Submitted by:  Bradley Arendse

Locked down for 21 days, what to do, where to go. . . anywhere, if you allow yourself to and if you are an eager, hard working, passionately driven individual.  Nothing can stand in your way. 

Staying in has never been an issue for me and my family.  We are not the ‘weekend getaway, fancy restaurant, social gathering, and have to be somewhere every weekend’ type of people.  After being diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure, 7 years ago, we adapted quite well to circumstances, but I dreaded to imagine what this lockdown would mean for my health. 

One, I had a kidney transplant a few months ago and I am on immune suppression medications.  One of my meds is a type of steroid, which means I eat the whole day.  Two, I will gain weight as I need a way to burn those extra calories as much as possible. Three, I enjoy cycling, probably my only away time from home and that also now has been removed.  But I understand the situation and comply with all the rules and regulations for my health and those surrounding me.

But where there is good, I say “There can be better.”

Question? How was I to stay in shape, burn some calories, and keep fit?  My new kidney is 5 months in my body and physically I’m in a good space.  But where there is good, I say “There can be better.”

What and how do I do this?

Well, easy, I get up at 7:00. I enjoy a nice bowl of cereal, some coffee, get fresh, and get out.  I do not have a massive yard, I cannot even run a lap around my house, and if I do that I would have to run through the kitchen and living room knocking down almost everything. 

My space to exercise is limited to 7m x 3m.  Add to that, I have three dogs that, whenever I start exercising, think it is playtime.  So I get out, move the car and start my morning gym session.

First up, stretches, warm ups, any way to move in this small space to get my blood pumping and muscles loosened.  I will run a few laps to and from the gate, front door to gate, and eventually move on to the heavier stuff. 

This is exactly the point where my discipline and motivation is tested

By heavy stuff, I am referring to bricks, pavers, wooden poles, anything that has a weight that I can easily balance.  I use these to build mass, and I have even filled some empty soda bottles to use as dumbbells.

There’s only so much I can do in such a small space.   But because I’m at home doesn’t mean I have to slack off.  NO!  Because this is exactly the point where my discipline and motivation is tested.  If I cannot do it here, why do it anywhere else?

I push and push, because I do this for me, lockdown or not.  Whatever is happening is just another stepping stone to build on, I use those steps to build good, strong and fast running legs.  Too bad I can’t cycle, but it won’t stop me.  I have had had my fair share of knocks in life.

Whatever is happening is just another stepping stone to build on.

I do this routine every second day.  On alternating days, I hang with the family, fix a few things in and around the house, and I have created space for my son to play.  I help with the cooking, we laugh, and we play cards, listen to some music, and sometimes just stand at the gate and watch the police operate.

Obviously I sanitize and wash those hands.  Being a transplant patient I always have sanitizer and masks available, and now I have to do it more than regularly.  At every tap in our house, we only have two, but one is connected to the washing machine, so basically just the one tap, there is a bar of soap and some alcohol hand sanitizer.  In and out, wash them dirty hands and staying inside is not a problem. 

As a result of my health, the doctors advised me to leave work and focus on healing.  I believe one of the other reason I work so hard is that I cannot sit around and wait for lockdown to pass. The hope I have of getting back to work is a big motivator.  Fortunately I was granted a social benefit and could stock up on some food supplies, so I don’t have to go out again. 

Now is the time to realize what life is all about.

It is unfortunate that my living space is not suitable for indoor training, with the rainy days upon us, but I’m sure I’ll find a way to improvise, for now, I snuggle, tucked in, and enjoy some quality family time.

What I can say is this, I have my life, I have my family.  I can breathe and I can see, feel, and smell.   I am alive, do you really need anything else?  Now is the time to realize what life is all about.  Appreciate these moments, treasure them, for every single moment leads up to an amazing memory and “One day of good memories can lead to a lifetime of joy.”  That is what I always say.


Edited By: Michelle Pagel

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