About Bo

Dog lover. Runner. Although very slowly. Keeping up with the stresses of running and life...

Let lockdown anxiety run its course

Lockdown anxiety finally broke me. It stole the last flicker of hope I was clinging on to and I’m not the only one who has just about had enough.

But I’m a denialist. I deny that COVID is out of control. I deny that my country is burning. I deny that things globally are in a real fucking mess. But they are.

I’m tired of hearing about the government. Of corruption. Of failure. I’m tired of not having answers. I’m tired of not knowing what to do or say. I’m sick of the negativity.

So my only escapism is to head to track twice a week and run laps around a dry grassy field. Alone with my thoughts and possibly the only hour I have without checking into social media.

And then this happened…

Chatting to my running coach on Saturday put things into perspective. We always start each new month discussing (negotiating) running goals. But this time was different.

Without asking, she said this:

“Bron, there is no need to push. There are no races to train for. All I want is for you to enjoy your running. Take it easy.

This isn’t about PBs. It’s not about the distance. It’s about getting out there and being consistent. Let’s get to September and then relook things.

But for now, all I want you to do is hang in there and do what you can. Don’t put anymore pressure on yourself.”

And that’s all I needed to hear…

Just hang in there. Ride this wave. Let it happen. Let it wash over me and move on.

There’s no need to put pressure on myself. We’re all struggling. There are no prizes. Even though just getting through the day deserves a medal.

And to control what I can. I can manage 3km runs and track twice a week, and that’s all that’s expected of me.

I can’t control what’s going on in my country, and no one is expecting me to. I can’t control how people react. I can’t change how others deal this pandemic. But I can run.

We’re a month away from Spring. Let’s ride this wave …

Don’t overthink it.

It’s a simple sentence but one that stopped me in my tracks when I read it.

Don’t overthink it. What do you mean “Don’t overthink it?” How is that even possible? I’m a thinker. It’s what I do.

Weeping Buddha. Bought in Bali a few years ago & which sits on my dressing table. 🤎

My need for escapism is at an all time high. Especially since lockdown has my brain fried.

I’ve gone from days loving being locked up in the solitude known as my office, to other days when I can’t breathe and seek out any excuse to get in my car and drive away, music blaring.

I’ve started training again with running Coach Michelle. It’s been a lifesaver. My only constant in a world gone mad.

Running around a dry & grassy field alone over and over again gives you time to think. X8 laps worth. And my Sunday run turned into a walk when the weight of my thoughts were just too heavy to carry.

  • The COVID case numbers are out of control
  • The economy is shattered
  • Unemployment and desperation is rising
  • Anger. Blame. Hatred. Fear.
  • There’s no end in sight

The exhaustion of trying to live in a state of endless hope has taken its toll on me. I’m losing hope.

I’m tired. Tired of being hopeful on my own. Just for once, I need the freedom to vent. To be angry. To collapse. In safety.

The weight of giving up hope weighs heavily. Because if positive people, like myself, give up, then what?

Not overthinking it is impossible right now.

Dear Emma,

The house is so quiet.

I had no idea just how large your presence actually was. I had become so accustomed to your snoring under my desk while I worked. So used to your sprawled out body on the couch at night, making us uncomfy watching TV. Your barking at the top of the stairs until I came to carry you down.

Always under my feet

I’m a little lost.

My entire day revolved around you. The 7am wake up call for breakfast, the stare-downs for liver snacks during the day, the begging when you wanted a walk, supper at 5pm and then the 2am bladder call, again more barking next to the bed to be carried down the stairs.

Loved your little body on my lap

Guilty.

In the first few weeks I felt guilty. Guilty because I could sleep through the night. Guilty for having the bed to myself again. Guilty for being able to go out for a run and not have to worry about your anxiety levels soaring.

You had a major personality change when Annie left us. From being such a carefree happy little girl, you were alone and unsure. Your separation anxiety peaked and you never quite found your place in the world without your big sister.

Lessons from a dog called Emma nailed it.

But we bonded. And I loved our time together.

I miss these moments

Starting my own business meant we spent the whole day together. There were so many hugs, which you hated.

You listened to all my stories. You watched me laugh. You looked away when I danced. You’re the only one who saw me cry. A lot.

Even in those last few weeks when we knew you were ready to say goodbye, you taught me to take time to feel the sun on my face. To enjoy my afternoon naps. To get excited for chicken and butternut (just the way Oumie made it for you.)

You loved your suntanning

And when you finally fell asleep in my arms, you had such a beautiful peaceful look on your face. I even washed all the breakfast butternut off your beard and washed your face with a warm face cloth – you loved that too.

It’s taken me longer to say goodbye to you than when we said our goodbyes to Annie. She was strong. But you were the baby and you held all our memories of her.

Now you’re both gone.

Nothing really prepared me to say goodbye to both my girls. The house is so empty.

This face!

We talk about you often.

We still refer to you as our “little puppy.”

We miss you Emma. Thank you for the joy & love you brought into our lives. xxx

Kisses …
KK and his girl.

Is running more addictive than porn, and other questions on my mind during my lockdown runs

It’s day 537353928 of lockdown. Yeah, yeah. We’ve all chirped this corny joke. But it’s true. It’s been long and drawn out and for most runners, the only thing keeping us sane is the 6-9 am exercise slot.

As always, it’s the time alone on the road where my own thoughts (and lately bizarre questions) drown out my heavy breathing.

Speaking of heavy breathing…

The Strava vs. Pornhub strategy is an interesting one. Hear me out.

Pre the early morning exercise allowance, we ran endless paths across our lawns. We trotted up and down our driveways and for some athletes, it meant jogging circles on teeny tiny balconies. But the fact is that even though there’s a global pandemic, you won’t stop runners from doing what they love. Why? Because we’re addicts!

So then my question is: what’s up with Strava? Knowing how important (and addictive) exercise would be to most people globally craving the freedom of outdoors, they’ve made no effort at all to give us free access to their Premium service? Even temporarily until lockdown ends. But now, they’re removing some of the free stuff.

If you compare this to Pornhub who (I heard, *cough*) opened up premium access to its site with this statement, “With nearly one billion people in lockdown across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we lend a hand and provide them with an enjoyable way to pass the time.”

I’m disappointed in Strava.

I figure it would’ve been such a prime opportunity to let as many people as possible trial the Premium service that they keep trying to promote knowing that should it be worthwhile, we would definitely continue with after lockdown. Or not? It feels like so much else has been offered as free. Free yoga, free gym, free online learning. But to track my 5 km run, nope. 

<Edited: After I posted this blog, I received so much support from the running community, and I realized that perhaps I had not done my homework. It appears that they have extended the free trial, that they’re a small company & I should be supporting small businesses now more than ever.>

But hey, we keep running…

Does anyone else find running with the face mask tough? I can’t breathe properly so I’ve been sticking with the buff since it’s easier but boy does my whole face sweat! Here’s a trick in how to make sure the buff stops sliding down your face…

One more thing…

If I’m the only one who drinks the milk at home, and we’re not getting visitors during the lockdown, surely it’s acceptable for me to drink the milk straight from the bottle? Yes? No? Whatvevs, this is the new norm of lockdown. Pffft.

Running, porn, or milk. No judgment from me. It’s what we need to do to survive COVID-19. I’m sure you’ll agree.