Gyms return for a fortnight

A short-lived return to normalcy

The provincial government allowed gyms to re-open with social-distancing measures in place. File Photo Esteban Cuevas

When the Quebec government announced that they would reopen the gyms, I was excited. The last six months were a struggle. 

Besides occasional outdoor runs, I did not have a place to exercise consistently. I do not have the place to create an at-home gym, nor do I have the money to afford the equipment. Even if I did have the equipment, I do not think I would be as motivated to train every day as when I am physically able to go to the gym. That is why when the government announced they were going to reopen the gyms, I could not wait.

Gyms reopened on March 26th, and on that same day, I was there. That first day was rough. I never felt that weak in my life. It was as if I was back in high school, and I was going to the gym for the very first time. I would not say I was an extremely strong person before all the lockdowns, but I was training four to five times a week. Going from that to not training at all for six-plus months had a massive effect on me. Add in a couple of months of unhealthy eating on top of that. With all this, I was ready for the grind that was ahead of me. I missed it. It did not deter me that I had pretty much lost all the strength I worked so hard on building over the last couple of years. I was ready to put in the work I needed to build my strength up again. 

Those first couple of days were difficult. It had nothing to do with the added measures they made us do at the gym to ensure that the gym was clean. I did not mind wearing a mask either; I was just happy to be back in the gym. My biggest problem was that everything felt extremely heavy. Exercising with weights that I would normally warm up with is something I now struggle to hit ten reps. After every workout, I was sorer and sorer, but I did not want to take a day off because I had no clue how much longer they were going to stay open. I think I took one day off that first week to give my body some rest and make sure I did not hurt myself like I often did before. 

Just as I was starting to feel good, the government had other plans. Nearly two weeks after opening up the gyms again, the Premier Francois Legault announced it was time to close them again, with the number of positive covid cases rising. It was tough news to hear. I have gone through the process before, starting back at the gym after a long layoff. The news could not come at a worse time. As I was getting back into the groove of things, the government took it away. When I got the news, I was having trouble dealing with it, all that hard work and pain for nothing.

Now we wait. It is starting to look like we will have to wait until every single person gets vaccinated before they allow gyms to stay open for good. At our current trajectory, that does not look like it will be happening anytime soon. The only positive to all this is the weather getting nicer, so I will be shifting my exercise to playing sports every day I can. Let us hope the Quebec Government does not take that away from us as well.