Our gymnasts are in lockdown again. If you live in England, this week marks the start of our second national lockdown- Lockdown 2.0, as many are calling it. In this post I wrote over the summer, I shared some of my thoughts about the first lockdown. This week I’ve revisited it, to remind myself how I felt at the time. As hard as this month may be for us, and our ‘gymnasts in lockdown,’ we’ve done it before, and I know we’ll do it again.
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On March 20th, it was announced that all leisure providers, including gyms, should close that night and not reopen until further notice. My children, like many others around the country, were in the gym at the time. Their club had already planned to close after sessions the next day, but the decision had suddenly been taken out of their hands; so the children were gathered round and told that this would be the last time they would all be together for a while.
I collected two very subdued little boys that night- they’d been prepared that today was going to be their last school day for a while, but unexpectedly being told that it was also their last gym day had shaken them both. Mr S cried inconsolably because he couldn’t fasten his seatbelt; I knew that wasn’t really the reason he was crying, so we sat in the car park and had a cuddle for a while, until he felt a little bit calmer.
Gymnasts in Lockdown- Our New Normal
Over the following days and weeks, we began to find our ‘new normal.’ There was a lot of trial and error involved- should the boys do their school work or gym work first? How much free time should we allow them during the week? We were conscious that home should remain a safe and secure place for them, so we were reluctant to try and replicate their gym or school environments too closely. In any case, we knew that we couldn’t really do that successfully anyway.
Another worry for us was how on Earth we were going to fit having the boys at home 24/7 in around Miss M’s needs. She was used to having quiet, peaceful weekday mornings at home with me, before I went to work and she headed out to her childminder. I was concerned that she would struggle with suddenly having to constantly fight for our attention.
In amongst all this, as in many other families, I still had my own workload to consider. As a keyworker, I continued to work- a mixture of working from home, and actually leaving the house to go into work. Our household was suddenly very busy!
But eventually we settled into a routine that worked for us. Our ‘gymnasts in lockdown’ would begin their day with a cardio workout online, then sit at the kitchen table to begin their school work. Every day, they completed a reading, writing and maths activity each, and sometimes I would also give them an art or science challenge to work on together. Three times a week, they had Zoom calls with their gym squad, so they would disappear upstairs individually to do these at their allotted time slots. On non-gym days, we expected them to complete their conditioning sets- you can read about some of the ways I encourage them to keep motivated at home HERE .
For a while, when things began to open back up again, it was time to think once more about our new version of normal. No longer ‘gymnasts in lockdown,’ Mr F and Mr S went back to gym training , with a variety of COVID-safe adaptations in place. They were delighted at the thought of being back with their friends and coaches again, even though they knew things would be quite different for some time. Although I must admit I quite enjoyed not doing the gym run several times a week, I was also thrilled that they were getting back to their happy place.
As Lockdown 2.0 begins, it’s time for yet more changes to routines, with gymnasts across the country temporarily returning to online classes. But one day these times will be just a memory, when we can look back and remember ‘gymnastics in lockdown’- a story for our children to tell their grandkids. For now, I will just keep looking forward to that day.