Triathlon Training in the time of COVID-19

IRONMAN or BustI hope everyone reading this is doing as well as possible given the circumstances. We have been quarantining since before the order in California – Julianne is in a higher risk group because of her asthma and both of us worry that if we got sick fatphobia would compromise our healthcare, so we’ve been in full-on quarantine for almost a month. I know that we have a lot of privilege in being able to do that and my heart goes out to those who aren’t as lucky. 

Here’s how I’m doing – spoiler alert, there some bad, but it also a lot of good! Let’s get the bad out of the way first:

In terms of my iron-distance tri, this really took a pin to my balloon.  I don’t know how things are where you are but people here are not trustworthy when it comes to keeping appropriate social distance so running, biking, and swimming are out right now. Mentally I’m really struggling because I had psyched myself up for a final push and getting this done by the end of May, so the idea that whenever I get out of here I’m going to still be doing this long past the end of May just totally sucks.

Then, I did something (I have no idea what,) that really re-messed up my neck, which had been much better. We’re talking full-on pins and needles across my back, pain shooting down my arms, the whole bit. And I can’t go to physical therapy. Luckily I can connect with my doctor online, and he called in the big girl anti-inflammatories, and I have all of the equipment to ice my neck, do traction and do all my PT exercises at home.

I took a couple days completely off and then for a few days my training consisted of doing walking in place videos on the Joyn app without the arm movements. And I thought walking outside was boring… (TheJoyn app is fabulous by the way – really diverse instructors with options for seated and standing for most workouts, and and lots of different classes of lots of different lengths. Full disclosure – I’m not affiliated with them in any way.)

At that point I had the option to do walk at home videos and ride on the trainer to try to keep up. But  since I don’t know how long I’ll be in here and those things are no fun for me and this is already not fun, I decided to go a different way.

I’ve started taking dance classes. I do a barre class (the Dutch National Ballet created classes for their students and made them public on YouTube so I’ve been doing those) and I found really fun dance combination classes through Joseph Corella’s 567Broadway The combinations are fun, he gives options and encourages listening to your body, and so far no diet/weightloss/anti-fat talk at all (Full disclosure – I’m not affiliated with him in any way.)

That’s made me have to come to terms with what I’ve lost on this triathlon journey both physically (strength, flexibility, fast-twitch stamina, turnout, extension and toe-point – I once had to get corrective bootie things from the doctor because I pointed my feet so hard in my sleep that my calves were cramping up,) as well as mentally (workouts that I love – that make me want to do the work to be stronger and more flexible so that I can do more.)

Plus dance just seems like a better workout for me – intense effort, working through all planes of movement, using muscles in constantly changing dynamic ways, having to really apply my mind to quickly memorize and execute choreography with good technique (which I am having to get back) instead of just repeating the exact same motion for hours on end at a moderate heart rate and trying to keep from slowly losing my mind. All power in the world to people who thrive on that kind of workout, but that is just not me.

This has been a journey out of my comfort zone and I undertook that willingly. I’ve learned a lot about myself (and I’m sure I’ll learn even more when I get to leave the house again and I can finally take this the last bit of the way!) But I’m really ready to be done with this so I can try new things and get back to doing things that I love – especially dance.

Once I get out of here I’ll do what needs to be done to complete my goal of an iron-distance triathlon. But while I’m in here I’m going to be happy doing things that I love.

Also, unrelated, but I had just been dabbling a bit in adding stand-up comedy to my speaking when the quarantine started (with the idea that I could really throw myself into it once the triathlon was done.) So, I decided to take my comedy online – kind of a one-woman open mic. You can check it out here if you’d like!

Like this blog? You can also:

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Check out my blog at DancesWithFat (which focuses on Size Acceptance and Fat Rights)

Check out the Fit Fatties Facebook Group (for people of all sizes who want to talk about fitness from a weight-neutral perspective)

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About Ragen Chastain

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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3 Responses to Triathlon Training in the time of COVID-19

  1. Excellent, it’s wonderful to connect with people across the internet and do things together without leaving the house 😀 This post makes me want to dance 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lsstrout says:

    Your Triathlon journey seems to be an experiment in having things snatched out of your grasp at the last minute. I hope all the dancing cheers you up, your neck behaves and your comedy takes off!

    Like

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