Like most people (I assume), I want nothing more than for this pandemic to be over, to be able to spend time with my friends and family, feel safe going out and eating at a restaurant, travel again and have life go back to “normal.” Unfortunately for all of us, the end still seem far off. Yet, I’m still seeing crowds at football games, families having parties and people at the gym without their masks. I hate to break it to you, but it’s these types of things that are keeping us in this horrid state, and it’s prolonging our return to real life. I, in no way, mean this as a political post, but if for some reason you’re seeing it that way, then go ahead and stop reading now, because it’s only going to get worse for you. (For real, stop reading and go about your day if you think I’m taking a political stance, this is not about politics.)
Now, for those who are still with me, I wanted to share my experience so far wearing a mask while working out. I wear a mask every time I’m working out and I’m not in my own home. When I’m at the park, when I’m on a run or walk, and especially at the gym. I wear a mask for one reason, and for one reason only, the CDC states “wearing a mask helps to protect others in your community.” Plain and simple. This isn’t about me, it’s about other people. Do I like wearing a mask? No. Would I wear a mask if experts didn’t think it helped? Nope. But, I’m grown up enough for it to not bother me, I can deal with it and I’m also humble enough to know that experts and medical professionals know more than me.
- Wearing a mask isn’t fun. No one said it was. I definitely adjust my workouts when I’m wearing one, mostly, with less cardio. Yet, I’ve still gone running while wearing a mask. You know the first thing I’ve learned? I can do it. I’ll reiterate, I don’t enjoy wearing a mask, but can I wear one, get a good workout in and in the process have peace of mind that I’ve helped keep those around me a little safer? Yes!
- The second thing I’ve learned while wearing a mask while working out is: I didn’t die. The world didn’t end and life as we know it didn’t come crashing down. Oh, but you know when life did come crashing down? When we didn’t wear masks! Simply put, if you wear a mask, the world won’t end and you won’t die.
- Lastly, I’ve learned that wearing a mask while working out doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it can only be helpful to those around you. Maybe it’s a little uncomfortable for me every now and then, but it’s not doing me any harm. I can breathe, I can move, I can burn calories and still build muscle all while wearing one.
If you’re having trouble wearing a mask while at the gym or around other people, then it’s probably best for you to stay home and get your workout done there. The only way we’re going to slow the spread of this pandemic, is to be mindful of those around us and keep others safe. I wear a mask because I may be asymptomatic and I don’t want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution.
This concludes my TedTalk.
*I should also mention that there is a mask mandate in the state of New Mexico (where I live), stating that mask are required in all public spaces.