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Since I grew up on a ranch, physical activity wasn’t something I went looking for, it was necessary. My brother and I would carry five gallon buckets of water from the house to all the animals in their pens. When it came to chores, my dad would like to say, “it builds character”, but it also built muscle and a strong work ethic.

I live in the city now, so I’ve had to adapt to the means in front of me. I rarely (if ever) go to the gym because I’ve always been intimidated by the gym culture. I’m certainly not trying to imply that people who hit the gym are nefarious, but I’d rather workout at home where I can groan/complain/sing terribly without being in earshot of anybody.

So when the pandemic hit, it didn’t change my routine at all. I use the word, “routine” very loosely since my work schedule is constantly changing. I could work out five times one week, once another week. At home, I have minimal equipment - free weights and a yoga mat. I focus on calisthenics to maintain a semblance of fitness and make sure to stay in the range of my ability.

My partner and I also started to play, “Ring Fit Adventure”, for the Nintendo Switch, and that’s been a lot of fun. It’s more challenging than it looks and has been helping us stay active during the cold months.

I try to walk as much as possible. Living in the downtown core makes it easier for me to get around by foot. One of my favourite things to do is to make a playlist before a long walk, throw in the ear buds and just go. Our trail system in Edmonton is phenomenal and I love getting out there. I do the Funicular stairs a couple times a week, and that always ends up with me using a plethora of R-rated worlds, but the view from the top is worth it.

A silver lining of the pandemic is that it’s made me take a deeper look on my views of body image. For a few months I fell off the fitness train and I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. We’re taught by media that a certain body type is “healthy”, and others are not. I’m still trying to unlearn that. Fitness can be an endless escalator that you never get off and finding that contentment has been challenging for me. To those that also struggle, I see you. I hear you. Be kind to yourself.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I started therapy last year. Being fit in your body is one thing, but being fit mentally is just as (if not more) important. It can be tricky to balance it all during these times, and talking to someone objectively can be helpful. A fantastic resource is DropInYeg.ca which gives locations for single session counselling. Stay safe out there!