Tag Archives: online

2021: Exercise resolutions – 7Y2D COVID-19 Diaries Week 43

With a new year comes so often new year resolutions and the inevitable challenge of seeing just how long those plans for a new you last. I’m not one for making resolutions on a regular basis, and this year really isn’t any different apart for a determination to keep going with some of the changes to our exercise regime that we introduced during the first lockdown in early 2020.

Back in the spring we were fortunate to mostly have glorious sunshine and longer days, so it wasn’t difficult to summon up the enthusiasm to go out for our daily walks or to kick the children outside during the day, especially when we came across beautiful new friends like this one. G took to fitting in an hour’s dance every lunchtime and M spent innumberable hours out on the trampoline. Comparatively this time round, the cold, grey, wet and miserable weather has made everything that little bit harder. Mike and I are still managing to get out daily to fit in our 10,000 steps, although it’s almost always dark by the time we leave the house. Our longer, more adventuresome walks are restricted to the weekends, when we can just about drag both children with us without too many complaints and we can venture a little further as the daylight hours allow.

The bigger challenge has been in getting M and G up and exercising during the week. This time round they are both following their normal school timetable with live online lessons, and so have much less opportunity to get outside during the school day. Thanks to Joe Wicks and his return to YouTube PE lessons, I’ve been able to get G and M doing a 30-minute session every couple of days and a colleague of mine has shared a 7-minute workout that G and I are trying to do daily. Stagecoach has also returned via Zoom and that gives them 2.5hours every Friday evening which is much needed and enjoyed.

The biggest disappointment of all has been our impossibility in successfully getting M out and onto the trampoline with any sort of regularity. During the summer months, he spends hours out there merrily bouncing around, but the wet weather makes the mats slippery and more dangerous for him to be on. You may recall we lost our new trampoline over the summer when Storm Francis took down one of the trees in our paddock and squashed it into a tangled mess. We replaced it and despite the declining use of it as the weather worsened, it was great to have it as an easy exercise option for M. Unfortunately, the arrival of Storm Bella over the Christmas period saw us sacrificing a second trampoline to the weather as our 12ft behemoth was whipped across the garden and driveway and dropped on its side in the garden at the front of the house. The damage is enough to render it unusable for the time being, though hopefully it’s simply a case of replacing a couple of pieces to get it back up and running soon for all our sakes!

Camp in the Cloud – 7Y2D COVID-19 Diaries Week 20

Since their first camps in 2016, G and M have looked forward to the start of every year to find out if they have got a place at their choice of Over The Wall camps. The initial outcome of this year’s applications saw both children on the waiting lists for their respective choices and, in M’s case in particular, with fingers tightly crossed that they might be lucky enough to make it to the actual camp when the time came about.

Like so many other activities, the coronavirus pandemic understandably shut down the Over The Wall camps this year, something that we all understood although it did leave the children somewhat disappointed. However, no sooner had we been advised that camp wouldn’t be happening this year, than an email was sent telling us that they were looking into a virtual alternative and to keep an eye out for future updates to be sent. It didn’t take long for the final details to reach me and both children eagerly signed up to the first ever Camp in the Cloud.

M was first up with the online South Health Challenges Camp and about 2 weeks before the start of camp his Camp in the Cloud box arrived on our doorstep. He did a grand reveal and shared opening his box with my Mum and Aunt over Face Time on the Saturday afternoon. Hidden inside was a padlocked box, sealed envelopes labelled for each day, face paints, a stationery set and, most importantly, his team t-shirt revealing he’s risen to the heady heights of being a green boy. The box also included a pot of M-friendly hot chocolate for cabin chat. The note on the container reminded him he could make it with the dairy-free milk alternative of his choice – a small thing that showed just how much OTW focuses on the finer details for each and every camper in their care. They also followed that up with an email just before camp began to remind me to check the ingredients to make sure I was confident that it was safe for M to drink.

The week of Camp in the Cloud came at a perfect time for M. It was a good start to his so-say summer holidays and proved to be a great distraction from the sad news of losing Grandpa the weekend before. The daily challenges gave him a focused activity to try his hand at and he loved being able to explore the virtual campsite, searching for the hidden Newman’s sauce bottles and participating in all his favourite camp activities in one way or another. The highlight of each day was most definitely the camp chat via Zoom, which gave him around 45 minutes to meet his team mates, accept, or set, team challenges and just chat in a face-to-face context, something he hasn’t really been able to do since lockdown began.

I was intrigued to see what M’s response to the week would be and it couldn’t have been more positive. Whilst he commented that it obviously wasn’t as good as going to camp itself, he loved being part of it and having something different to do after so many weeks of the same old, same old. Being able to dip in and out of the online platform during the day worked perfectly for my usually active child and the evening cabin chats really made it feel like camp. M was so impressed with the camp that he even contacted OTW himself to suggest that Camp in the Cloud is something they could continue to do in the future. He loves going to camp and always feels the bitter disappointment when he isn’t successful in getting a place. M believes that being able to offer Camp in the Cloud to those children who aren’t able to go the physical camp would be a great alternative and would reach out to offer the fantastic OTW experience to even more campers than they usually can. Whether they consider doing that, we simply don’t know, but anything we can do to help make it a reality we will.

Now we’re onto the countdown for G’s Midlands siblings camp at the end of the month – and she just can’t wait!