Home for the Holidays

Back to the home gym. Not my favorite way to get a workout in. Exercising at home and outside is one of many measures our household is taking to minimize risk to others and ourselves.

Reopening was a personal relief and awakening. I had struggled to exercise with any kind of consistency or intensity on my own. Getting together with my peeps was a realization that community exercise was critical to my personal mental and physical health: my discovery was hardly novel.

Desk jockey needs to “work” out. I sit and sit and sit some more. A computer screen, virtual conferencing and telephone are the current tools to communicate in the year of isolation.

What of gatherings and the risks of COVID? My own thinking and the compartmentalization of that thinking demonstrates the cognitive bias my ego prefers: let us lift heavy things at high intensity. We’ll do it together. Community. This is the CrossFit way. 

Our latest lock down (or “freeze”) feels more painful than the first. There was much anticipation of holiday gatherings on each side of our family. We have cancelled our events. Unfortunately, I have disappointed those I love. The financial stability of my favorite gym? I anxiously awaited the opening Emergency Small Business Assistance Fund for announcement.  Then, watched it evaporate 20 minutes after it opened. Freeze first, help later…?

Like the flu we knew the winter months would mean bad news for the spread of COVID. The future is now, and shit is getting hectic. Major relapse. Even as we implement these lock downs – at the rate things are going – lots of people will suffer. Both the disease and the cure will continue to bring harsh outcomes. It is a horrible situation.

Social distancing is a luxury many can’t afford. Vermont actually did something about it.

Initially, face coverings were not required in gyms. I did not wear mine. Looking back, I feel the tinge of shame.  My wife had cancer. What was I thinking? Class sizes were small but I was just not connecting the dots on the simplicity of being smart about gathering together. I felt a sense of relief when face coverings were mandated across the board. It was the push I needed to screw my head on.  

Home for the holidays? Not the way we wanted. COVID takes away that which cannot be replaced; time is not renewable. As much as we are committed to making up the lost time together it’s frustrating and hurtful to our loved ones who would rather take the risk of getting sick.

Have you seen a CrossFit workout? It’s an interesting spectacle. Sharing an enclosed space while grunting, huffing and puffing is obviously a higher risk scenario than compared to say sitting at a computer in an office space. Compound movements performed at high intensity. We lift weights, climb ropes, flip tires, roll on the floor – you name it we’re probably doing it. People pushing themselves to physical sickness does happen: as a trainer it’s not a recommendation I strive for. Ultimately, when the clock starts ticking intensity is up to the athlete. And, many do push themselves.   

Wearing a face covering I protect others and myself: exercise improves immunity and resilience.  I assumed gym ownership thought masks would be a deal breaker for its members. Perhaps they worried clients would simply cancel rather than protect others, support the gym, and improve their fitness. I never asked. Instead, I chose to promote the gym and fitness as being essential to overall health. It made me uncomfortable. But, I did it anyway. I need this… Me.

Scientists say the coronavirus is airborne. Here’s what that means.

Crossfit was founded on the care and sense of responsibility for the health of his community. Much of this philosophy is at the core of training materials required by CFHQ. Franchise gyms have a great degree of autonomy.  How an individual CF gym expresses itself varies. Here is one example that inspires me: https://www.crossfit.com/essentials/creating-community-during-covid-lessons-from-cohort-crossfit

Coronavirus is not an equal-opportunity pathogen The people who are most likely to be tested, and to have the easiest time quarantining or isolating, are also the least likely to get sick and die from the virus. VOX

I’m disappointed that I can’t hit the gym. This week my mind is swirling with the “what ifs”. That’s part of the nefariousness of COVID. One could be spreading it and never know. Yet, one can avoid spreading COVID by simply isolating. It’s lonely. It’s the antithesis of our basic human needs and certainly a driver of our fatigue to keeping our separation from others forthright.

The Community Gyms Coalition in one political option to encourage congress to provide financial relief for gyms.  If you have the resources #noquitnovember inspires gym goers to keep their memberships during the lockdowns. The home gym is where its at right now. That’s my play. Stay safe and healthy my friends.

Staying Tuned In: Local Radio

How many of us make radio part of our media diet? Local radio is alive and well and always has been. When was the last time you tuned in? Do you have a radio included in your emergency resource cache?

Lincoln County is home to several locally owned and operated stations. Fitting into the community mosaic like other organizations our stations have diverse formats, technical attributes and personalities.

Radiovore. Do you like talk, news, music? It is happening now. And, it will be happening at 3 am in he morning and 24/7. If you’re lucky to have an analog tuner on your radio then you get that extra satisfaction of rotating the knob just right. Find the sweet spot.

The Lynn’s own KSHL and the Wave. Dave Miller owns Yaquina Bay Communications. The late Cheryl Harle’s station – 100.7 – was recently purchased by a new owner fulfilling a lifelong dream to own a small station. KYAQ is our first local “public broadcaster“.

Our stations have historically been and continue to be our community’s important emergency communication resource.  AM and FM frequencies are easily found with a battery-operated transistor radio, by using the receiver in your four wheeler or streamed live on the internet.

Eton Hand Turbine AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with USB Smartphone Charger and LED Flashlight. You might think of it as a radio multi tool. Fairly well built and the length of charge to hand cranking ratio is surprisingly good. 2021 goals: create a hand cranked or peddle powered charging system to light up Minecraft and Fortnite (video games).

Our digital age swiftly brought us the smart phone. Chances are yours is not far from arms reach. It’s possible that you and I have become so fond of our pocket computers that we’ve become less inclined to include local radio as a part of date night. It’s also possible then that your emergency go bag is missing this important resource. If you are lacking a battery powered or hand cranked radio. Get one. Please.

The lexicon of disaster preparedness and response often includes “Whole Community Approach”. By definition we get this word salad, “A Whole Community approach attempts to engage the full capacity of the private and nonprofit sectors, including businesses, faith-based and disability organizations, and the general public, in conjunction with the participation of local, tribal, state, territorial, and Federal governmental partners.” = #inthistogether

Our successes and shortcomings in both response and recovery to emergencies are whole community. The Echo Mountain Wildfire event has demonstrated just how multidimensional emergencies and “life” are. In one way or another the fires touch us all. Events everywhere – touch us all. Butterfly effect.

Stuff. Important stuff. Minimalism is still trending, isn’t it? I recently read we are heading into “The New Maximalism“. Kind of unrelated pop culture reference. Emergency preparation might live somewhere between minimalism and maximalism lest we forget the cat, in my case. Maximalism does not serve bugging out by foot where moving quickly may be required.

Enter a new term: “Whole Media Approach”. To ensure redundancy in our ability to communicate during an emergency let us embrace word of mouth, radio, text, internet, tv, print, HAM radio, Morse code, etc.  We could even consider bringing back the carrier pigeon, couldn’t we? In its place, perhaps, we might try embracing the oral traditions. Talking to our families, our friends, neighbors. Are we vulnerable – do they feel vulnerable? Are we prepared as we should be?

A good preparation mindset should activate one’s human powered creativity resulting in a plan, a backup plan (to that plan), We augment our plans with every technology possible to support our ability to communicate with one another. Most vehicles have radios. The next time your driving why not review them. Lincoln County Emergency Management has a list of local frequencies both AM and FM.

Local programming warms my heart. YBC Radio has a nice menu of local talk shows. KYAQ demonstrates a commitment to civic issues and KSHL Country is locally programmed: no satellite down feed. Whatever your flavor – local radio employs local people. Keeping it real.

An emergency preparation review should include at least a portable radio and if possible… more than one. Review your check list and make sure it includes a radio.

Here are a few to get the juices flowing:

Unlock the secret FM tuner in your Android phone? Worth a try. Your phone has been holding out on you. Believe it or not, your model might have a built-in FM radio receiver. And you don’t need to do any jailbreaking or violate any terms of service to use it. You just need the right app. (Link: CNET)