Keep on Rucking: 9 Things I Did for My Health During the Pandemic

By Ted Spiker

As COVID-19 spread, many of us had to change the way we worked and change the way we lived. For those fortunate enough to be spared of any serious ramifications caused by the pandemic, isolation could have sparked some self-reflection about our own health.

Decisions had to be made: How would you stay active with gyms closed? Would more time at home lead to more snacking, drinking and snack-drinking? Would Publix dare limit purchases of Cool Whip to two tubs per person?

Amidst the uncertainty, I decided the new routine could inspire, well, a new routine. Here are nine things that I did for my health during the pandemic…

1. Like so many other people, I walked just about every day. I never thought I’d become a daily walker, but, wow, the early-morning routine proved to be the second- most-perfect launch to the day. (First: Caramel-flavored coffee creamer.)

2. On some walks, I even added a backpack stuffed with a 50-pound sandbag. Initially, rucking seemed like this was the stupidest idea I’ve had since my 2008 back-waxing experiment, but I learned to love it. It makes me work, makes we sweat, and makes me feel strong when I finish.

3. I cut way back on beer.

4. I cut way back on bourbon.

5. I cut way back on bathing.

6. I finally scheduled a slightly overdue colonoscopy. I am actually writing this during “prep” day, so apologies if I have to excuse myself in case of… [leaves for a few minutes]… an unexpected gastrointestinal festival.

7. I made a lot of chicken salad. Subbed out most of the mayo for Dijon mustard. Added cashews and cabbage. Ditched the bread.

8. I did many more mini-workouts. When working from home, I didn’t have to worry so much about the logistics of work clothes, locker rooms and showering (see No. 5). So I’d try to stoke my metabolism with morning walks and workouts, maybe a lunch-time sweat of some kind, and then perhaps squeezing something else in the evening. It was just what I needed to get into a better exercise rhythm. I won’t be able to keep it up, but I hope the kickstart will pay dividends down the line.

9. Dessert changed to a nightly bowl of berries with a splash of half-and-half and a spoonful or two of coconut. (Note: Spoons may or may not have been the size of Lake Alice.)

by Ted Spiker


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