• Countries Visited: 22
  • Travel Wishlist: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, France, Bali, Brazil, Argentina, Africa, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver
  • Locked down in: Chicago, USA

You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run

I’ve found that the key to retaining any semblance of a positive mental attitude throughout the pandemic has been getting my steps in. 

Now, I should step back and acknowledge that I’m very fortunate. I haven’t faced any economic anxiety throughout the pandemic, at a time where many around the world and many in my industry of sports media have been dramatically affected. I have a fantastic wife and a 21-month-old daughter and so I have not been in lonely isolation, even at the height of lockdown. While being all cooped up certainly presents some different challenges, it’s clearly a net positive that I haven’t been going it alone.

Despite all that, there are definitely dark days. Ones where there seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, that these peculiar circumstances that cause considerable friction with our innate sociality will never cease. 

But that’s where the steps come in. Every time I put in my earbuds and walk for several miles, I come out the other side in a much more positive state of mind. 

This is going to get more challenging as the days in Chicago get shorter, colder, and darker, but I’ve been shooting to walk between five and ten miles per day, at least five days a week. Sometimes there are a couple days where I slip up, but I’ve managed to keep pretty solidly on track for seven months. Getting the endorphins flowing puts me in a mindset where I count my blessings instead of lamenting about everything we’re all missing out on.

And, whether this is accurate or not, I’ve trained my mind to think of all this as almost like a video game where the final boss is getting to next summer. There will of course be setbacks and it’s a lot easier to say this in October than January or February when it’s cold, dark, wet, and miserable, but I think by next summer the world is going to have at least adapted enough to this virus for there to be a semblance of normalcy.

To bring this all home: My advice for the next time anyone is feeling down is to go outside in the sunlight and walk at least 3-4 miles. You’re likely to feel refreshed and optimistic by the end of it.