COVID-19: Taking a Step Back; it’s not a Setback.

Around 1 month ago (March 4th to be exact), I finally got bit by the bug. After endless mask wearing in public places, I finally picked it up through my daughter’s daycare. I pretty much resigned myself to the fact, that, having a young child in a public setting (like daycare or school) means that I’ll be exposing myself to a lot more than wearing a mask in public will protect me from.

My morning ritual of up at 4/430 and hitting the gym before starting my day was on pause. For the the first week of COVID I allowed myself to mentally shift focus from needing to exercise to needing to rest. For my mental health (and the benefits of cold on the lungs), I still pushed myself to get outside for a shuffle (yes, walking was a challenge). Hey, I thought, a week break from weights, running and other high intensity exercise would do the body good anyhow; especially where I had been working out extra hard a few months prior.

Into day 7, I was getting a little irritated at the fact that my energy levels were still in the tank. Not just tired, but fatigued. I felt the same way I had when I was in my early pregnancy with my daughter. Going up a flight of stairs my legs felt like I’d just finished a long run. I would get winded easily. Funny enough, my cold like symptoms were mild; but the fatigue and headaches were intense and not easing up. I felt myself mentally draining a little, but reminded myself that I was till only day 7 and to give myself a chance to heal. I tried some home “workouts” here and there (barre style exercises) that were low impact, just to allow my body to move. But I wasn’t enjoying it.

I started doing some research on COVID and exercise. Stumbled upon some literature where people were being advised (notably athletes) to give themselves up to 4 weeks before returning to “regular” fitness levels, and that doing too much too soon could lead to LONG COVID. LONG COVID? WTF WAS THAT!? Surely, I thought, my daily shuffles aren’t too much too soon.

After day 10, I allowed myself to go back to the gym in the mornings (if I could get myself out of bed). I went low in weights and slow. Tried a little jog on the treadmill and no such luck; my legs weren’t up for it. Back to walking I went. This may sound funny, but to those fellow weightlifters out there, when you can’t get a pump while lifting, it often feels pointless to lift a weight. I was definitely in the no pump zone. Once again, like when I was pregnant, I was lifting weights but not really lifting them. Just going through the motions. I wasn’t leaving the gym feeling satisfied with a good fatigue feeling like I’d just had a really good workout. I was feeling a bit down, and reminded myself to allow myself more time to heal and get back to my “normal”. I was still only day 10!

Enter my third week since symptom onset. I surely was on the recovery road now, but my headaches persisted, and every second day it seemed, I was exhausted. On the daily, by 12-2 pm I would need to lay down for a short nap. The brain fog was real. On occasion I wasn’t able to get out a sentence or form a thought. “This is BULLSHIT!” I thought. Thank god for working from home.

Week 4 – enter the acute Gastritis. What the serious eff. Out of seemingly nowhere, came the burning sensation, nausea, gas, bloated belly….and funny enough, earlier that week I had taken it upon myself to start juicing and make sure I was consuming optimal nutrition to support my healing journey. Pepto, TUMS, Gaviscon, Aloe Vera became staples in my “diet”. Bananas, rice, cream of rice, egg whites, chicken, rice cakes, some berries, yogurt, kefir….that seemed to be my new diet for the week. I was thrown for a loop. Was this a bug I’d picked up? My daughter and partner didn’t seem to have this…..was it the cayenne pepper I’d consumed earlier in the week that put my gut over the edge? Or maybe the intermittent fasting that I practice on occasion….so many things went through my mind. Surely COVID wasn’t linked to Gastritis, was it? So I researched some more…and surprisingly read quite a bit of literature talking about the link between COVID and Gastritis. No way of knowing for sure the source to my gut issues, but I have a hard time thinking that there’s not something more to it. Another week of missing the gym and back to my daily walks when I felt up to it.

Here I am in Week 5 since COVID hit. It’s 4:55 am and I’ve been able to rise earlier in the mornings the past few days. I’ll be hitting the gym shortly as my energy levels seem ok and the nausea is at bay, and has been now for a few days. My diet is still pretty bland but I’ll be honest, I snuck in a few small Easter eggs last night when packing up goodie bags for my daughter’s daycare!

Moral of the story – this journey has allowed for me to take a step back and not look at this as a setback in my health and fitness. For those of you who know me, my gym workouts are a staple in my daily life, and I train hard. For the first time in a very long time, I’ve been ok with not following my normal workout regimen or routine. COVID really does effect people differently, and my journey looks quite a bit different than others. Do I have LONG COVID? Who knows. I’m taking it one day at a time. I still hit the fatigue walls in the afternoon on occasion (just happened yesterday). I still have brain fog on times, but the headaches seem to have subsided. I will say that this experience has allowed for me to appreciate what my body CAN do; not what it can’t. I’m being kind to myself, and some days where I just sit and cry for not feeling myself, I think – this is ok too. One. Day. At. A. Time. Carpe Diem.

Thanks for reading.

Published by admin

Born and raised in Newfoundland, I am an artist, musician and technologist with a passion for positive thinking :)

3 thoughts on “COVID-19: Taking a Step Back; it’s not a Setback.

      1. Yeahhhhh. Let’s! My brood and I were actually in Québec a few weeks ago. Loved it! Eying Nova Scotia if Trump gets reelected. 😳

        Let’s do reconnect. I just told my boys [7yo twins] about your classic ribbon-covered hula hoops.

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