When waiting in an ambush you can’t do much. Lying in wait for an enemy to pass, barely moving, trying to make as little noise as possible for fear of giving away your position and alerting the enemy to your presence, sometimes for weeks at a time. Of course, nobody could lie in wait the entire time; we all have to eat and sleep – even guardsmen. So, long ambushes are done in shifts. Relief crawls in from an administration area often a very long way from where the ambush is set and the relieved soldiers crawl back to eat, sleep and administer themselves. Now we’re not lying in wait for hours on end only being relieved by colleagues crawling through mud but there are some interesting parallels to be drawn between ambushes and being on lockdown.
- With little to do and fewer places to go, we need to focus our minds
- You’re inactive for longer periods
- Routine is needed for effective administration.
Let’s address the first point. In an ambush you get really, really bored. Unable to move or talk lest you give away your position you learn to find entertainment in the most trivial of things. Watching leaves blowing in the wind and waiting to see it any are blown to a specific point you’ve previously chosen or trying to count all the leaves of a tree (super impossible but really makes the time disappear). Similarly, under this lockdown I’ve had to find amusement and entertainment in other things. Being who I am, I’ve amused myself recently by placing used toilet rolls on shelves then kicking them off. The goal being to kick each roll once, so it flies off the shelf but without hitting the shelf it’s on. I’ve been turning the lights on and off with slow, controlled kicks too.
Being inactive for longer than usual is the biggest similarity. Yet lying still for hours at a time is much tougher than only being allowed out once per day to exercise. Now the super fit among us may be able to go for a stupidly long run for several hours but for the rest of us that would be far too much and would lead to over training and muscles which won’t want to work the following day. So, don’t overdo it. In this current lockdown whilst we’re less active we also need to make healthier food choices. Even with exercise, we’re going to be using considerably fewer calories per day, so the bag of M&M’s will take a lot more to burn off.
Because of the first two points, implementing and sticking to a routine is necessary. During normal working life we tend to have a routine thrust upon us. Waking up in time for work, having lunch at lunchtime, exercise at a regular time and place, etc. Under lockdown if we don’t adhere to a routine, we’ll find ourselves succumbing to boredom, overeating and our sleeping patterns are likely to get very weird.
How do we deal with these problems? Implement a routine and adhere to it.
- Set alarms for waking, training, and mealtimes so you don’t oversleep, overeat, or slack off with training.
- Set and stick to mealtimes and most importantly, don’t snack between meals. If you’re less active, you require less food. You really need to make a conscious effort to consume fewer calories than if you were going to work every day.
- Exercise to tire yourself enough that you can go to sleep on time. Staying awake too late disturbs your sleeping pattern.
- Don’t try breaking records when you train. This can lead to injury and/or over training. The last thing you want is an injury as that’ll mean even longer doing even less! Increase time rather than difficulty to advance your training. This will help prevent injuries.
- Devote a little more time to stretching. We’ve all been given loads of extra time. Stretching is often neglected and spending an extra 5-10 minutes stretching after you train can help improve your flexibility for when you get back in the dojo.
A great way to keep active will be with our online classes, check out this link Xen-Do Online and join us for classes in your home.
We are an army, together we will endure!
We are lying in wait, keep focused, stay alert, the day will come for us all to come out of hiding and attack our future with full force!
We look forward to seeing you all online and back in your dojo as soon as humanly possible.