The Covid Chronicles

A couple of weeks ago, Phil and I both came down with Covid. Let me tell you it was rough. Way worse than I had imagined that it would be. Until then, we had both managed to avoid it. I was even a little smug about this. Surely it meant I must have some super resilient genes or something. Sadly not!

It all started on a Friday evening. I came home from my volunteering gig and Phil was complaining of having a sore throat. His antigen test was negative and we both hoped he would be feeling better by morning. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Saturday morning he felt worse, but still tested negative.

After a totally out of character nap, he tested again that afternoon. It was almost comical. He sat down to perform the test and even set a timer. The timer turned out to be surplus to requirements. As soon as the liquid touched the test strip, a bold red line began to emerge.

It took me until Monday to start feel unwell and by Tuesday I was testing positive too. It was horrendous. We were both completely floored for several days. Literally going from the bed to the couch and back again a couple of times each day. Fever and chills gave way to wracking coughs and nightmarish congestion. My sense of smell and taste abandoned me entirely. (A full week after testing negative again, they are slowly starting to return) In short, 0/5, would not recommend.

What helped?

Having a spare bedroom. I appreciate not everyone has this option, but it really was a life saver for us. As soon as Phil tested positive he decamped to the back bedroom, and stayed there until we both started to feel better. Nothing makes having a night of tossing, turning, coughing and spluttering worse than knowing you’re keeping your partner up. Especially if they’re also not well.

Having an early warning system. Phil got it a few days before I did, and seeing how quickly he deteriorated inspired me to do a last minute Tesco delivery and prep some meals so at least we had the provisions we needed.

My family also did a couple of dead drops, mostly consisting of paracetamol and antigen tests. These were a God send. Even with getting groceries delivered, you can only get one pack of paracetamol at a time, and with two patients in the house, we were going through them. In future I will make sure to keep buffer stock on hand!

Having a super boss at work. She could tell I was really suffering and insisted I take time away from the laptop and rest. This was exactly what I needed. I have spoken before about “hustle culture.” All too often we push ourselves too hard because we don’t want to be seen to be slacking. Working (from home) with Covid is becoming a badge of honour almost and it is so toxic. Apart from the fact that I was actually too sick to be working, my brain fog would have meant that I was doing more harm than good. Unsurprisingly, no major catastrophe occurred because I was out of comms for three days.

My mother and sister in law usually buy me fleecy Christmas pjs each year. They don’t get an awful lot of wear, so as a result I have lots of pairs stocked up. This was fantastic. It meant that each day after I showered I could put on something fresh and steadfastly ignore the washing basket. Not feeling like I was covered in a film of sweat and snot for a little while each day was brilliant.

The Unexpected Outcome

I am not usually a huge consumer of YouTube content, but when you have Covid your attention span makes Dorey look like she should be on Mastermind. I could not concentrate on anything and I had no interest anyway. Watching short videos was about all I was able for so it was great.

While we were bouncing around YouTube, we came across Mark Lewis’s channel. For any of you who don’t know him, he is a fitness enthusiast, whose motto is that we should all try to be “Above Average.” I found his content to be both interesting and relatable. You should check him out.

As a 40 year old woman, with a full time job, a dog, and a life outside the gym, I have often struggled with influencers who talk about how we should be “optimising” ourselves. I don’t want to be get up at 5am. I don’t like kale. I understand that things will come up in life which will mean that fitness goes on the back burner for a while. So this “elite” level of athleticism was so far beyond my reach that their content seemed inaccessible.

Mark’s philosophy is so refreshing, I got hooked straight away. While we were binging on, I think all, of his videos, we heard him mention Hyrox. Hyrox is a fairly new sport. The races are always the same. They consist of eight 1km runs, with fitness challenges in between. It looks so cool. A real test of physical fitness and mental endurance. No sooner had we watched the video than I was on their website seeing when we could do one.

Turns out there’s a race in Manchester in January and the plan is for Phil and I to compete in the mixed doubles 40-49 division! Watch this space!

Now, I am not a runner! I have written about this in the past. Running is my Achilles heel. I had made a few half hearted attempts over the years to improve, but always quit after a while with some excuse or other. Knowing I guess that if/when running comes up in the gym, I can either avoid it or struggle through.

Hyrox is not going to be like that! Running is 50% of the challenge, so if I don’t get better at it between now and then, I am going to have a really bad time. With that in mind, I have downloaded their training program and we got going last Saturday.

Of course, day 1 was running. 3k of it. Every 3 minutes you had to do 5 burpees. It was horrendous. Poor Phil practically had to drag me around the whole way. I got my highest ever Whoop strain. Even allowing for Covid recovery and the heat, it wasn’t a great performance.

But, we did it! We made a start and are now officially training for Hyrox. Thus proving that good things can come even from our darkest hours. I will keep you updated on our progress over the next few months. I can’t promise that we will be above average, but I can promise that we will do our best.

Be well xxx

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