As COVID-19 continues to affect much of our daily lives, at least those of us in Vermont have some assurance we’re doing things right, as we have both the lowest incidence and active cases per 100,000 people in the country. Mask wearing indoors is universal and highly prevalent outdoors where there are people in close proximity.
My past three blog posts are about completed races. So, in spite of protocols that constrain how we congregate and execute a road race, things are beginning to happen. Not everything is opened up, however. For example, the UVM indoor track is reserved for “groups,” which for now means the track team. For now, that’s OK, but winter is coming!
Running in the rain this morning on the Intervale trails, there were very few people. Farmers were picking vegetables and the F-35 jets blasted overhead. Otherwise, it was pretty much me and the elements. Which was nice – I kept my mask below my chin. Starting out, I felt quite sluggish, drained really, and was not at all sure making the planned five miles was in the cards. But I kept moving and after about two miles the sluggishness lifted and the rest of the run felt good. It occurred to me that none of that mattered. What did matter was being out there, not impeded by the rain and mud. Not caring about pace, just moving forward. I thought about how this applies to most everything these days. Many things take longer, if we indeed do them, but we keep moving, nonetheless.
Running at its core is quite simple: one foot forward, followed by the next, and so on. Seems that’s where we are in education, the economy, and health these days. We try something, see how it goes, learn from it, and keep moving. We might have cause to complain about the lack of group runs and races as we knew them. Alternatively, we can view it as a challenge and jump in wholeheartedly. COVID is certainly changing our lives and for many it’s more than an inconvenience — trying to make ends meet without a job and having to figure out the kid’s school schedule. But it’s also making the world smaller, even the world of Vermont. We’re getting to know our neighbors and neighborhoods in new and renewed ways. Some days it’s easier than others. But all in all, we’re moving — forward!