When Lockdown Hit
As I write this, we are four months into Lockdown. The lockdown rules are easing in the majority of places and shops, pubs and restaurants have opened. Gyms will reopen and we have come to the start of the school summer holidays.
We self isolated almost a week before everything closed and it felt incredibly sudden. My husband had already been preparing and was working from home. But all my plans had to be cancelled and I was faced with homeschooling my five year old. I wasn’t prepared for this. But I utilised all of the online resources and the work that the school gave me, and I started to plan a bit of a routine.
My daughter isn’t one for routine, so it was a complete challenge.
PE With Joe Challenge
I needed some sort of consistency. Then The Body Coach Joe Wicks announced he was going to do live workouts every morning. He was calling it PE with Joe and it was initially aimed to get the kids exercising and healthy whilst at home. Plus the money raised from YouTube would go to the NHS.
As someone who doesn’t follow many ‘TV personalities’ or celebs, I have to say that I have followed The Body Coach for a few years on Facebook. I have tried his recipes and done a few workouts. In fact a couple of years ago I was really on top of my workout routine by going to classes and working out at home regularly. Then something changed and I struggled with my energy levels and went to the gym less. So home workouts became a lot more appealing.
I also value my time. I’m starting up a business from scratch, so any time I can save to focus on that is important. Another reason why working out in my own front room or back garden is far better.
Starting a New Routine
On Monday 23rd March 2020, we all put on our gym gear and logged onto YouTube, for the first PE with Joe. I love HIIT training, so it was completely my thing and this was aimed at adults as well as kids. I love the variety and seeing how fit or unfit I’ve become!
Eva on the other hand was less interested. She liked jumping and running around, but wouldn’t follow any instruction. My husband did a little in between joining online meetings. So it was down to me to stay dedicated.
On day two, we got up and did the same. I put on my gym gear and was in the front room at 9am ready to start my PE lesson! Eva came too, but did very little exercise. However, it did set the day up for homeschooling. As soon as PE with Joe was done we moved onto other ‘lessons’. I put the live zoo cams on for her so she could watch the animals at the zoo while I got ready after my workout. Then we moved onto science, maths or phonics.
Spot The Difference & Fancy Dress Friday
Joe Wicks soon began cleverly doing a ‘spot the difference’ each day, after changing his guitar which was hanging on the wall. He put more and more objects on the shelves behind him and swapped some around, and Eva loved it. She made sure she guessed the differences each day. Then after a couple of weeks, Joe began his Fancy Dress Fridays! Eva dressed up as various characters, from Belle from Beauty and the Beast to a Cowgirl. Even I joined in occasionally – wearing fairy wings and a tutu or rabbit ears.
The exercises ranged from ‘Pikachus’ to ‘Bunny Hops’ and ‘Kangaroo Jumps’ to ‘Spidey Lunges’. The worst being the dreaded ‘Duck Walks’! However there was something for everyone – not just the kids. The ‘Silly Billys’ were the best, as I would laugh at Joe Wick’s impression of David Brent. It was definitely fun. Plus there were quizzes to make it educational.
After Easter I found home schooling just wasn’t really working. Eva wanted to play games on her tablet or laptop (although I tried to give her educational stuff to do). She would push back when I got out her home learning from school, and she certainly didn’t want to do any reading or writing.
The mum guilt certainly kicked in. We had decided not to send her back to school when they reopened due to her respiratory problems. We had a few years of fighting for her to have a preventative inhaler, because any cough or cold which she caught led to breathing problems. Then it would be a visit to the emergency GP (usually in the middle of the night) to get steriods, or straight to the hospital for an overnight stay.
We have been on top of it as she’s got older, but making the ‘right’ decision was not easy.
I also needed to work as I was promoting my local online business and so any sort of routine went out of the window. All accept PE with Joe. That remained. Every day, I got up, put on my gym stuff and did my half hour workout. Without fail. Even when he did a Saturday workout and when it was a bank holiday. I carried on. Because this was now my routine.
PE was Changing
A few weeks ago, Joe Wicks announced he was going to cut back on his PE lessons, to Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. A part of me felt a little relieved – because if I ever needed to be somewhere else I really didn’t want to miss it! I like to do them live and I hate missing out.
But another part of me felt quite sad. However I was still determined – so on the first Tuesday where there was no live PE with Joe, I went onto The Body Coach YouTube channel and picked a workout.
From then on I did workouts from the channel in between the live ones. I had actually upped my workout program from five days a week to six!
Was I getting fitter? Probably. I didn’t feel as though I was losing weight, but perhaps my shape was changing. If I hadn’t had done this during lockdown, then I reckon I would have put weight on. This was a saviour – not just for my physical health but also my mental health. The mum guilt from having to get work done and the meltdowns and arguments about home schooling really put the pressure on. Some days were better than others, but the stability of keeping a consistent exercise routine saved me from shutting down and giving up.
It stuck with me that it was all about showing up. That meant with the workouts and also in life. I had to show up with my new business to get it off the ground because I believed in it. I took inspiration from when Joe Wicks began his business and made sure I did exactly that.
The final announcement was that Joe had decided to finish the live workouts when the school holidays were starting for everyone. As I write this, that day is tomorrow. Will I feel emotional? I think so. Joe Wick talks about our journey together as a nation. That we will look back on this time and remember that we all did this together. For me personally, it makes me look back to the start of lockdown. The ups and the downs. The days where I homeschooled and played. And the occasional walks we had and the rainbows we coloured in. Plus the days where I didn’t know what to do – I had to work and I had to take care of Eva. Each day has been so different.
But the one thing that stayed the same was my morning workout. I have learned that there will be press ups every time (which I’m not so good at!) But my ‘Spidey-Lunges’ have greatly improved.
Will I continue to do this after it all ends? The answer is a definite yes.