Although I normally advocate all of us SubdueTheSloth by running, cycling, lifting, and undertaking generally any form of physically beneficial activity, covid-19 brings with it a unique set of circumstances that we all have to find our own way to navigate. Each activity brings with it a combination of risk and reward, both for us as individuals as well as for our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, nay all of humanity. Normally I might avoid such weighty topics, but in this instance, my past experience may uniquely qualify me to comment under the circumstances.

What past experience? Oh, thanks for asking. 

For about a decade centered around the year 2000, I battled with chronic bronchitis and chronic sinusitis. Both conditions typically came on following a cold or flu and were exacerbated by allergy induced asthma. In a given year, I often averaged 4 infections lasting between 2 and 6 weeks, more often than not requiring antibiotics. 

Since embracing endurance sports, it’s a rare year that I experience any infection, much less a prolonged bout with sinusitis or bronchitis. Even so, my body still reacts poorly to severe upper respiratory infections. During my last experience with the flu just 4 years ago, I woke up one night so clogged with mucus that I couldn’t draw air into my lungs. I was drowning in my own mucus. Rolling off the couch dislodged the blockage just enough to allow me to get some air to expel enough mucus to curtail my panic. 

So how is that relevant to covid-19? Oh, thanks for asking.

That flu experience, one that is likely all too familiar to covid-19 sufferers, continues to influence the decisions I make about my health and fitness and how germaphobic I may be at any given time of year. Given my experience with outdoor training during covid-19 social distancing so far, it’s obvious a lot of people are not taking the same cautionary approach to their pandemic fitness.

The laissez-faire attitude of many in my community is enough to inspire me to stay tucked safely in my house for the duration of the pandemic, thinking long and hard about registering as a more appropriate blog domain. But, instead of Embracing The Sloth for safety during covid-19, maybe my past experience can help identify strategies to Subdue and Social Distance The Sloth as safely as possible given the circumstances. 

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to write several posts in this series to detail my approach to training during covid-19. Topics will include running, cycling, lifting, immune function, and more.