The Ultimate Quarantine Training Program

Guaranteed to make you 30 years younger or permanently injured

Photo credit: Markus Spiske from Unplash

BeachBody. P90X. Brazilian Butt. Barry’s Bootcamp. Bringing Sally Up and Down. I’ve tried it all over the last decade. But about 10 weeks ago, I stumbled across this unbelievable new program called “Training Every Day with No Break and No Help with Kids in Quarantine.” Catchy title, right? I thought so too.

This program — let’s call it TEDQ — begins at 6 am, even on weekends, and does not end until at least 8 pm. You can’t squeeze this program into your lunch hour or do it every other day. This is no abbreviated, pre-vacation, “I-want-to-fit-into-my-swim-suit” 14-day shred. When you commit to TEDQ, you are committing every waking hour of every day (and a few 2 am sessions), and no one can tell you when you will reach your goal. (Actually, no one cares about your goal.)

Qualified trainers are critical to this program. They are ideally between the ages 4 and 8 — too young to be left unsupervised, but old enough to go all day with no rest. Top trainers have an aversion to sedentary activities and resist long screen-times in spite of all modern addiction models. These trainers are the soul children of Dennis the Menace, Pippi Longstocking, and MacGyver and live by the motto, “I’ll sit when I’m old.” They generally dismiss coloring within any lines — literal or figurative — and are drawn to danger like a fly to…

Remember that these trainers are used to working in large groups of similarly high-impact, energetic people with virtually no judgement. Since they have committed to working solely with you through this unusual training program, they expect you to rise to the occasion and find the energy of about 100 people inside of you. You need to play soccer, baseball, basketball, ride bikes, hike, jump rope, play hide-and-seek, and play house. And that is just the morning of day 1.

These trainers use quite unconventional methods to help you reach your new 25,000 step goal, like leaving behind valuable items, forcing you do an extra sprint for retrieval. They will attack each other and need to be separated. They often get injured and need to be removed from the high branches of a tree. Or your roof.

“It’s 45 degrees and we figured out how to turn on the sprinklers.” (Photo credit: C. Stevenson)

Didn’t know you had that muscle? You do now. But injuries do not disqualify you from the program. I pinched a nerve in my neck last week while climbing over a fence, but I had no choice other than to put on a brace and continue my training. These trainers will make sure every single muscle in the human body is activated every single day; TEDQ is the steroids of “muscle confusion.”

Need a minute to yourself? You can try to go into the bathroom and close the door, but these trainers generally see closed doors as unnecessary, and, frankly, as lack of commitment to their program.

Some friends and family members may not understand your dedication to this special training program. They will question your inability to join them for “virtual happy hours” and other cute quarantine events in which people who are not training from dawn to dusk can indulge. Explain to them that your hungry trainers expect you to make a hearty meal early in the evening, which will take the last sliver of energy left in your body.

But don’t pass out just yet. You still need to zombie your way through bathing your trainers, reading to your trainers, and likely making several more trips into your trainers’ rooms to deal with last minute thirst, a possible monster under his/her bed, and the removal of a tag on the pajamas that, by the way, has been there for 3 months but only just became unbearable that night.

Honestly, though, you don’t need to take my word for it. Just listen to the real feedback from others with me in this same program:

“I feel like I’m losing my mind I’m so tired.” — Mom J

“I am more tired than I was post-partum.” — Mom L

“Holy f***ing sh**, I am struggling.” — Mom K

“I reach 7 o’clock and that’s it.” — Dad R

(Silence and blank stare) — Mom A

Yes, sometimes I want to quit. Those are the nights that I eat handfuls of frozen M&Ms that I have hidden in the back of my freezer or an entire bag of spicy queso chips. Or both. And there is always wine. I often do this and feel really good about dismantling all the hard work my trainer has put me through that day.

But then, watching the coffee maker drip at 5:30 am, I realize that I can’t quit. These trainers don’t have any other clients right now. They used to have a whole village of people to train: dozens of clients during school, dozens of clients after school, specialists, coaches, friends, and extended family members. Now all they have is me and my hopeless goals of rejuvenating by middle-aged body and re-learning every childhood activity ever known.

All good training programs give their guarantees of success. Some promise weight loss. Some promise peak performance. The TEDQ training program has very realistic guarantees: you will either succeed in becoming 30 years younger, or you will hurt yourself, permanently. I’m playing the odds. Wish me luck.

Writer, editor, mom, loss mom, and big fan of science. Full Profile on LinkedIn.

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