Living in Amber

We're mostly past the threshold for patience. We want to go sit down inside a restaurant without fear and loathing; hang out with our friends and maybe even give them a hug; or take a trip to see a family member and not have a panic attack about how we're going to get there.

As athletes, we are doing everything we can to retain a sense of normalcy. We've expanded our at home gym equipment. We've discovered new trails to ride and run. We are willing to swim at ungodly hours to avoid a crowd, if we're lucky enough to have access to a pool with capacity.

We miss breaking a sweat with 300 other like-minded people. We miss unabashedly lining up to munch down on post race food. We miss being a part of the crowd.

And we're not at the finish line yet. It's coming, but there are still a few twists and turns for us to navigate to get there. We cannot give up.

Time has been suspended in many ways. Sure, our kids continue to grow, you've discovered more gray hair, and if you've been lucky enough to hold onto your career, stuff is happening there. But most of our social and pop-culture life has been frozen in amber. I mean, there were no Marvel movies released in 2020! It's not normal. And not normal is stressful.

So what sage advice can I offer? I'm running out! Keep taking it day by day. Practice yoga and mediation to calm your mind and retain focus. Find creative ways to stay occupied. Play board games with your family. Build something. Paint something. Read something. Find patience. Live day to day and moment to moment.

Stop reading the news by 10am. They just want you to keep clicking.

Give lots of hugs to your immediate household members.

Love your neighbor. Wear a mask and stay away from them.

See you on the other side!

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon coach who lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Marty has been coaching endurance athletes since 2002. You can read more about OSB coaching services at