A lot of people have said they are ready to just run right out of 2020 and never look back. Let's face it, this year has been a bit of mess in many respects. I know a lot of dear friends who have suffered through loss and uncertainty, and for many there may still be many months of worry on the horizon. I hope we can all continue to support those who need it most and keep kindness at the forefront of our actions during this time, and all times, really.
However, despite the low points, there are many of us who truly have a lot to be grateful for. Perhaps it is just the spirit of the holiday season infecting me already or my visit with my little blonde one from the weekend still has my heart full, but I feel especially thankful for some of the things that have come out of this year. As usual, while I think grief and anger can also be positive, I also am of the mind that it can be extremely beneficial to focus on the positive to keep your energy high. I also just went for an absolutely amazing autumn run, so I have extra good vibes to put out into the world right now! 😜
My Top 5
When Covid-19 first hit I was extremely fearful my income would completely vanish. With shutdowns being announced left and right, how was I going to maintain my in-person training and classes? Thankfully, due to the hustle of one of my amazing colleagues getting us right online with corporate fitness classes, the opposite actually happened. We didn't miss a beat with our corporate wellness offerings and I kept all of my current daily fitness groups online. To this day we are still maintaining our corporate income via digital offerings, even keeping up our usual wellness challenges and adding more webinars to the mix.
Because I jumped right in to getting comfortable with leading classes online, when Georgia finally closed fitness facilities I was ready and moved just about all of my one-on-one clients online. I only had a few people that weren't interested, but the bulk of my clientele was happy to be able to maintain their fitness during such a stressful time. The other benefit--no one was traveling, so I was busier than ever due to everyone being extremely consistent with their sessions! I still have a few clients who are perfectly content doing virtual sessions and may never set foot in the studio again. While I haven't had the time really add extra business yet, the switch to doing more virtual training has given me confidence to know regardless of what happens going forward I can maintain or even add to my business in the future, servicing people well outside my normal sphere of influence.
Besides being incredibly thankful for having financial success, on top of that I've had a few of my rockstar clients hit some great goals to boot. One of my clients who continues with her online training lost 40 pounds throughout the year. The biggest change? Consistency. She normally travels frequently so it was always hard to get her on a good roll. Since March she has only missed one session with me, so it just shows how important a regular routine can be in hitting or maintaining fitness goals. I have to also brag on my dad in the same realm as he was finally able to get into a good routine this year. He's gone about 80% plant-based and works out 6 days a week. As much as I love my gym, they both prove it's not the place that gets you the results, it's the attitude and daily habits.
My Own Fitness
Despite being thankful for the online work, it actually did throw a bit of a wrench in keeping up with my own fitness goals at first. Teaching online group fitness it is easier to do the workout as you lead to keep everyone on time and the energy high. At one point I was teaching more classes than usual, which meant a lot of cardio and body weight workouts and less separate strength workouts and running for me. It was a bit exhausting at first.
One of the positives that came out of that for me was just getting out and walking more. I tend to want to run if I get outside, but I was so fatigued from the online workouts my running definitely took a back seat so I didn't burn myself out. I became reacquainted with the joy of movement not just for fitness, but for the pleasure of getting outside and slowly taking in the world around me. We were pretty lucky here where we've never been limited in outdoor activities so even now I see more people outside just walking or biking than ever before. Especially this time of year. It is just stunning some days to go for a stroll or even just sit and feel the wind on your face and the leaves falling from the trees as the sun warms you up. Not all fitness has to be high intensity. I forget that sometimes, so I am grateful for the opportunity to have had the time to add in more of the restorative type of movement back into my days.
Speaking of getting outside, I also got to my breaking point with time off and finally got a few low-key vacations in recently. Being self-employed it is really easy to not take time away. If I'm not at work, I'm not earning an income. I'm definitely not one of those people who feels her worth is tied to the size of her wallet, but I also enjoy knowing I can spend with reckless abandon at the farmers market each week. 😉
After finally getting away to the beach with @dksart, I was reminded how much I need a few days to recharge every now and then. Filling your energy bank with time off is just as important (or more so) than filling your wallet. Again, I'm really, really thankful that we haven't been too restricted in travel at least here locally. We are pretty lucky to have plenty of places to explore and recharge not that far from our own backyard. I am already starting to think about the next trip to give me something to look forward to and to not let myself go years without taking time off again!
Quality Time with the People Who Matter Most
I have had the same conversation with multiple people about one of the good things to come from this year. Being an introvert, I tend to have a smaller group of people I interact with anyway, but this year that circle has gotten even smaller. Whether due to lockdowns and other restrictions or just personal desire to keep your contact with others low, a lot of us have limited the people we are spending time with in person. Many of us have kept those we love close, while letting some of the "nonessential" relationships run their course.
Let's face it, we all only have a certain amount of free time to spend socializing or taking time with family. Many people tend to spread themselves too thin trying to please everyone. Now of course everyone has different needs as far as socialization, but I don't see it as a bad thing to slow down and really focus on quality time spent with those who really matter in our lives. I've had a few friends say this year has made them realize they were investing too much time in people who weren't investing the same time and energy back and that letting go was incredibly freeing. I'm not saying it's easy to let go of relationships--especially ones you've fostered for many years--but sometimes change is inevitable. Letting go of what doesn't serve us can be just the thing to help us move on to the next phase of growth.
This last positive I see is more of a general observation, and not so much my own personal experience as I have already been trying to do this for quite some time. I was extremely heartened to see my farmers especially receive so much support when the pandemic first hit. You guys know how much I adore my market visits and the relationships I've fostered with my local farmers and artisans frequenting the market. Though initially their sales were down, after a few months I saw a huge boom in people interested in buying local and supporting small businesses. When the farmers market first officially opened back up, it was busier than I've ever seen it!
Of course on top of that I've seen more of my friends and acquaintances start gardening this year for the first time, as well. Many had more time to invest in the activity with being home and people also realized it was not too far-fetched to see the food chain interrupted. I was so delighted to see more people posting their gardening adventures and much-anticipated harvests. I can only hope that continues beyond 2020 and whatever the next year brings.
There are still a ton of local businesses struggling, so I hope many keep up that spirit to purchase from small companies and individual artisans for any holiday shopping they do.
I know I have been very privileged to come out of this year with so many personal highs. I am also incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful group of family and friends (both near and far) that have been a support during some of the low points. I am thankful for a platform to share my thoughts and experiences to not only relate and commune with others, but so I don't forget to look back and count my blessings. A special thanks to @ecotrain and @eco-alex for this particular writing prompt. The original challenge post is linked for anyone else wanting to join in on the positive reflection. I am also very much enjoying reading the other entries so far. I can only imagine many other uplifting posts to come.