Well, it sure has been quite a week!  Thanks to our Empower community for all your support during the early days of these challenging times.  Slowly our city is awakening to the very real threat and closing down.  I fear we may have been too slow but hope I’m wrong about this.  Some reports indicate that 40% of hospitalized COVID cases involve people 20-54 years old so there is good reason for us all to take precautions.  While shops stand closed or empty, parks are full of people getting sun and fresh air and exercise.  People are working from home and families are getting great quality time together for a change.  So, unsettling as it is, there is some good to come from all this.

Continue to practice caution in order to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.  We can all do our bit to help flatten the curve, slow the transmission and reserve scarce resources for those most in need.  It is interesting to note that Corona patients present with both low cholesterol and low potassium levels.  This does not indicate causation as levels might be low because of Corona.  But it is worthwhile to use an app like My Fitness Pal to make sure you’re getting adequate potassium levels just in case.

We will of course be cancelling or postponing events like the March Power Up Nutrition seminar and the Squamish Strongman field trip until the COVID forecast improves.  Meanwhile we have established three levels of support to keep serving your fitness goals through this period of uncertainty:

1) Empower Equipment Lending Library
7:15am weekdays come sign out equipment you need to get workouts done at home or outside.  It’s great to see members making good use of this.  For safety reason we are going to ask borrowers NOT to return equipment they have used just yet.  If you have it, hang on to it for now.  If you want equipment but are worried about coming in to pick it up, email the coach the night before and we will wipe down the equipment you request and place it outside our door for easy, contact-free pick up.  Due to logistical challenges with the Saturday mystery WOD there will be no equipment pick-up or drop off at 9:15am this Saturday.

2) Stay-at-Home WODs
Everyone is dealing with different circumstances and I know some of you are stuck at home.  For you we are posting the daily workout on Instagram, Facebook and our blog with video and instructions for warm up, tech, workout and cool down.  We’re also offering scaling options and alternatives for movements that may be challenging or require equipment you may not have access to.  We are working on hosting a daily livestream workout that you can follow along with and send in questions to be answered in real time.  Give us a couple days to acquaint ourselves with technology.  Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to text or email your coach if you have questions about how to best scale a programmed WOD or if you have suggestions on how we can improve these workouts for you.

3) WOD Outside-the-Box
Thank you for everyone who has come out to participate, these workouts have been so much fun.  We are blessed with beautiful parks and the weather has really cooperated so far!  We encourage those who haven’t tried these yet to come out and join us, it does the soul good to see your friends, get fresh air and feel part of a community again.  We are practicing safe social distancing and no one minds if you stand farther off, there is space aplenty.  And for that reason we encourage you to bring your family along, no charge, no registration required.  You may have heard that as of today playgrounds are out-of-bounds.  This is because studies are proving the Corona virus can live up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic making playgrounds high-risk of transmission zones.  Keep your kids out of the playgrounds!  TYhis should not affect our Outside-the-Box WODs as we are not using the playground equipment.  Please bear in mind that I try to get to bed early and stay away from devices before bed so if you want directions to the next day’s WOD, please register before 7pm the night before.

4) Additional Times?
I’ve heard two requests for either an 8am or a 9am WOD Outside-the-Box time in addition to our 6am and 5pm.  I’m game if you are.  If enough members request this we will certainly try it out.  If we don’t hear from you, we’ll assume you’re not interested.

We encourage you to use all three levels of fitness support in the proportion that best meets your needs.  Nobody wanted this.  Nobody asked for it.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the best of it.  Don’t let a little pandemic stop you from playing and enjoying life!  Nothing cheers up the apocalypse like a bit of sunlight and heart-pounding exercise with friends!