Our Daily Breather was a daily series where we asked writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helped them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. The series concluded on June 13, 2020. Many writers and artists suggested running, working out and other physical activties; here, we've collected some of their recommendations.
Who: Katherine Paul aka Black Belt Eagle Scout
Recommendation: Going for walks
Katherine Paul recommended keeping moving to keep calm: "To keep calm, I try and go outside for a little bit each day, whether it's a walk around my apartment complex or a hike nearby. I have time now to pick up my guitar and play around and I've even started playing games on my phone because, while usually I don't do this, I just need my mind to not go to panic mode and this helps. I think doing things one normally does not do is totally fine during this time because we don't have a normal anymore, we have to create a new one."
Who: Steve Aoki
Where: Las Vegas, Nev.
Recommendation: Starting a daily workout plan
Steve Aoki shared his "Aoki Bootcamp" and some advice about keeping yourself accountable to a fitness routine: "There's two things that work for me. Before you start, put a goal, so you have already a plan in mind. And two is: group accountability. So if you want to lose some weight and gain some muscle, you want to gain some energy — find that friend of yours that is willing to do this with you."
Who: Jennifer Koh
Where: New York, N.Y.
Recommendation: Finding a source of fearlessness and joy
Jennifer Koh is finding joy on her new trampoline: "The first steps I made towards survival was physical. I washed my hands and didn't touch my face. I made music for solace. But I was not engaging with life; I was only performing the physical precautions we must now take in this time. How could I throw caution to the wind and engage with reckless abandonment even if it was only in a tiny space in my life? How could I experience fearlessness again?
I bought a trampoline. I jump up and down on it like a child without a care in the world. I found the place for reckless abandonment and fearlessness and joy and happiness. Fun is to be found in a trampoline."
Who: Alice Bag
Where: Los Angeles, Calif.
Recommendation: Home workout videos
Alice Bag has been posting workout videos on YouTube: "Making up exercise routines is challenging but it's fun and forces me to be creative. I use my favorite upbeat punk songs that never fail to energize me and I post them on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook so that others can join me if they want to. The moves are pretty easy; I make mistakes and laugh at myself and hope others feel like they can also just get up and move, have fun and lighten the mood."
Who: Lyndsey McKenna
Where: Washington, D.C.
Lyndsey McKenna has been taking inspiration from Boston Marathon winner Des Linden: "'Once I got over the fact that I wasn't going to drop out, it was like, "Just show up for one more mile,"' Linden told NPR. 'Show up for one more minute.' It was a mantra Linden had shared earlier in her training cycle; her historic victory was proof of the possibilities that present themselves when you make that decision.
Ever since then, I've kept a Post-It note with those words at my desk at NPR HQ. Of course, I haven't seen the actual Post-In in months, but that simple phrase feels even more powerful these days when I lace up for a long run."
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