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  • Writer's pictureSally Kalksma

Wax on the Work-out, Wax Off the Blues

Covid-19 has taken over everything most of us do, read, and feel. Unfortunately, many people are feeling the effects of being laid off or a tremendous downturn in business and therefore have lots of free time. Lots of free time they can’t use freely, or so they think. A lot of people are feeling isolated or even perhaps helpless and depressed. This free time may not need to be as unfortunate as it first seems. It can be a time for growth, ingenuity, and inspiration.

Social distancing is nothing new to me. I had a lot of practice with this when I was in isolation during treatment for Multiple Myeloma. Once I was permitted to have visitors, they not only had to be healthy but sit 3 feet away and wear a mask.

Many cancer patients are familiar with isolation, be it from treatment or the demise of physical capabilities. Those who suffered from these life-threatening illnesses have been confined to worse, hospital rooms, sometimes shared and not by the best roommates, or perhaps inspirational roommates.

During my time in isolation, I used what little resources I had in my hospital room to work out, and what little energy I had to get up and move. Hospital equipment became my gym equipment. My cardio work-out consisted of laps around the “liquid” floor. Liquid is a term for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma blood cancers. Nurses and doctors would cheer me on when I incorporated forward, side and backward lunges into my work-out.

Finding ways to work out came easy to me since I was never one for a gym membership. I started my free weight collection after college graduation. I am fortunate enough to have accumulated enough cardio and free weight equipment over the years to fill two rooms in my house. However, given a choice, I prefer to be outdoors running or finding creative ways to turn chores into a work-out.

I’ve always combated adversity with exercise and continue to do so using my imagination with DYI projects. During this pandemic, I am getting many things done around the house and yard. I am trying my best to incorporate a work-out into most of these mundane things on my “to-do list”. Yesterday I waxed my boat. I turned this tedious “must-do” into two hours of squats and shoulder presses. Using good form, I alternated waxing the lower half of the hull with squats, and the upper with shoulder presses. Check out the attached video. Don’t have a boat? Wax your car.

Tomorrow I am getting 20 bags of cedar mulch delivered to my front yard. I plan to deadlift 10 of the 20lb bags and carry them 40 yards into the backyard. The remaining 10 bags will be done using a “clean and jerk” before walking with them for 40 yards. Proper form is a must since these bags are very floppy. Not sure of these terms? Google them.

Speaking of Google, there are so many great instructional videos. Some of my favorites are the good old Jack LaLanne work-outs. He used things around the house, like a chair, for many of his exercises. If anything, these videos are extremely entertaining. If you're young you will think you’re watching a clip from the movie. Dodgeball. If you’re my age or older, it will bring back memories of a movie projector in grade school. Remember the excitement of walking in the classroom and finding out there would be no work, but a movie! One of my favorite contemporary video work-out is “The Six Minute HIIT and Abs Workout” by my friend and Bowflex spokesperson, Tom Holland. Yes, you read that right, 6 minutes. Everyone has 6 minutes in their day to do this. I like to do it at the end of my workouts, along with some yoga to stretch the body and clear my mind. There are some good short yoga videos too. One of my favorites is “6-minute Yoga for Hips-Yoga with Adriene”. Yes, another 6 minutes. You got it.

Most of us are lucky to be in the comfort of our own homes which gives us a leg up on how we can choose to use our new free time. How will you get imaginative during this adverse time? Will you work-out? Will you read? Take online courses? Learn new recipes? Restructure or start a business or frame its idea? Make masks for underprepared healthcare systems or even just learn to sew? There is a lot to gain from isolation, it's adjusting your attitude and letting your creativity flow as well as being positive that will get you through it.

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