Well, that’s an autumn we won’t forget in a hurry – however much many of us may want to. Ironically, as winter hits its stride, we find ourselves tentatively emerging from the enforced hibernation that has profoundly affected every aspect of our lives and work.
To say the experience has been a learning curve would be an understatement. While we’ve all learnt things about ourselves in isolation, we have probably also made some unexpected discoveries about our clients, members and colleagues (who knew that Rita would be such an avid adopter of Zoom in order to keep attending her weekly, now land-based, aqua class?)
The question now is, how are things going to look on the other side of shutdown? As of late June 2020, gyms and studios in every state and territory are reopening, provided they are compliant with social distancing and hygiene rules. It’s a return to business, though clearly not as usual, with echoes of the pandemic likely to reverberate indefinitely: in the layout of gym floors, in the mandatory booking of spots in classes, in heightened cleaning protocols, and more.
This winter, Network‘s authors are addressing various pandemic-related topics, from PT mental health, maintaining positivity and returning from physical deconditioning, to virtual training, optimising immunity and even COVID tax implications.
In her opinion piece, Leisl Klaebe discusses our industry’s return, writing that, above all, ‘There must be heart in how we deliver post COVID-19 fitness: compassion, understanding, gentleness and permission.’ Meanwhile, Brooke Turner acknowledges the frustrations of downtime, but focuses on the silver linings of the situation for fitness professionals – and the fact is, although the future remains uncertain, we must all do the same.
For one thing, the pandemic has increased awareness of the importance of good health and fitness, because healthier people have not been so personally impacted, health-wise at least. This presents an opportunity for our industry to reach out to the 80% of the population not using our services, and to recruit them to the vital cause of their own wellbeing.
The team at Australian Fitness Network wishes you the very best as we take the first steps towards recovery.