Our new normal?

This new world is one big, giant suckfest. Does anyone else feel like they are living in some horrible made for TV movie about the end of the world? I’m sure my feelings are far from unique. I’m trying to take solace in other things, like being outdoors while we are still allowed to do so.

But seriously. Everything has changed, right? Virginia is officially under a stay at home order with the exception of those who are working, out getting essential supplies, and for exercise. Parks are at risk of being shut down at this point, since everyone is out.

My mind creates the possibility of illness. I dream about masks and desolation. Every hint of a sore throat, chill, or headache has my brain immediately concerned that I’ve contracted the virus.

My heart aches for those who are sick and for those caring for them. My work as a physical therapist is not essential at this time, and I don’t have the skills most needed to help those who are sick.

School is out for the year. My senior is devastated. No prom. No graduation. No idea about IB/AP class resolutions. No college credit for all that extra work? That’s not fair. She’s wondering if she will be robbed of a normal college freshman year, too.

We have poor leadership in this country who have exacerbated the growth of this pandemic, have not listened to science, and are placing the economy first over public health. The tone has been a bit more serious in the past couple of days, but I worry that this is too little, too late. The ball is in motion.

Trips to the grocery store are opportunities for panic attacks. Shelves are sparse, if not barren. No eggs, meat, bread, dried beans, tofu… you know it’s bad if the vegan protein options are gone. And don’t get me started on the toilet paper, although I got lucky at the grocery store the other day.

My dad is sick, but not with the virus. He was already facing issues from last fall after he had two surgeries one week apart. And we knew his kidneys were unhappy. But this is not an ideal time to start dialysis, even though the question that begs to be asked is if there ever is an ideal time. This is way more exposure to hospitals than anyone needs right now. And, by the way, if you are admitted, you are not allowed visitors. I get it, but it’s hard.

When my dad was admitted last week, I went down to my parents to help my mom manage my dad, as his mobility has been declining, and he has had a couple of near and actual falls. Good thing I’m a PT. Helping people with their mobility is kind of my thing. We broke out the gait belt, and I showed my mom how to guard him on the stairs, car transfers, and how to use their new transport wheelchair. I’ve also been helping my mom navigate this new, restricted, and already complex system for the best care for dad with the least likelihood of exposure to the virus. My mom is actually handling things well, all things considered. My poor brother can only help via phone. He’s in quarantine because someone in his office may have the virus. My dad is home now, and they are settling in to their new normal.

I’m taking my workouts outside as much as possible. So while I was down in Newport News, I checked an item off of my bucket list. I ran the Noland Trail. I really needed the time to clear my head. I’m glad I did this, because apparently, the park is now closed due to the virus as of today, reported by both the Daily Press and the Virginian Pilot. I can see why, because even at 10AM on a Tuesday, the parking lot was packed.

The south trailhead of the Noland Trail at Mariner’s Museum Park in Newport News, VA.

The trail is just over 5 miles long in Mariner’s Museum Park. The path is well marked and made of mostly packed pea gravel. There are some pretty amazing views of Lake Maury all along the trail. There are tons of mayflowers getting ready to bloom. And there were turtles sunbathing. Time in nature helped me forget about the state of our world, at least for a few moments.

Just one of the many water views from the Noland Trail.
The Lion’s Bridge with the James River behind. The trail actually goes over the bridge.
I ran this as part of the One City Half Marathon on March 1st.

I thought about doing this when I ran past the trail head a few weeks ago as part of the One City Half Marathon. I made a promise to myself that I would run it this year. Only took a couple of weeks to fulfill that promise to myself. That race seems like it was years ago at this point.

Once we are out of the woods with this virus and if you ever find yourself in Newport News with an hour to kill, this little trail is definitely worth your time.

The Mariner’s Museum Park entrance from Warwick Blvd. Now adjacent to Christopher Newport University, this used to be right next to my high school.
Check out that giant propeller!

I’m trying to take some time to organize a bit. I may even attempt a garden this year. Who knows? This is going to be a long ride, folks. Stay safe, stay healthy, and check on your elders.

Let me know how you’ve been staying active in our new normal. Stay tuned for some tips for safer running in my next blog post.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

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