Coping with Lockdown 3.0
I’m aware I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately. If I’m honest, I’ve been struggling to find anything interesting to write about. Its a really tricky time for most people right now, so at least I know I’m not alone in feeling a little down and lacking in motivation.
Once the initial panic of the first lockdown died down, I must admit, I actually quite enjoyed myself. The weather was nice and it was novel not to have to go anywhere. There were new experiences to take part in, like zoom quizzes, online wine-tasting and ‘cook at home’ experiences. There was no training or racing pressure and I must admit I actually thrived.
I make no secret of the fact that pre-covid I was counting down the days to Tokyo, until it was over and I could take a break. I had lost my love for training and racing and was constantly on the lookout for more interesting things to keep me happy. That was partly why Blindingly Good Food was born, to give me a much needed distraction and purpose in life. Its been a long time since I’ve had the luxury of just training for myself, no targets to hit, no performance expectations, no need to be travelling away from home for races, which at times can interrupt my training routine. It was bliss. The much needed head space and time away from the Manchester velodrome taught me that it’s not cycling I had fallen out of love with after all. It was just the environment. Throughout the first lockdown I rediscovered my love of training, of pushing myself to the limit regularly and of achieving goals and bettering myself constantly. I trained harder than I have ever done, and the extra free time in my day enabled me to train longer as well. As a result I am now fitter and stronger than I have ever been and far more confident of my own ability as well.
Thankfully, since that first lockdown, I’ve been able to maintain the momentum of my refound enthusiasm. I’ve been able to reflect on what had gone wrong with training and am in a much better place, both physically and mentally. I no longer feel like I need the distraction of writing my blog to keep me happy, which is perhaps one of the reasons why I have not been as regular with posting. I do still of course love food and intend to keep the blog updated as and when I can.
The second lockdown kind of passed me by to be honest. This time the velodrome stayed open, so I was able to continue my new training routine and most importantly have some much needed human interaction. My day to day routine didn’t change. Also when times did get a little hard, I had the nice thought of being able to go and see my family for Christmas, which was coming up. I’m always at my best when I have something good to look forward to.
Now, Christmas has passed, we are back in a third lockdown, and no-one really knows when it will end. The weather is cold and wet most of the time, There are not as many daylight hours, and it feels like there is nothing in the near future to specifically look forward to. I’m definitely finding this lockdown the hardest. I’m missing seeing my friends and family more than ever and I just want it all to be over. I’m fed up of the underlying anxiety around catching covid or spreading it. I want to be able to go out on my own again and use public transport without a niggling fear in the back of my head, that I shouldn’t really be doing this or the constant thinking of what ifs. I know I’m not alone in this thinking, it is worrying times for us all. To be honest, I’m aware I’m luckier than most. At least the velodrome remains open. I’m still able to maintain a daily routine, I still have a purpose and something to focus my attention on. I would just like to have a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thankfully, recently a couple of exciting things have happened. I did a zoom indian cookery lesson last week, which I will write about separately, I have an interview for the Radio 4 food programme this week and a few new recipes to share lined up. I now know more people who have been vaccinated against covid than who have had it and I am feeling optimistic. I hope sharing my thoughts and feelings in this post draws attention to the fact that if you are struggling, you aren’t alone. Please do reach out if you need a chat and keep smiling. We will all get through this.
Thanks for reading and stay safe.