What I’ve learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Elisabeth Clay 

Note: the opinions shared within this pieces are those of Elisabeth Clay and do not necessarily reflect those of Zebra Athletics. 

As we deal with all of the craziness around us during the last month, it seems that we are daily having to re-evaluate and ponder our life courses and paths.  

As I have said in many of my posts, jiu jitsu is my life. It comes before relationships, food, and anything else that makes us live. Control has been a huge part of my life as well. I like to control the aspects of what creates my happiness. Maybe that is partly genetic (thanks mom), or maybe because I deal with depression and I refuse pharmaceuticals, having found my happy place in strenuous training. Up until this point, I guess I thought if I did not have one gym, there was always another to train at. This recent event, regardless of how I interpret the situation, is controlling everything outside of our own homes. This has caused me to ponder, what is it that I can do to not have my world come crashing down. So, as soon as this lifts, there are things I am going to be doing, changing or keeping. 

1. Living in an Area that Has More Personal Freedoms.

While being in Alaska offers certain freedoms, there are not the numbers of partners that value training in the same way I do. Thus, necessitating finding a place where I can continue my lifestyle, moving will be step one. 

2. Having a Home Gym

It will become important for me to have a Zebra Home Gym complete with martial arts mats, mirrors, and weight lifting and other cross training equipment. I will be getting with Zebra Athletics to design a home gym once we have relocated to an area that will facilitate training consistently. 

3. Cultivate Partners

I will cultivate the partners that will be willing and wanting to train regardless of the world around us is the next step. My brother is my first; now I need to find several more training partners. I will be looking for those likeminded, hardpushing partners that have the health, strength and life habits that facilitate being able to train and stay healthy. One of the biggest, most important parts in this scenario is the life choices we make to facilitate health.  

4. More Yoga

Once relocated, I need to have at least weekly hot flow yoga sessions, if not several times a week. Doing yoga at home has been a life saver since I do not have the mats and enough space to roll. I had forgotten how much practicing yoga helped with my muscle relaxation and my mental stamina. I had lost touch with instructors that I liked and classes that fit into my training schedule. Being in a more central location will also help with being able to find exactly what benefits me. 

5. Gratitude for My Health.

I am grateful for being healthy and having the knowledge that I do about health. I have been blessed in life to have someone who regularly looks at how I am doing and adjusts the supplements I am on. We laughingly grew up calling my mom the witch doctor, but I am grateful for all that I have learned and the health I have because of genetics and because of the practices she engrained in us. My immune system function is one of the things I support the most, and the nutrition and supplements and health protocols I follow will continue. This is part of the life choices I was referring to for my partners, as well. If someone puts a priority on their health and the strengthening of their own immune system, then, in the face of illness, the threat is minimized. So, there are less disruptions in training.

Stay Safe and Healthy

Having come from a family whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, I believe our freedoms are cherished, and I never even thought something like this would ever happen in this country. Not the virus (it’s here no matter what), but the forced closures and loss of freedoms. Granted, there are people with underlying health issues that are out of their control, and so they will have to find what works for them. Individuals are responsible for knowing themselves and their needs and doing what is best for them. For me personally, continuity of training is important. 

I hope and pray that each of you out there are looking at all facets of your life and what it is that you need for YOUR own mental, physical and emotional health. Formulate your plan, for your life, to make sure YOU are healthy, in whatever way that is best for you. Looking forward to the day we can all be back at the body aching grind and competition. See you on the mats at soon as we can. Become your lion or lioness!

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