A Lonely Gym Goer

I thought it was a really funny picture. Since there is no mask mandate in our gym, and although some people wear masks, not everybody does, I only go there very early in the morning, wear a mask and leave when the first person after me arrives. I took this picture when I was leaving the gym last week, and this first person just came in.

New Year’s Motivations

This year might be not exactly a year to have a resolution about going to the gym, because… well, everybody knows why. Still, trying to keep my tradition of motivating people to exercise, I am posting the pictures I took in my home gym with minimal equipment On December 31 and January 1. I am not saying, you can do it no matter what, but I am saying, you can definitely do something :).

Now I am back to maintaining this balance on both left and right side for 40 sec
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Our Outdoor Gym – One More Time

I am trying to use to the fullest the last days of summer when it is still warm enough to exercise outdoor, and there is still a possibility to catch some daylight before work. The latter possibility will be over pretty soon, but I am still able to use our outdoor gym for now.
I start my strength training sessions at home, in my home gym, and use my TRX and dumbells and my yoga ball. And then, I walk to the “Outdoor fitness park,” as I now know, it is called! I was very pleased to see this plaque and to learn that our outdoor gym is nationally recognized! It deserves that!

Visiting the Gym

On Sunday, I went to my local gym for the third time since its reopening last Friday. The first time, I went there to check it out on the first day. Then I want twice, checking the early morning situation on both weekdays and weekends. And I decided that for the time being, I will use it only as a last resort. If it will be pouring rain and I won’t be able to bike or walk. At least until fall. 

Here is why. It’s a 24X7 facility, so the situation depends solely on how the individual members behave, but the management still has ways to encourage the desired behavior. On Tuesday, there were only three people except me in the gym, but theses three people were socializing (and they were not one household). Yes, by the governor’s order, masks are not required in the gyms, but people should think for themselves, especially when they choose to socialize. 

There is no explicit marking on the floor regarding the 6 feet distance; the blue dots are in random places. Out of six disinfecting wipes disposers, five were empty. One bottle of hand sanitizer was empty. Yes, I know it was a long weekend, but in the situation of a pandemic, this should not happen. 

I wore a mask (a good one, which allows me to breathe while exercising.) Another member stated to set up his weights and a bench very close to me. But after looking at my mask, he asked: do you mind that I am so close to you? I said – no, it’s OK, I am in the mask. And then I added: I knew right away it will be challenging to keep the distance, so I decided I will wear a mask when coming here, although it is not required. He nodded, and then he said: you know what, I think I will move further. 

I remember that the last week before the gym closed in March, they had plenty of sanitizer and disinfection wipes, and they had signed everywhere they people should clean the equipment after each use. And even though we know now that the virus does not spread significantly through the surfaces, it’s still a b=public indoor place, with no staff on-site for extended periods, so I believe they should provide their members with more cleaning supplies. 

Any Time Fitness reopening

A part of Phase 4 in Illinois is the reopening of indoor gyms. There are some restrictions, of course, and even more so in the city. So I was wondering how ATF will reopen. Turned out, they – just reopened. And I am not sure what to make out of it. No extra flyers or anything. There was almost nobody there; I saw just two people working out. And it’s not like the time was wrong, especially since everybody is working from home.


I am not sure how I feel about not wearing a mask indoor, even when there is nobody around.
Tomorrow, I will see how things are in the city!

Increasing the Distance

Our Park District came up with a very creative way to keep the residents active during the lockdown. At the beginning of April, they launched a virtual competition, “Increasing the distance.”


The distance is minimal, but I know that many people stopped moving entirely, so it is important to get them out and moving, even if it would be for a mile a day.

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Back to Yoga Classes!

An unexpected result of the quarantine: I had a yoga class with my yoga teacher Anu, and I didn’t have it for two years! It was a sixteen-years long story, as she pointed out today – I started to attend her class in the YMCA, and I liked her a lot. Then she stopped teaching at the Y, but her former students have found a place to get together on Sunday mornings.
Then that place became unavailable, and some of us had switched to online classes. Then there was just me with my friend, and then it all stopped after my back surgery, and we could not find a time that would work.


Last week, I thought that maybe now, when there are no live classes, and when I am working from home anyway, I will be able to find a slot. I emailed Anu over the weeked, and today I was in a semi-private class.
Although I am doing yoga for a very long time, and although I can do it myself, it is such a tremendous difference when you are doing it with the teacher!


I stretch as I haven’t been doing for a very long time! Also, under current circumstances, we did a lot of breathing exercises (which I could never do on my own), and also a long meditation. I am so happy I have this back in my life!

This photo is from my solo yoga session two weeks ago

Working Out at Home – How Much You Can Do?

My local Anytime Fitness closed Wednesday night. Since March 13, every morning, I was walking there and thinking: please let it be opened!

I have a mini-gym at home, which I gradually assembled for the days when the weather is so awful that I do not want to step outside, or when I am in a real hurry. And usually, I work out at home one or two days a week.

But all these days preceding the closing, I was going to ATF in the morning because I was afraid that each time could be the last time.

On Thursday, when I was unable to open the door with my key card, it finally happened. The lights were on, and it felt so sad that I could not get in. For the record, since March 13, there were very few people in the gym. The instructions on the walls requested each piece of equipment to be wiped from top to bottom after each use. And at the time when I go (5 AM) there were from zero to three people in addition to myself.Ironically,

.Thursday was the day when at work, we were going to share with coworkers our in-home exercise routines. I thought I would need to fake it, but I was legitly exercising at home. Here are the pictures I made for our office slack channel

Continue reading “Working Out at Home – How Much You Can Do?”

Traveling to Cyprus

My birthday was on Saturday, and I spent most of it in transit. Started it with a birthday breakfast of hot-smoked salmon sandwich on rye bread at the Vantaa airport and then boarded a flight to Frankfurt. That flight and the subsequent flight to Limassol were extremely uneventful, being operated by Lufthansa :).

I didn’t know that we have to cross the border going to Cyprus. Cyprus is an EU member, but not a part of the Schengen agreement. However, they acknowledge Schengen visas, so it works at least one way :).

Upon arrival, we met our driver (we had a prearranged transportation to our hotel) and got into the car. Once again, I didn’t know that Cyprus had left-side traffic, so you have to be super careful. The highway from the airport was one-way, and the reverse route was not visible. Citing my surprise that nobody asked us at the border, how long we are going to stay, Boris joked that that’s because there is no way out anyway :).

This time of the year is off-season on Cyprus, so hotels are dirt-chip, and the first two days it was raining. We won’t do much sightseeing anyway, because it falls dark right after five. But here is the view from our room 🙂

I also managed to get an hour in the gym, hence I have my usual in-the-gym birthday picture:

Motivational Post

I heard a lot about people “showing off on Instagram,” posting the “perfect bodies which do not really exist,” and so on. Also, and this is not what people are saying, but what I observe – in their “End of the year” posts people often say that they dropped X pounds, finally started to exercise and practice yoga regularly, and so on.

I am posting my picture, not for the show, but motivation. And I consciously did not photoshop the imperfections (except I’ve chosen the photos with the most intelligent expression on my face :)).


I will turn fifty-seven in less than three weeks. My weight is stable for ten years, so nothing new here:). I practice yoga for about 12 years and work with personal trainers for approximately the same time. Nothing new.


Almost two years after my back surgery, I am continuously getting better. I do not think I will ever feel “like new,” but I can walk and stand longer than many other people even without surgery:). Although I can’t lift heavy weights anymore, I’ve almost rebuilt my muscle mass to the pre-surgical period.

I was not an athletic person neither in school nor in college. I started to take good care of my body pretty late in life. And what I want to say – it is never too late. You should not “feel old” just because of your age. It is not natural :).