The Freedom of Isolation

Back in March, I had a phone call from my GP telling me that I was on the list of people who were considered to be highly vulnerable due to covid-19. For the nine weeks since that phone call, I’ve gone in to isolation and not left the house.

I’ve temporarily left Oxford and moved back in with my parents so that I’ve got access to a little outside space. Whilst spending time in the garden has been a saving grace, it feels somewhat like I’m moving backwards in my recovery rather than forwards. Last spring, I placed a huge reliance on my parents for every day tasks like showering and cooking for myself. I’ve worked really hard to gain back as much of my independance as possible and I can’t help but feel like I’ve lost some of it again.

Admittedly, it hasn’t all been bad. Spending more time with my parents has been nice, and I’ve certainly not missed spending an hour a day commuting. Being in isolation has in a way given me some freedom. I’d been focussed on getting my life back on track and not realised how much I was cramming in to every day. Staying at home has made me realise that it’s okay to take a break from my hectic life sometimes. Life goes on if I don’t partake in every opportunity available to me. It’s often hard to remember that when you’re doing your best to get your life back on track.

Earlier this week, I experienced a totally different kind of freedom. I got the call from my doctors that I’ve been waiting for for nine weeks. It’s now considered safe for me to leave my isolation and start venturing outside. There are still limitations to what I can do. For example, I’m only allowed out first thing in the morning or late at night. Not as much freedom as healthy people have at the moment, but I’ll take it.

So, on Thursday morning, I left the house for the first time since March. I donned my running shoes and did a lap of the village. I’d not been for a run since early March, so I wasn’t expecting much. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The ease of running that I’d worked so hard on since I started training hasn’t gone far. After a kilometre, I eased in to a comfortable pace and enjoyed the rest of the run.

Now that I’ve got a little of my physical freedom back, I’m going to get back on track for running the marathon in October. If it goes ahead, that is. I’m hoping that difficulties I’ve had in the past like balance and fatigue won’ rear their ugly heads again.

Whilst I’m looking forward to the whole country getting back on its feet, I’m going to remember the freedom I’ve felt whilst in isolation. When I go back to Oxford, I’ll rebuild my life for the second year in a row. This time, I’ll try to remember that it’s nice to take a break sometimes. Maybe a break shorter than nine weeks though.

Whilst my life has been less hectic recently, things haven’t got any quieter for Headway. They’ve switched to a virtual Activity & Rehabilitation Centre and desperately need support for their covid-19 emergency fund. Please do consider donating to them by visiting my fundraising page.

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