Step Forwards

The First Week Back After Lockdown

On October 12th 2020,  I did something I had not done since the beginning of March.  I unlocked Islip Sports Pavilion and carried in the large bag of things I needed to make the venue Covid secure; Entrance and Exit signs, handwash, my new toy – the contactless payment machine.

I was very nervous. I had a playlist of routines, not one of which I had ever taught to a live class. I had only taught on Zoom since March.

I think everyone was nervous. My wonderful participants came in, and we all stood in a socially distant semi-circle, not entirely sure what to do.  Then someone said “well this feels odd” and the tension diffused and like visiting a good friend you have not seen for several months, everything seemed to slot back in to place. 

The next morning, I was unlocking an entirely new hall in Olney and carrying in my bag of Covid safety goodies. I was less nervous this time and so, it seemed, was my class.  It was like a family reunion and it was so much fun!  

Back on March 17th 2020 I sent this email to my classes:

I really hoped I wouldn’t be writing this email so soon, but following advice both from the government and the EMD, I am suspending all my Zumba classes with immediate effect until at least April 30th 2020.

I do so with a hugely heavy heart and sadness, because teaching you all really is the highlight of my working week, and I am going to miss seeing you all really so much.

At that time, I naively believed that I would be able to re-open my classes after Easter, that within a couple of months everything would be back to normal and we would carry on the same way as before. As we all now know, that didn’t happen.

I had some brilliant ladies who messaged me and supported me, but as the months went on I got increasingly worried that I wouldn’t have anything to go back to once I was able to start teaching face to face.

After a long 7 month wait I was finally able to re-open the doors and, under Covid guidelines, open my online booking system. I considered it a benefit that it was the day before my partner and I left for a short break away as I was terrified that nothing would happen. Three days and SIXTY bookings later I realised that I was not the only person who was excited that Zumba was reopening.  

There is a lot of paperwork involved, and there has been a few late nights trying to get everything Government compliant, but has been absolutely worth it to see all the smiling faces walk in, and to once again enjoy the banter and gossip that comes as part of our lovely classes.  I have been told so many times over the last two weeks that it has been so nice to return to some sense of normality, and I could not agree more.

We are probably not out of the woods yet. We will probably stop and start again before everything is over, but I am so thrilled to be back and I hope things will go from strength to strength.

1 thought on “The First Week Back After Lockdown”

  1. Great blog, Sarah – made me feel quite emotional as I remembered all those Friday mornings in my lounge looking at others in a ‘box’. I think you are right that we not out of the woods yet, but for the moment let’s be massively grateful for a window of normality in our lives. x

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