My Life on the Post Road: Let’s Get Physical

The spoils, according to the adage, go to the victor. In my case, the victory involves conquering every carb within reach of my short arms, further vanquished by washing them down with copious amounts of rose-all-day for the last eight million months of lockdown. The spoils have generously manifested in the form of belly jelly rolls making my skorts slightly tighter than I’d like. Hollow victory, then, this.

As we cautiously emerge from hibernation, my gluttony has had the opposite effect of a natural hibernation from which a bear would appear gaunt and hungry. I crawl out looking more like a pudgy baby, except not cute.

Yes, I walked as much as I could during the shut-in months, but my constitutionals were no match for the pasta, bread, butter, and vino. They just kept the damage from mushrooming beyond the burgeoning muffin top.

Fortunately, Saugatuck Rowing Club came to the rescue and reopened on July 1, just in time. I received this news with equal measures of joy and terror. I needed to get back into the routine of a vigorous workout daily, but I feared doing so anywhere near anyone else, especially inside. In their welcome back email, though, they assured members that they took our safety seriously and outlined their procedures established to this end. They included a new app, limiting the number of members on the gym floor and in classes, rigorous sanitization, and mask/temperature checking requirements.

I reserved a spot on the gym floor on July 1, and after I answered questions about my health and that of my family, and having my temperature taken, I climbed the stairs with some trepidation. I quickly found my concerns unfounded. I shared the entire gym area with only two other people, all of whom were yards away from me at all times. The distance allowed me to remove my mask while huffing and puffing on the treadmill. All staff wore masks at all times, and members wiped down equipment diligently with cleansing wipes. Staff periodically wiped everything down with disinfectant. Hand sanitizer dispensers dot the counters for easy access. Drinking fountains, except the new contactless one they’ve recently installed, had blue painter’s tape on both spouts and buttons to prevent anyone touching them. I did not come within six feet of either another club or staff member for the entire visit. And upon exiting, they request that patrons leave down a back staircase that leads directly outside so no one need pass anyone coming or going.

I have not yet ventured to a Pilates class, although that’s on the agenda for next week. They have limited participation to half capacity and today I could see them disinfecting each piece of material from the classroom.

It still feels very odd to venture out into this new normal: masks have become entirely commonplace. I’m more apt to do a double take when I see someone not wearing one. We adapt, it seems, quickly, very much appreciating the return to some of the activities that we valued before that have been off limits for a while.

The bottom line? My bottom line has no more excuses for expanding, thanks to the thought and care that Saugatuck has put into reopening.


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