Need break

Breaking Back and Needing Breaks

I’m flat on my back with a Covid-19 induced herniated disk. It may be the pain killers, or it could just be the Sunday blues. Regardless, I’ll allow myself a private comment in support of the much needed remote leadership.

Until recent surgery, I’ve been an active practitioner of Shotokan Karate. I’ve kept my flex and balance in a daily yoga routine; part Ashtanga, part strength, where I add core challenges to the sun salutations. 

So why did I get back pains? And, by the way, what happened to April, May, June, July, August, and now September?

Things have been busy. Very busy. Hard-earned experiences from years of using virtual classes to supplement international programs suddenly came in high demand. From my backyard studio, I have welcomed hundreds of engaged participants, often several times a day. 

It was fun and, forgive me, good and meaningful business. However, it was also hours on end in front of the camera and new topics in rapid sequence. Before Corona, there was walking to the car, chatting in traffic, waiting at the gate, or grabbing a cup of coffee together during the program. Breaks that allowed the mind to catch up and for the body to respond. 

Not so in the remote setup. The evidence is visible on my Apple watch. On days of onsite facilitation, I typically do 10.000-12.000 steps. Here, in the studio, I’m down to 2.000-3.000, entirely dependent on the weather and the mood of Skipper (see below). 

So here it is: What I miss from pre-Corona days are the breaks

Had I not forgotten the breaks, perhaps I would have heard my spine yelling for proper attention and not allowed a well-meaning chiropractor to snap my back three times before a full MR explained the pain. 

The irony is abundant. Yoga became routine and served only to cover symptoms. I did not listen, and, as per LeapCard #38, I, in particular, have no excuse! I even wrote about the card here on March 1st; have a look. The LeapCards’ fifth item calls for breaks and a cup of virtual coffee to ask each other the caring questions. 

I miss the breaks. I miss standing at the side, enjoying the view of a fine group of international talent eagerly mingling and discussing our class, while I mentally prioritize the topics for the remaining time. And, once sorted, I miss the brief exchanges of short and meaningful stories, waving the connections in details that are sorely missed in the online meeting’s digital efficiency.

So, in your remote leadership, in your remote meetings or training, and perhaps with me right now, please: Take the break, listen carefully, and enjoy the needed off-topic conversation.

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