• Tyler Valencia

Car Wash Disco and Other Highlights

WOW – we’ve finally gotten through March and I have to say, I feel like I am in captivity. Maybe because I received a notice from where I work that we will be at home the entire month of April (and then we’ll see about the month of May). Not very promising, but until then…I continue to take my daily walks to get out and will embrace this new “normal” routine until otherwise notified.

As I walked around today, I did something different. I noticed the beauty in my neighborhood and actually stopped to take a couple pictures. There was a light breeze, the sun felt a little warmer, and there were not as many people out as there have been in previous weeks.

The blooms on many of the cacti are opening up, and it’s quite a sight! I never realized how many neighbors had cacti in their front yard until today. I just couldn’t get over how many were in full bloom. My small garden also has a couple strawberries, so that is exciting. I may be picking them soon, as they have that deep, bright color and look ready to enjoy. I did have a beautiful basil plant since I use basil for cooking, but the caterpillars destroyed it. Now it’s me against them to protect my tomato plants!

Like many of you, I had to go to the store this weekend. I honestly didn’t want to, but I needed to grab a few things. I was happy to see more safety measures are now in place, like Plexiglas between you and the clerk. I went to Fry’s at 8 o’clock in the morning and the shelves remain empty of any paper products.

I had one of those “Walking Dead” moments when I braved Costco and Sam’s Club this weekend, as there are no paper products there either, limited amounts of canned goods, and many of the processed food like boxed rice, boxed instant potatoes, Ramen soup -- all gone.

I made a point to reach out to EACH ONE of my students independently last week. I usually do a group email, but I wanted to make sure I was able to reach out to each one and get their individual take on what is currently happening. Their thoughts, their fears, anxiety they feel, the challenges they are having with motivation, and how they are sticking to a routine.

One of my students said she laid on the couch and ate an entire jar of peanut butter in an hour’s time. Another student told me that she and her husband retreated to Flagstaff, took the dogs, and are enjoying the great outdoors in the snow.

I’m always interested in the creative ways people find to stick to a schedule or how they realize there are now more obstacles at home than they anticipated. So many people struggle minute to minute as they face an uneasy climate that probably keeps them up at night and lingers in their head most of the day, especially if they are not working or have adopted a new routine at home. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.


My challenges haven’t been too bad. For work, I did get new office furniture and I received a stand-up desk that is making my life a whole lot easier. No more sitting for long hours as I try to complete projects. The stand-up desk was a wonderful investment that some co-workers have been encouraging me to get for quite a while! Due to my new office and the stand-up desk, I am now experimenting with static stretches and doing some barre work – so getting a workout while I work. I have actually felt much better, the strain on my lower back is now gone, and my neck and shoulders are not as tight. I highly recommend a stand-up desk!

At the end of my stand-up workday, I look forward to figuring out what I’m going to make for dinner that night. For the first time, it’s been a pleasure to make dinner, plan it ahead of time, and not be in a rush. Funny the things we take for granted! Another “first” for me was going with my husband to the new car wash they opened not far from the house. It was the very first time I had ever been in a car wash where you stayed in the car! I had a good time and thought it was completely awesome! It made me feel like I was teaching a disco class with all the lights and noises.

Funny that going through a car wash was the highlight of my weekend - I’ll blame it on the awesome disco lights! In a world where we are practicing social distancing, the car wash (and the light show) was a welcome surprise. It’s the little things that put a smile on my face.

I will continue to have struggles like everyone else, but for now the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing outside, and I’m exercising at my desk as I work. LOVE IT!

-Charlene Tate (Guest Blogger, Fitness Pro, and Friend)

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