per class recording as if it were a normal class I taught and then give free access to all of the videos for our members as a way to keep them engaged and connected. He says he can’t, that there’s no money because he froze everyone’s memberships, which is true; but it would be a powerful (& small for him) marketing investment, creating fantastic public optics for the gym! (He was already struggling with marketing; this would’ve been relatively cheap (I don’t make that much per class) & effective...but his style is checkers, not chess.) I know he thought the members now stuck at home would buy them up and that he’d make more money off us selling them. Nope. 6 people have paid. That’s it. Even though people reeeeeally miss me teaching them & can’t wait to come back, 1) they are overwhelmed with getting their kids (esp. younger) set up in the home-school groove, 2) we have a huge clientele base of devout expat Muslim women (being a women-only gym, we’re the only place they can go) & I’ve noticed that with their families home 24/7, most of them are not getting online now at all, 3) there are sooo many free online workouts, I honestly wouldn’t pay for more, either :-P and 4) the biggest factor is that – by definition – regular group fitness fanatics are not motivated to work out at home on their own. This is literally my job, my passion, and I *HATE* doing virtual workouts, even with a live instructor, in a room at home alone by myself. It almost amplifies the isolation. I emailed the gym owner, in case he was expecting to get a big $ cut of video sales; I’m still so glad I did those initial videos, and I will be thrilled to pieces, if anyone requests for me to go in and video more – I will happily do it, just to have the excuse to do it for one more person than myself! But it’s definitely not what I will be filling my quarantine-time continuing to do. Even though this became an actual source of needed income for our family in this last year, that was never my intention in teaching – I’ve only ever taught any of these classes because it was my passion, and all the talk now of how to monetize and market yourself online makes me so uncomfortable & stresses me out beyond words. Even JB is like, “Your classes are good. People would pay for this, if you really put yourself out there.” ...But *I* have no desire to market myself. That’s the whole reason why I don’t own my own yoga studio or fitness business! If I wanted to get into this for the love of a successful business, I would have looooong before now. I really feel like if God wanted me to pursue marketing my own fitness brand, that He would put that desire in my heart; right now, it’s not in me at all.

Yin Yoga 1 was one of two of my videos the gym owner DID let me share for free for everyone before charging, so they could see what they’d be getting; but I also didn’t think to use royalty-free music that first day, so the video got blocked until I edited a song in the middle, which makes it sound a bit crazy at that point, because it suddenly gets louder. (If/when anyone tries it, LMK if it’s horribly distracting or if maybe you wouldn’t even have noticed. :-D) Yin Yoga is almost all lying down or seated. Long holds of deep stretches penetrate down through your muscles into your connective tissue, stimulating restoration. A great way to slowly start or end your day! Heal your body & de-stress:

My other free video offering was Pump, the weightlifting class I usually teach with two barbells & two sets of dumbbells. I modified on the fly to change it to dumbbells only, because most of the members do not have a barbell at home:

After this first free video, I also didn’t use the red disc anymore, because most people couldn’t find a low ottoman or something to substitute for it in their homes, either. Feel free to do this workout while you are quarantined, as well, and give me any feedback! :-D (Just have grace, because these were the very first two videos I recorded – it was so bizarre to teach up to an empty window, and I definitely got much better over the progression of my 8 subsequent videos! :-P)

So what am I in doing in quarantine now, if not constantly teaching fitness classes? To be honest, I am loving the forced slow down of our lives. Adding all of these new classes into my schedule over this last year has been a blessing & a needed focus for me personally = focusing more on *me* & less on my kids’ activities: they don’t need me there to “team mom” anymore; I knew I needed to get serious about pouring more into myself, instead of just feeling the loss of less with their involvement. So yes, when they go back, I will also be thrilled to go back to what fills my bucket outside of family...

But I LOVELOVELOVE having them home and quite honestly, having them back to myself!!! This isn’t like summer vacation, because now they’re not allowed to leave anywhere with their friends. Both of my teens are at the age where, if up to them, they would spend every free moment at the pool, the mall, or on the basketball court with their BFFs. This incredible set of circumstances almost feels like it has turned back time, back to the days when they spent their summers usually just with me. Even though I know it’s not by choice, I have my babies back home, and it is giving me life!!! How often have I thought about how nice it would be to go back to the days where my kids weren’t constantly either out with their friends or ignoring us up in their rooms?!?! Don’t get me wrong – there are still many hours of the day where they are still ignoring us up in their rooms :-P, but for this bizarre moment in time, *I* get to be their (default) BFF, again! After completely ditching me, virtually overnight, like flipping a switch when puberty hit, Annelise is actually CHOOSING to do things with me, again!!! Baking, walking, groceries - the simple things she always wanted to accompany me on, until the month before her 13th birthday. Gosh, I missed her!!! ❤️ I almost feel like I’m in one of those “back in time” or “life do-over” movies, getting a second chance to enjoy time with my babies, but as young adults, but before they leave the house. I am savoring every TV show together, every baking project, every neighborhood dog walk.

I saw a quote from Dave Hollis that said, “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

That struck deeply.

I can’t keep them at home forever, out of stressful school, and away from time-consuming friends...but I can cherish the silver lining of this worldwide tragedy that God has gifted me with in this precious time back with my kids.

Sunset walk:

Who’s who??? :-D Annelise did a core class I teach with me for the first time ever!!!
(She’s in the red; I’m in the teal. My mom didn’t even know which we were! :-D)

Praying for health, protection, & provision around the world, for comfort for those affected, and for continued contentment & active acknowledgement of God’s gifts here...


  1. Oh, my friend, your voice is so soothing in the yin yoga video!! Thank you for sharing your heart here and all that's going on with you and your family. I get what you're saying about not wanting to pursue fitness goals or ideas outside of your passion, and am happy you're staying true to yourself.

    It is wonderful to get more time with our kids at home, isn't it? So far, my girls' online classes for college and high school are going well also. My husband, too, is still able to go in to work, though he's still doing a lot of online connecting from the office. Blessed to be safe and well, and hope y'all continue to be the same!!


Post a Comment