How are you? I mean, really...how are you doing?
I've said this, and meant it, more in the last two weeks than the previous five years.
And, I miss you. I truly, truly miss you all. It's time that I admit that too.
The things we take for granted, in sudden absence, can have stinging clarity. For me, it is mourning our race calendar, our sports. That schedule that ensured we found each other on a regular cadence.
I find I mourn for the specifics - a starting line to reconnect with my tribe, the unique salty, sunburnt glow that comes from playing all day in nature, and a finish line where shared laughter is the ultimate victory. Not to mention the lazy evening on the couch with our collective feet up, high-fiving across the social channels to the thousands of others in their races.
And I miss hugs. Specifically, those out of the ordinary hugs that we give each other, because we did something extraordinary, together.
We usually bask every weekend in hugs, sweat, and finish lines this time of year...such a given! And now, gone. We can still touch base, but we just can't connect.
For now, anyway.
Our races will return before we know it, our bond greater than ever, and we will appreciate them all the more.
Know that this is inevitable, and let some humor in to keep you company. It's like the whole world got plantar fasciitis at the same time - stay home, don't move, laugh about it when you can. Not sure for how long, weeks for some and months for others, but soon enough, we'll all be back on our feet.
We are DAY 18 on lockdown here in Austria. Nearly three weeks of no schools, offices, restaurants, bars, etc. - just limited breaks to walk the dog and get groceries. Zelda is thrilled to head out for walkies a couple of times a day....now SHE takes US for a walk so WE don't chew the end off of the coffee table.
It seemed crazy when the Austrian government went full lockdown so quickly...now, watching COVID-19 hit full stride in the USA, I wish more of you had been forced into the same circumstance. From this side of the Atlantic, the US outbreak reminds me of watching a California forest fire heat map in a thunderstorm while the Santa Ana winds are blowing hard (and most Americans are taking selfies next to the glow). Hunker down, people!
Most days we sit and enjoy the quiet, noticing that our planet is thriving outside like never before. No traffic, no planes, no mindless group consumption in pursuit of distraction...there are literally birds and bees (and bunnies) everywhere in our neighbourhood. The Danube river is truly blue, and the flowers just can't wait any longer. The trails are too full for trail running, but I love seeing how the forests help calm these communities in their time of need.
Other days the house feels like Vegas - losing money every minute, cocktails are acceptable at any hour, and nobody has any idea what day it is.
Work has become a fountain of inspiration. My team at adidas Runtastic rushed to get 260+ free workout videos and training plans to the world, and now our morning dashboards show millions of people staying fit during quarantine. All ages, all countries, all fitness levels, and growing like crazy...it's the biggest rush to athletics I have ever seen in my lifetime. It feels good to provide a little help among the helplessness, and we have more fun stuff coming.
To be honest, I have enjoyed working remotely more than I would have ever guessed. The kids and pets interrupting the online meetings, the wide variety of attics, hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms that are now offices, and the collective unspoken decision to no longer deal with hairstyles. It feels more like family now, and more honest than ever.
Plus the realization of how much time one actually spends on weekly work travel...booking, packing, parking, waiting, flying, checking in, smalltalk with strangers, hotels, cabs, tracking expenses...it's like I got a bonus eighth day in the week back, with explicit permission to not wear pants. That day is quickly swallowed up by home schooling, cleaning our own toilets, and conference calls, but still, I'll take that trade.
Fitness-wise, it has been the virtual cycling world of Zwift that has filled the gap for me. I miss the outdoors, but plugging into Zwift keeps me connected to other athletes in real time (and out of the Emergency Room), and we collectively give Corona the finger each night as we bury ourselves in the evening race or ride. I should be in (virtual) Ironman shape by July. ;-)
This has been a tough time for all of us. I do honestly hope that this find you doing well, and seeing the silver lining wherever you can. In truth, it will likely get worse before it gets better, but when it finally gets better, it's going TO BE GREAT!!!
Hang in there, and I'll see you at the starting line soon.