My friend Sam rang me up, asking how I managed to stay calm under the challenges of quarantine. I was flattered that she asked and wondered when exactly did I become a Dalia Lama?
Answer? Probably that time I was a fitness instructor at an all women’s gym. I taught tons of classes and read loads of self-help books.
My career in the fitness industry started in 2010 when I got my certification in group exercise, then later in personal training. Believe it or not, I started working out to build more muscle mass. At the time, I was skinny and got tired of explaining to people that no, I did not have an eating disorder and that I was perfectly happy with my weight. However, teaching fitness for a living seemed like a great way to get in shape. At first, it was fun meeting new people and networking. I taught at all the luxury gyms at no cost and was my own my boss, but believe me, it wasn’t all fun and games, there were some challenges.
Back in those days, before virtual classes were the rave, I spent most of my time choreographing and burning mix tapes for my 45-minute step classes. So here is a list of what I learned:
- Be ready to improvise in case something in the studio malfunctions.
- No one is loyal.
- Dealing with different personalities and demands can be tough.
If you’re afraid of something: master the situation.
I think the hardest part of teaching is learning how to perform in front of large crowds of people with so many different expectations. I remember feeling my throat tighten every time I had to walk into a studio and announce that I would be taking over the class because the previous instructor hated the time slot. (You can imagine some of the resentful looks aimed in my direction).
Ok, I made a few mistakes—but those mistakes helped me grow as a person. Even if I screwed up a complicated step routine or my cd player skipped, I’d always find a way to make the best of things. It’s the same with quarantine. Although it’s hard towhen everything around you has gone to shit, remember, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s hard to be productive during a global pandemic
You said you were going to update your resume, look for work-from-home-jobs, join a virtual fitness class, and catch up on some reading but watched reruns of Seinfeld, instead. Don’t worry about it! It’s normal to feeland less motivated when your life is turned upside down. So take this time to change your routine. You know exercise is great for your health, so include people that are in your circle, to make exercising fun. However, if you need some inspiration to get going, google the best fitness influencers you should follow in 2020 to have your fittest year ever.
Look, I get it, quarantine and all this social distancing isn’t easy, that’s why we shouldn’t overthink things. It’s better to accept a situation for what it is and move on with our lives; this means not cursing life for its unfairness, but adapting to the changes and thinking of new opportunities from where you are. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out,. He explains that at a certain point in your life, things can change, and putting too much thought into it can paralyze you. So every minute you spend wondering how bad it is, how much you miss going out to the bar with friends, or how lonely you feel is a minute spent not being productive.
So you didn’t produce your best masterpiece during quarantine or complete your lifelong goal, no pressure, we still have technology to bring us together while we’re in isolation. If you have an iPad; or a computer—laptop or desktop—there is a way to stay connected. For example, my friend Alex uses free apps to play video games with his BFF’s, while another friend uses Zoom to face time all his relatives.
My point and I do have one, is that many of us have trained ourselves to be happy only when things are going right in our lives but if we put as much effort into being positive during undesirable situations as we do the good ones, who knows? Maybe we’d find ourselves coping with the pandemic a lot better.
My advice to Sam is the same advice that I have for you, whether its anxiety that you’re feeling or wondering when it’s all going to end—go ahead and round up your friends and family for support, and try to stay positive. We’re all in this together.
Leave a comment below (seriously, I want to hear your thoughts.)