As we look towards the return of uni life and adapting our sense of normality, we asked two of our members to reflect and share their lockdown experience; from training to socials and all the struggles in between.
Almost everyone will struggle to motivate themselves at some point in their training, but lockdown probably took this phenomenon to a whole new level for a lot of people.
Personally, I had been lucky enough to get my hands on an erg early on and while I missed training alongside other people, I kept the training load fairly constant at first. With the introduction of zoom club-circuit-sessions, I felt like I could hold on to a piece of normality and routine even during uncertain times, and getting to chat to people added some much needed social interaction (I don't think I have ever done as much core-work in my life, purely because daily video-core-sessions were the ideal opportunity to catch up with my flatmates once we had moved out).
Marathon May certainly was a training highlight as far as the past few months are concerned, and it was absolutely amazing to see everyone contributing to it. Strava soon became one of the most used apps on my phone because there wasn't much else to do other than trying to figure out who'd come up with the funniest captions for their workouts.
At the same time, we were pushing our way up in the Scottish Rowing Lockdown league, and seeing DUBC rack up the meters helped me push myself so I could log a few more workouts. As we wrapped up the fundraiser and with it the semester of training, I personally reached the dreaded motivation low-point. I didn't want to stop training but at the same time it felt very repetitive and a bit pointless. It wasn't until I managed to finally book a flight back home that I took the opportunity to rethink my motivation for training and what I want to get out of it.
Without the erg, I stopped trying to stick to any specific training plan and started spending a lot more time cycling and running, as well as getting back into crew boats thanks to the more relaxed social distancing rules back home. I don't miss erging as much as I thought I would, and while I look forward to coming back to Dundee, the pandemic forced me to take a much needed break that I wouldn't have taken otherwise. Whichever way the situation develops, I hope we will keep trying to find the positive aspects of it and using the challenges along the way to grow and improve.
1st Year Rower
Training in lockdown has been a new sort of challenge that has certainly been something that was tricky to adapt to. Going from a sociable training environment with friends and with goals and races to work towards, to training by yourself and most likely very limited equipment was a shock to the system.
The mental aspect of keeping motivated to train and push oneself has been a larger obstacle than I had anticipated. Initially, at the very start of lockdown, I think it was quite straightforward to continue a similar fitness routine to what I was used to before lockdown. As time went on, it was very easy to fall out of love with training as there was no real end goal in sight for me. The process felt as though it was all about setting mini-goals such as a certain time on the rowing machine or a minimum distance for a run/cycle. This too became difficult mentally as the days were not filled in with anything else for me, so fitness was the one and only thing I was really thinking about.
Marathon May was a really good idea and motivated me to push myself as much as I could. This endeavor was just the thing that was required to focus the mind, or certainly my mind, as there was a target that had to be reached. The social aspect was highly beneficial too as seeing someone else post a workout would inspire me to put some mileage in that day, and in turn, I hope I inspired someone to do the same. One great feature of DUBC is the willingness to help one another and the joint circuit sessions via Zoom provided a bit of routine in the week. It was something to look forward to and even the simple act of seeing others and communicating was a great motivating factor for the current or upcoming week.
I feel as though DUBC has been a helpful resource during this period of uncertainty. Being able to erg and do circuits with others via video calls has benefitted my fitness progress and helped a lot mentally. Even away from training, Zoom quizzes and discussions have been a nice addition to the otherwise lack of activity and again gives us a chance to interact with each other. Overall, training in lockdown has been a sort of experiment and a chance to push myself as much as possible. It has and will continue to be a unique challenge, but something in which I am looking forward to and will make the eventual reunions worth it.