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Wellness Wednesday

How One Member is Staying Active During the Pandemic

Jo’Ann GodshallI’m so excited to have a very special guest for this week’s blog. Jo’Ann Godshall is an avid hiker and a TOPS Advocate for South Central Pennsylvania. I had the opportunity to ask Jo’Ann how she’s managed to stay active and overcome setbacks over the past few months of what has been an extremely-challenging year.

Q: How has your fitness routine changed since the beginning of the pandemic?
A: In the first part of 2020, I stayed moderately active by hiking (in a group or solo) and walking around town. Then shelter in place happened. Like a good citizen, I stayed inside. That lasted for about two weeks—cabin fever is real! I started hiking and, if a trailhead was crowded, I went elsewhere. I used a neck gaiter as a face mask when passing other hikers. The number one priority was to stay safe. Soon I was hiking seven days a week, four to six hours at a time. After about three months of this, I learned what burnout was. For three days, I did little but sleep, get up to eat and not much else.

Q: That sounds tough! How did you deal with this?
A: When burnout happens, you learn your limits. Exercising is great, but I had to dial back the frequency. After about a week, I started back by walking, staying off the hiking trail except for maybe once a week. Sunrise walks with Facebook Live became a habit. If I missed a day, I’d have TOPS pals messaging me to see if I was okay. The support of my TOPS pals from all over kept me motivated and on track.

Jo’Ann Godshall biking

Jo’Ann mixes up hiking with biking.

I started hiking again in September with my hiking group, TOPS pals and the occasional solo trek. Toward the end of September, I started TOPS walks/hikes/bike rides for my area. For the first event, I was a team of one. By the next event, people started to show up. This has been great and, on the plus side, if I schedule an event, I must show up—accountability!

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself and your fitness journey during the pandemic?
A: I have learned that I need the support that TOPS supplies. I was lost without the weekly meetings so I did something about it. I started weekly virtual meetings, which soon became twice-weekly. Talk about support! The overwhelming support that I received from TOPS members during these meetings kept me on track and accountable.

I also learned that I must stay active within reason. I hope I never experience burnout again.

Q: Do you have any fitness goals that either you have already achieved or would like to achieve?
A: My vision for 2020 was to walk/move 2,020 miles by December 31, 2020. As of October 14, 2020, I’ve gotten 2,244.065 miles.

Goal achieved!

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