Be honest, how many of us actually started developing better habits in lockdown?
I sure as hell didn’t.
I ended up gaining a whole lot of weight, having unfashionably long hair, and almost completely letting go of my strict diet.
The main saving grace, I suppose, is that I kept working. But the depressing vibes of working alone, in an empty store, at a depleted shopping centre, with nothing to do, ended up playing havoc with my sleeping habits, my motivation and my discipline.
The irony of COVID-19, is that I was earning more, both thanks to a very generous government and the inability to roster anyone else except myself.
But there was even less to do in these long 7 hour shifts.
Tired, lonely and my mouth aching from not actually talking to anyone, I would trundle home, eat dinner and then play games and mess about on my PC, until I would collapse from exhaustion at 3am in the morning.
Rinse and repeat.
The days would meld together, and I got more and more apathetic and dull.
Which is where I suppose, I should really thank Formula 1, for turning my life around again.
The return of my passion for racing, my inspiration for speed, my temple of pace, meant that I actually felt something break through the fog of desolation that had dictated so much of my life so far.
It got me back into racing games, transported me into genuinely wanting to be faster, smoother and agile and to re-evaluate myself and start losing weight again.
I think one of the biggest takeaways from COVID-19 has been an appraisal of personal health and well-being.
I’ve never seen so many out and about, taking walks, running and exercising, but also at the same token, I don’t think enough people are doing so too.
It’s so easy to fall into a daily routine of eating whatever you want, lounging on chairs, beds and couches, idly your time away, and reading the news about the latest COVID-19 case numbers.
I definitely can see the appeal.
It’s depressing to see numbers rise and rise, knowing that more and more of your city probably have COVID-19 and that this lockdown will only be extended longer and longer, impacting so many people’s lives.
Livelihoods and so much talent and potential has been laid waste by this virus and to fall into a funk, where you just want to watch Netflix and pretend everything is OK, that you are just holidaying in your home and taking time off work, is natural.
But, as I soon found out to my cost, that only adds depth to the bleakness.
Instead of swimming and surviving, I was sinking and suffocating.
It’s important to keep yourself sharp, at all times, when you are still able.
Old age might be encroaching, and your mortality can be held at bay if you keep yourself healthy.
Which is why I had to recapture the early spirit of 2020, when I was still hungry and eager.
I got to maintain my exercise regime and trim down more.
I have to keep practising the Spanish language, a promise I made to myself at the beginning of the year.
I need to keep writing, and make sure I can pump out at least 3 thousand words a week.
I made this series on COVID-19, and I aim to finish it.
I can’t keep abandoning things.
Personal habits should be routines you need to make, develop and adopt, not something you relapse or collapse into.
It’s damn hard to motivate yourself out of bad personal habits though.
But that is what makes you stronger, better and more productive.
Good discipline, good habits, adherence to strict routines, and constant exploration of hobbies and new interesting ideas are what creates a spice to life, that keeps you going.
Without a healthy mix of all those things, you’ll keep generating a listlessness to your life, and let COVID-19 win.
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented pause in society. Work is now cancelled and as are a lot of other things you used to do for fun.
Whether it was as simple as going to a bar for a pint, or as complex as organising a street festival celebrating a film festival, a lot of these options have been robbed from us by this pandemic.
But a pause should never be a stop. You can keep progressing, you can keep continuing on your journey.
I still have this dream of being able to race for real one day, instead of a simulator. I won’t really stop until I get to achieve that first step. I got a lot more personal training to do on my side, so much more to learn about cars, pace and speed.
I still want to continue my event business and become proud of what I’ve achieved on my own.
I still want to compete in a 3-gun competition.
I still want to publish my own novel one day too.
None of these things, have been stopped by COVID-19. Instead it’s given me more time to practice, to “dry-fire” and develop the skills I need to, without the external pressure.
Always keep training, always keep pushing your limits.
COVID-19 can’t stop you from doing that.
It sure as hell, won’t stop me.
Be disciplined, be astute and be exceptional.
Vincit qui se vincit.
He conquers, who conquers himself.