COVID sure did impact all of us in various ways and it still continues to even a year later. A major part of my life is running and because of COVID, that even looks a little different these days. I’m sure that you have seen your runner friends talk about races being cancelled and virtual races becoming more of a thing. These are things that I have been on my mind recently, too.
In December 2019, I faced an injury that took me out of running for several months, so I did not sign up for any races for the first part of the year, as I knew that I would still be recovering from my injury. Once I was back up and running (literally) in the late spring time, COVID was in full swing. Most gyms were closed at the time and races were being cancelled one after another. I signed up for a few virtual races, but I began to miss the adrenaline of racing on courses with crowds cheering and music blasting. I still miss this feeling.
Now that the gyms are beginning to open, I am back going to the gym several times each week, but it certainly feels different. The atmosphere is different. Now that we have to make appointments, I am often the only person in the gym when I go. If there happens to be anyone else scheduled when I go, interactions feel awkward. I am 100% for wearing masks (don’t get me wrong), but I miss seeing people smile and for them to see me smile. These times are just different.
I haven’t run with anyone in months. I miss my running buddies and conversations that we would have while out on our runs. Running with friends was always our time to catch up. Running by yourself puts you exclusively in your own thoughts, which can have its pros, but it can also have its cons. I never thought that I would crave group running like this.
Running is so very different in this season of life. I wonder when we will be able to return to the start line, if we will ever be able to high-five other runners, and how the running community will bounce back from COVID. As a runner, this season of life has been difficult, I have days where I have all of the motivation in the world and days where I don’t even want to lace up and run- there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground- I am either all in or all out. What gets me through the rough days is the idea that one day races will return and high-fives will be normal again.