Lockdown Thoughts and Thanks

I would like to say a big thank you to two special people in our community who have definitely succeeded in making the new normal a pleasurable experience during these trying times.

Firstly, to Michelle Rennie of Fitness Isn’t Boring (michelle@michelle-rennie.com).

Michelle runs a class for Chair Based Exercise on Mondays & Wednesdays at 11am on Zoom.

There are quite a number of us who regularly exercise limbs and do cardiovascular moves which improve our well-being and mood. It’s surprising what a workout she gives us. There are some standing poses as well, if you can stand, so we do not sit down for the whole half hour session. It’s fun and light-hearted as the name suggests.

Michelle adapted after lockdown to set up Live Streaming sessions together with entries on Facebook so that when the ‘The Fitness Family’, as Michelle calls us, are not able to join a ‘live class’ they can catch up later on a recorded one.

We used to meet in the Grammar School Hall but since lockdown the alternative format has been a lifesaver. She runs other classes called Core Stretch and I Move Freely for the more mobile in the community. Michelle puts a lot of hours into thinking up new routines and even has a slot on Radio Leicester on Sundays. We receive a weekly newsletter each Sunday too via email. The equipment needed is things like tins of baked beans as weights, a ball or cushion, some bands or tights, all easily found in the home. We have even been able to go on a ‘virtual’ holiday recently. This has been a great help during lockdown to keep in touch with people outside our own household and a fantastic boost for those living on their own. Thanks Michelle and keep up the good work.

Secondly, I would like to thank Annie Bladon of AFB Dance Academy who has adapted our sessions previously held in St Wilfrid’s Church Hall onTuesday evenings. Again, Annie has taken us onto Zoom classes each Tuesday at 10.30am. Our group called ‘No Sweat’ has been able to still carry out aerobic exercise combined with some cardio in the comfort of our own living rooms. Annie also holds ballet classes for adults and children.

It’s surprising what a ‘can do’ attitude has come out of the lockdown. It is wonderful to see neighbours and strangers communicating and helping each other out. I imagine it is similar to the wartime, when people rallied and discovered their true potential in a crisis. My father is very stoic about this time as he has lived and fought in a war, however, he is now in a care home in the North West of England at the grand age of 97 next birthday in July.

I have found technology really helpful during this period as it has enabled my husband and me to keep in touch with family. I read to my grandchildren aged six and three most days via Facetime. What’s App has also been a great medium for cheering people up with funny videos and texts. It’s so rewarding to put a smile on someone’s face.

Let’s hope that we can see an end to this pandemic sooner rather than later as it has certainly been a rather sobering experience.

Congratulations also to all the members of Kibworth Community Library who have kept us informed about the services we can take advantage of. The delivering books to people’s homes has been so useful.

Sue Jackson

Editor’s note: as one who also attends Michelle’s classes via Zoom, I heartily endorse Sue’s comments.

Thank you to Michelle, Annie and all those in our communities who have shown such adaptability and positivity during the Covid-19 pandemic. You have made the new normal more acceptable, less depressing and inspired us to “keep smiling through!”