There are parallels between the attitude one requires for endurance sports and that of enduring a long drawn event like this pandemic. We are on the 96th day of the pandemic. There are a mix of experiences that one hears from friends and acquaintances. We tend to rely on our prior life experiences to tackle the ones in the present and the future. This is where differences arise. Our ability to get through these times are also a function of our perception of time (what is long terms vs what is short), current stage in life (commitments and responsibilities) and more importantly, attitude. While the other variables may not be easy to change immediately, attitude can be changed. In these long spells of days with limited mobility and variation it takes a different skill to continue and keep chipping time away. Those who have been in endurance sports know this well. A multi-day cycle ride requires a persistence that our daily life generally does not require. But it is these low probability and high impact events like the pandemic where it comes handy. Those with high levels of persistence are thriving as I see.
To not need external stimulus to go about daily life, not need a feedback often and continue on one’s own strategy can make it simpler to get through the pandemic. Social distancing has made it difficult to be in groups. Those who relied on collective efforts and team sports will find it tough without a group. This could be the time to try solo activities that rely heavily on one’s own external stimulus free, self-driven effort.
It has been interesting to speak to friends and people at work to know how they are coping with these days. Often, that leads to a reference to their attitudes to life in the present and what they see as future. Invariably, I see those ideas to be significantly shaped by skills and perspective that they have built in other walks of life such as sports, hobbies or activities that they did not necessarily think too hard about when they chose it. Perhaps, diversity of activities in one’s life is a useful indicator of their coping skills when it comes to long running and high impact events as the pandemic.