Here’s what happened at Planted Life in March
We are all familiar with Mad Monday; the AFL footy tradition where the players dress up, let their man buns down and celebrate the seasons end but we now know, there will be no Mad Monday in 2020. The AFL season has been cancelled, along with (almost) everything else.
March is now known as Mad March; basically, March became all about a new coronavirus, COVID-19. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). This one is a respiratory illness also with symptoms that include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The effects of this virus can and are, deadly.
Where it all started
An unknown/unnamed coronavirus started in Wuhan, China which was first reported to the WHO Country Office on the 31 December 2019. It wasn’t until the 11 February that WHO announced the name for the new coronavirus disease; COVID-19.
A month later, on March 11 the WHO upgraded the status of this coronavirus outbreak from an epidemic to a pandemic. This was a world-wide phenomenon affecting every single person; this virus did not and does not discriminate, everyone is at risk in particular the aging population (60 and over).
Flatten the curve
March became all about ‘flattening the curve’ with everyone equally having a responsibility to protect ourselves and others to make this happen;
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap for 20+ seconds
- Maintain at least 1.5m distance from others
- Avoid physical contact when greeting
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cover the mouth and nose with bent elbow or disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Stay at home and seek medical attention if feeling unwell
We are all in this together
Its business as usual until it’s not and in less than 3 months we now have a new normal; life has changed and the sooner we realise this the sooner we will be able to adapt and ideally flatten the curve which helps reduce the pressure we are seeing on our medical system.
The changes we made and accept today, allows tomorrow to be better. We may never go back to the way things were, but maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. We were living fast, beyond our means and if this virus is teaching us anything, its teaching us to slow down, to take stock and to adopt patience and most of all, compassion and understanding.
We stand as one but together we shall not fall but gain a new strength that bands us together because we are in this all together.
DAYS 1-31 (because all the days blended into one)
Do it indoors
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” – Albert Einstein
With this; I have adapted my house to become my new gym, the only things missing are an obscene number of mirrors, muscle Marys and the occasional unique individual who frequents the gym in their gardening gloves and bare feet!
- A recent marketplace purchase of a treadmill has meant I can keep up my running mileage focusing on speed more than endurance
- Gym equipment borrowed from Versus St Kilda; dumbbells, kettle bells, TRX and plyo box to challenge strength and stability
- Virtual Yin Stretch Yoga; each Thursday I join Cecilia for 70 mins of mindful stretch via Zoom to ensure continued energy flow and body suppleness
Do I miss natures energy and freedom? Absolutely but with an acceptance of change I am understanding the importance of what I am doing now will benefit me in the future. I have kept to an adapted training schedule, I am keeping a movement routine present and I am being present in both body and mind for they both have to keep working together to ensure I am working.
Bridging the gender gap
As part of International Women’s Day, March 8 I had the opportunity to be part of a strong panel of women speaking to the female workforce of ANZx. It was an opportunity to tell my story of discovery, strength and trust.
As part of the panel of five women I couldn’t help notice although our stories were different we all spoke with the same tone; we had a determination that no one could diminish and a fearless attitude that made us all shine bright. To read my speech and story click here.
There is no time like the present to support local, after all we are now required to stay local, within our postcode so that small grocer you walked or drove past to shop at the big majors maybe now is the time to stop on by and say hello (keeping distance of course) and support those who need your food dollars more than ever. It important we keep in mind ‘how we shop now determines how we shop in the future’.
A few small businesses we have supported during this time are:
- Wholesome Hub: online eco-friendly and sustainable food & sustainable business
- Moses & Co: Heath food retailer based at the South Melbourne markets
- Vegan Perfection: Vegan online retailer
- The Bulk Source Food store: Pantry essentials minus the plastic
- Georgies’ Harvest; Fresh produce including onions, garlic, ginger and potatoes
- The Wood Frog Bakery: artesian breads and bagels
- Melbourne Farmers Market; local produce
- SuperFeast: Medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs
- Hanako Therapies: Modern apothecary, handcrafted crystal infused aromatherapy tools and vibrational essences
- Avenue Bookstore; for essential reads and sanity investments
Trails, Ales and Tales
With almost every running race cancelled or postponed in 2020 we were lucky enough to partake in two events that were the perfect way to say ‘see you soon trail events.’ These races being Warburton Trail Fest and Sharpy’s Beer Run.
Let’s start with Warburton. When a race starts with Beau Miles chopping wood and when chopped in half the race officially starts then there has to be something special about this run. The trails were just spectacular and the climbing, well let’s just say I struggled with some traction at one point and ended up going backwards! I couldn’t help but smile during the 50km course; nature graced me with her energy and beauty – I felt very fortunate that weekend.
In addition to running, I held a seminar titled ‘The Planted Athlete’ to around 40 plant-curious people who wanted to be enlightened about plants and athleticism; the words flowed freely and I’m sure most left with a new appreciation for tofu & kale.
What might just be the last race of 2020; with social distancing in full effect I lined up on the start line of the Sharpy’s beer run ready to push for 21(ish)km…the silver lining; beer at two aid stations. Yep maybe I lost some valuable time attempting to skull a can or two but you don’t sign up for a beer run only to drink water & electrolytes!
A cracking course with the coldies flowing as well as a pretty special community feel; this race combines my two favourite things; trails & ales.
From trail runner to bookworm, during these items of social isolation it’s important to lessen the noise (& panic) of the news and to every now and then take a break from Netflix. There is no better time than now to read.
- How not to Die – Michael Greger, MD
- Loving Kindness – Sharon Salzberg
- Going to Pieces without Falling Apart – Mark Epstein, MD
- The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
To see our full list of book recommendations, click here.
The requirement to self-isolate and social distance stepped up a notch during the month of March; when I think about January and February there was vague talk of the virus but the spread, devastation and true uncertainty wasn’t recognised until mad march.
We are doing what we know best, we are ‘leading by example’ and staying at home where we can. We are not running our local, state or national parks nor are we even running around the block. We are taking social distancing seriously until we are told otherwise.
What’s planned in April?
- Plant out my small, manageable and anything but perfect vegetable & herb garden; because if there is anything I have learnt; there is no such thing as perfection. The important factor here is to just start.
- Continue on my quest to self-learn; nutrition, running and history being the topics of choice
- Be an active participant in a virtual book club; the book has been chosen ‘Phosphorescence – on awe, wonder & things that sustain you when the world goes dark’ by Julia Baird
- Write weekly strength programs for both my Planted Tribe and myself to keep ourselves strong during these self-isolation and social distancing times
STAY AT HOME IF YOU CAN; IT MIGHT JUST SAVE YOUR LIFE
The plans for the next month don’t need to be many they just need to be highly achievable and obtainable. As we have said all year, the year will unfold as the universe has planned and as much as we like to think we have all the answers, at the moment not even the scientists have the answers. So where does this leave us? Just living day by day and controlling what we can control, we’re in this together.
Welcome with an open mind, heart and hands the unknown month of April…because as March taught up, anything is possible.
[Note: this blog forms part of my accountability promise to myself]