Save me from a bad routine

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Sometimes we all need someone to save us.

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Since the start of 2020, it feels like everyone needs to save.

A global pandemic has not only created a very real threat to our way of life and our health, but it has also fostered fear, fighting, divided nations and continues to produce new stronger strains.

For my part, since leaving the Whig-Standard in the summer of 2019, I have been dividing my time between the Gino’s Pizza chain and Leon’s Furniture. It’s just professionally. The pandemic put me at a standstill on the writing front as I could no longer travel to cover wrestling events and my professional demands took up much of my spare time. The last piece I wrote was a dream interview with The Undertaker, which if I never produced a single word in wrestling again, would be exactly what I want out. But I will come back! Listen to me carefully.

Personally, I have gone through a separation, becoming a single dad, a new relationship, stepchildren, job changes, career changes, financial fears, uncertainty, family struggles and so much more.

COVID’s toll has undoubtedly been onerous for everyone in many ways, but I can only speak about its toll for myself.

I was fortunate enough to have worked full time for most of the pandemic except for a short time between concerts. Fortunately, I have maintained a stable income.

Like all parents, I had to wade through the muddy landscape of home schooling. My children were both French immersion students, both with special needs and both struggling to separate the classroom from the home.

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Too often they ended up getting frustrated, which I’m sure was only a fraction of the frustration all parents felt for most of the last two school years.

I’ve learned to distance myself socially, to disinfect, to wear a mask everywhere except at home because, I’ll be honest, COVID scares me. I have a child under 12 who has breathing problems, an autistic girl who struggles with even a simple cold, and I have many friends who have struggled but survived COVID, one of whom has lost her sense of taste for six months.

I am also someone who suffers from anxiety. A stuffy nose can mean three sleepless nights for me, because in my head I wonder what if I could never breathe properly again? What if my throat stays sore forever? Panic attacks are plentiful for me during colds and the flu, so the idea of ​​a super virus like COVID really gets me on edge. I shopped on my own for months during shutdowns, getting all the groceries and household needs while the kids stayed safe at home.

Inevitably, they caught colds and sniffles, which resulted in COVID tests, all of which came back negative. Fortunately, I never had to take a COVID test. I received my first vaccine in May, my second vaccine in July, and continued to be very careful in public. Truth be told, it’s been almost two years since I’ve had a cold or the flu, and I may never go out in public without a mask again.

Suffice to say that I count my blessings that COVID did not directly affect me other than as a prevention. However, I have not escaped the secondary ramifications of a global pandemic, primarily my personal health in other areas.

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Public closures have closed gyms for most of the past year and a half. As anyone who has followed my Whig career knows, the gym was an integral part of my daily and weekly routine. The last time I chronicled my life in the pages of Canada’s Oldest Daily, I was in the best shape of my life, thanks to my collaboration with Visionary Fitness owner Farr Ramsahoye. Never in my life have I been stronger or fitter.

Unfortunately, the pandemic robbed me of that training time, which robbed me of that awesome physique. Every day that went by without a workout seemed to not only steal some of that physique and good health, but also contribute to poor eating choices. Doritos has become an almost daily snack, and candy has replaced dumbbells and push-ups.

In May 2021, I acquired the Gino’s Pizza franchise in Amherstview, a huge acquisition for me, but also a major lifestyle change. I started working 12 or more hours a day, taking 20,000 or more steps per day on busy days. Yet after a short weight loss, not only did I not lose weight, but I gained weight.

I would wake up, have a coffee, a shower and go to work until 8 a.m., work until noon without eating, then wrap something quick like a slice of pizza or fingers of chicken, or an occasional salad to convince myself that I hadn’t completely given up. Then I usually didn’t eat until late, often something fast food related on the way home. Then read. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I would officially let myself go.

But there in the background, always encouraging, always optimistic, always available, was Farr, my friend and mentor.

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For a short while during the lockdown, he dragged me into a few virtual workouts. I must admit that I am not a fan of virtual training.

Then, at the end of the confinement, he encouraged me to come and do a few sessions with him at Fort Strength, to get things going again. I did. One or two first. Then another. Then one more.

The more excuses I would find for not working (fatigue from long, hot days in the kitchen, no time, other commitments), the more he made himself available and encouraged me to take time.

Finally, we clicked and the late night workouts became a thing. I’m in pain, I won’t lie. I took a good deal of a year and a half off. I developed bad eating habits, I gained weight, I found all the reasons to justify it all, sweeping it all under this giant COVID carpet that I was living under.

Yet, there, all the while, being the friend I needed and the helping hand everyone should have, Farr was saving me.

Like I said, sometimes we all need someone to save us.

Thanks Farr.

Jan Murphy is a former editor and columnist for Whig-Standard.

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About Kristina McManus

Kristina McManus

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