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Lockdown routine

May 4, 2020

We are what we routinely do, and excellence is not an act but a habit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know. And if lockdown’s good for nothing else it’s surely a breeding ground for routine excellence.

Back in the day, I’d have probably written some chipper post about how this was like an elite training camp where all the noise and distractions of life were stripped back to allow us to focus on running. And sure, this is just like an altitude camp at Iten. Sure.

So what does my elite training camp in lockdown look like? What is my most excellent routine?

  • Wake, listen to birdsong, think that today will definitely be an early night. Eventually get up, later than planned.
  • Tea.
  • Write – filling a blank page with words feels like an act of radical optimism.
  • Tea.
  • Shower.
  • Fire up the computer and so begin the day’s work. (Tea.) Emails and documents are handled in the office. (Tea.) Meetings are held in a variety of venues dotted around the house, whichever is most out of my partner’s way. (Second-guessing each other’s meeting schedule and lunch window is proving impossible. We are two weeks away from implementing a meeting room booking system.)
  • Tea.
  • Lunch. (Which features a daily side-mission: can I cook a viable meal in one pan to save washing up? Bonus points if it can be eaten from the pan. Power up if it’s good for more than one day.)
  • Back to the computer for the afternoon shift.
  • Tea.
  • Eventually shut down, safe in the knowledge that what I had planned to achieve is at best half-done and that my to-do list has – appropriately enough – increased exponentially.
  • State-sanctioned exercise. On a good day, a run or a cycle. On a middling day, walk to the shop to pick up whatever essential we’re suddenly short of. On a bad day, housework.
  • Dinner.
  • Aim to read, but sometimes find the evening sucked into the vortex of the hell-site.
  • Drink, inevitably.
  • Bed, later than every good intention. Maybe tomorrow.

And when every day looks the same, how do you mark the beginning of the weekend? Go nuts with Netflix and a takeaway. Wild times.

There are good days and bad days, and a very fine line between them. But maybe, if you search for it, there’s a silver lining. I’ve got a more regular running routine than I’ve had in years. I’m appreciating each run more than I have in years. And I’ve taken 5 minutes off my regular running route over the last six weeks.

So, yeah, maybe this is my budget lockdown elite training camp.

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