Health & Fitness: How are you doing?

By Lee Moroney

Lee Moroney has been coaching ADULTS, teens and CHILDREN for the last 20 years specialising in tutoring for DDETB in Sports, exercise and fitness QQI LEVEL 5s, along with many community education courses around wellbeing. The 1,450th person commenced in 2020 by getting up off the couch for his ‘couch to 5km’ programme — Over 500 people have used his online weight-loss programme.

How are you? How are you getting on? These are questions on most people’s lips these days, and 99% of the replies are, “Ah I’m grand”.

The last few weeks while out walking I have came across friends, colleagues through the GAA Circle and that question came up “How are you keeping?” - which came my reply “I am ok, I am just ok”.

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How are you supposed to be during a pandemic anyway - if you were grand before all this started and you’re grand now - I want to know what your secret is or where you’re getting your drinking water from?

In reality none of us here locally or in Ireland can remember anything remotely like this. The last thing I can remember was 2001 and the foot and mouth disease that was widespread through livestock on farms all around the country.

The St. Patricks day parade was cancelled that year along with the census but we weren't in lock down, There were no deaths, no over whelmed hospitals or Doctor surgeries.

It did affect the whole country as a the farming industry as a whole contributes €13.9 billion * based on 2016 value (in or around 65% of the department of social protection normal spend in a year) and that obviously at the time had to be protected. I remember you had to disinfect your runners before entering public places?

But back to this pandemic. A friend asked me: “So did you make good use of the downtime during the pandemic?”

The truth was, I just coped, I really just coped. My business plummeted, it was such a shock, I felt I had a responsibility to my employees in the after school, I used supports from revenue, (temporary wage scheme), I raised money for a good cause, I tried to help people virtually with running or walking challenges in our private Facebook group, I researched and looked at other streams of business but mostly I just coped - days were long and sleep patterns a bit messed up.

When I was telling people I was just ok and just coping - usually came the response “you have to get into a routine, you need to keep to a routine”.

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But even with the best efforts a routine doesn’t do much for you when you are missing the social connection and missing people you used to see everyday or least once a week in the physical sense - phone calls, texts, zoom calls are good but just not quiet the same. We have a small change now where we can meet in groups of 4 outside - and it’s like winning the social lottery.

Don’t get me wrong something resembling a routine will help. It really helped me around 7 years ago when I was unemployed going from a mad busy work environment, coaching hundreds of local children, dealing with loads of requests for my time to complete tasks.

Then Covid-19 came. I went to get out of bed one morning and I realised I didn't have to, there was no need. It is easy to say get into a routine, but harder to do so.

I decided to give myself small goals to achieve during the pandemic - the first was to walk everyday (regardless of time or distance), just get out and walk.

The second was to reach out to one person every couple of days and check in with them. Everything else I’ve done during this time has been a bonus. It’s not easy but, I am coping and I am grand.

Two weeks ago I wrote that the main aim was to come out of this with your mental health intact and that is still so important, now more then ever as we move into the phases to get us out of lockdown, it will be a slow process.

If you can, get out and meet friends outside for a social distance walk - it will do you the world of good.

If you need extra support or help reach out to someone or call Aware 1800 80 48 48 or visit Aware for more details. Take care and look after yourself.

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