Pandemic Journal (# 6): Maintaining Physical Fitness

Living in a downtown condo for almost the last seven years has prompted my wife and I to maintain our physical fitness. When the weather is nice, we go walking through nearby Loring Park and the Walker Art Center’s Sculpture Garden and elsewhere, biking on the nearby biking trails to the Mississippi River and city lakes and parks plus walking up fifteen floors in our building. Below are photos of Loring Park, the Sculpture Garden’s famous “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg and bikers and walkers on the Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

In addition, we have taken advantage of our building’s indoor swimming pool, hot-tub, sauna and exercise room with treadmills and other equipment. More recently I have joined a weekly yoga class in our entertainment center while my wife has joined a weekly strength class, both led by Sandra Swami, a capable, warm and helpful instructor.

Over the last several weeks we  have been sheltering in place with occasional trips to buy groceries and supplies and a weekly take-out dinner from a local restaurant. In addition, on warm, sunny days we have been walking again to Loring Park and the Sculpture Garden and elsewhere, and I look forward to retrieving my bicycle from winter storage and going on familiar bike jaunts.

However, our previously mentioned indoor exercise amenities have been closed in accordance with state and local guidelines and requirements because of the pandemic. This also has caused the cancellation of the yoga and strength classes.

Our instructor, Sandra Swami, however, has learned how to provide those classes on ZOOM. She says, “I had no idea what to expect when I first started. It was just my way of trying to maintain some of my self-owned business income and in particular the contacts with clients/participants I have developed and nurtured for years. But what I did not expect was the sense of community it has given me and, I hope, the participants.”

She continued, “I have now been able to connect with former clients/friends and family in various parts of the states, and other countries! That is a gift!  It truly brings me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that I am helping my people get through this. In addition to my clients in and around the Twin Cities, others come from other parts of Minnesota, New Mexico, California and Australia, and one is a 95-year-old who lives alone.”

As someone who is not great at yoga, I appreciate her constant reminders that if a specific pose/position hurts, don’t do it. I also am amused that she always provides a pose’s Sanskrit name that I cannot pronounce and never remember. Need I say, my wife and I now join her on ZOOM.

She also offers Pilates, self-fascial stretch, and general fitness sessions of various intensity, in group and private formats.  She welcomes new participants of any fitness level. Her fees are modest and she offers reduced rates or FREE classes to individuals negatively affected by the current crisis. Check her website for details: http://www.theswamimethod.com.

This has been the sixth entry in my Pandemic Journal, which sets forth my reflections on living through this horrible pandemic.[1]

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[1]. Here are the earlier journal entries to dwkcommentareis.com: Pandemic Journal (# 1): Kristof & Osterholm Analyses (Mar. 23, 2020); Pandemic Journal (# 2): Westminster Presbyterian Church Service (03/22/20) (Mar. 24, 2020); Pandemic Journal (# 3): 1918 Flu (Mar. 27, 2020); Pandemic Journal (# 4): “Life” Poem (Mar. 28, 2020); Pandemic  Journal (# 5): POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) (Mar. 29, 2020).