The people who are great at sitting on a couch doing nothing have been training for this pandemic their whole lives.
This post is not for those people.
This post is for those who want to make the most of their time while we’re all on lockdown. These are my people, and I always take care of my people.
Find a Routine
For most people, a vacation, summer break, global pandemic, etc., can cause your routine to break down. When that happens you become less productive and you feel less productive. And it can be difficult to re-establish. For me, the best way to make the most of this time is to either set up a routine or take steps to protect your existing routine.
Work Fitness into Your Routine
I must admit that I am a little envious of people who are able to spend more time than usual with their family right now.
I am scrambling every day to stay on top of things. So for me, that means I have to be fit. I’m sure a lot of people are the same way.
If fitness is not a normal part of your life, I recommend trying to make a game of it, so that it becomes fun. For instance, I am a pushup freak, so I like to say to myself, “before you open the refrigerator, you owe 10 pushups.” Obviously, you can modify this for sit ups, jumping jacks, etc. The point is to keep it fun, interesting, and, most importantly, consistent. By the end of the day, it adds up. Believe me.
As is the case with any new fitness routine, start mildly. With all of this new time people have on their hands, it is easy to want to go too hard. This can be very dangerous. Overdoing it can cause injury.
Instead, start with something simple, like going for a short walk. Then, next time, walk a little further. Next time after that, maybe carry some light wrist or ankle weights. Walking is underrated as exercise and, now, it is one of the only ways you can leave your home!
If you’re a martial artist, I know you’re practicing your patterns, your forms, your katas, etc. Martial artists already understand how great those things are for fitness, as well as discipline, and stress-relief.
I was never much on lifting weights, myself, but I understand that a lot of people love it and, if it works for them, I’m happy. So, if lifting weights is your thing, hit the bench!
If you’re dependent on the gym to lift weights, though, this situation might present a problem for you. But, if you have the money or the resources, you can purchase weights on Amazon, or rig up some weights of your own using heavy things around the home.
Grand Master Park grew up very poor in Korea. How he became the most amazing martial artist I have ever seen is just an amazing story. But, he said that he was ashamed that, as a child, when he wanted to work out, he had to steal cement bags and iron bars from nearby construction sites to use as makeshift weights.
So, even though you’re cooped up, there are still a lot of resources around you to help you stay or become fit.
Stay Mentally Fit
The first step in establishing or regaining your mental strength is to decide what you think is important to be on your mind. Place your mental faculties where they’re needed, and not where they will be wasted.
I don’t watch a lot of news, but I check in briefly to stay informed. So, I might listen to the President, watch a little Fox News, then a little CNN, but then, I will turn them all off and go put some music on. Then, I will go spend time raising my son Charlie to be a good man. I will spend time talking to my wife, checking in on my friends, my brother and his four restaurants, etc.
Checking in on loved ones gives me strength. I gain strength from their strength because it inspires me, but I also gain strength from their problems because it forces me to be strong for them.
How Can Tae Kwon-Do Help Us During this Time?
Tae Kwon-Do’s development was tumultuous. General Choi, the founder of Tae Kwon-Do, was a two-star general, but he very easily could have been five-star general if he hadn’t spent so much time bucking the system. It is pretty remarkable, though, that a two-star general was able to convince the Korean military to not only start a new division, but to let him run it. He needed a place where he could have good, strong, men and train them in his new martial art. He was determined, unwavering and, ultimately, successful. Tae Kwon-Do was born.
I take great inspiration from General Choi during this time. It would be very easy to look at the current situation and terrify myself by how much worse I believe it can get. And, I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not a little nervous. But, again, I am focusing my mental faculties on where they need to be.
So instead of spending my time worrying, I will adopt the determination of General Choi and treat this time like I would treat the time going from belt to belt, technique to technique, or pattern to pattern. I will go one move at a time, one hour at a time, one day at time, etc.
And suddenly, just like all of those pushups in front of the fridge, it will pay off.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!