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Workin’ for your quarantini | Laurelly Dale

Wednesday, May 06, 2020 @ 1:27 PM | By Laurelly Dale

Laurelly Dale %>
Laurelly Dale
The pandemic has sentenced everyone to an indefinite term of house arrest.

Lawyers —  especially trial lawyers — fit within one lifestyle extreme or another: Team Sloth; e.g., Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, mixed with the drinking finesse of Denny Crane from Boston Legal versus Team Crazy; as in, Hollywood divorce queen Laura Dern in Marriage Story combined with the intense sprinting skills of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men.

I graduated law school in 2007. I’d estimate well over half my graduating class gained a significant amount of weight, picked up excessive drinking/extracurricular habits and terrible sleep patterns.

The other end of the spectrum is not much more appealing: OCD fitness routines, poor nutrition, prone to illness, but sharing that trait of terrible sleep. It has become a mandatory term of our house arrest to strike a balance between belonging to Team Sloth or Team Crazy. 

The following should speak to both camps, some more than others:

First item on the docket: You do you 

I am not Gwyneth Paltrow. This is not an esoteric guide to becoming consciously fit in quarantine.

I am just as annoyed by people who humble brag in fitness posts about falling short of their 2:45 marathon goal time. Or those who fill their feed with super cheesy “live, laugh, love” quotes. Ugh. Insert snarky eyeroll.

Embrace your cynicism. I have. Don’t compare yourself to those in Team Crazy. There are many fitness bullies out there. *&$$% them! You owe them nothing. Do this for you. Earn that quarantini (or two). 

Second: Tone down the crazy 

Admittedly I fall into this category. When the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, I predicted that I would still be running in my fourth Boston marathon scheduled for April 20. In a rare and unprecedented turn of events, I was wrong. Race after race cancelled. The cancellation of Berlin — scheduled for end of September — does not bode well for a fall Boston.

Millions of us are running without the security of a start line. We can’t bank that fitness for later.

I was running between 110 and 115 kilometres each week. Initially I felt a wave of relief at not having to run a 35k tempo the day after the cancellation was announced. That feeling lasted less than 24 hours.

My crazy was at full throttle. I was not able to control something that was well beyond anyone’s capacity.

Many will understand when I confess that it took a while to accept that I didn’t need to keep running that mileage each week. Doing so would only serve to guarantee an injury. 

Third: Jump on the bandwagon 

I drank the Peloton Kool-Aid. I’m hooked. For those trapped in a never-ending audio court appearance, these workouts do the trick. At first, I was skeptical — the instructors after all are human versions of a Barbie or G.I. Joe. I was lured in by the short high-energy cardio workouts.

My ego (and legs) took a beating. Then the classes became easier. Their playlists are lively and unexpected. I never thought I’d be sprinting to “Free Bird,” but it works — surprisingly.

The enthusiasm of the instructors is also infectious. You’ll feel like you’re working out with the popular kids in a high school movie from the ’90s but without the predicable judgment. 

Fourth: Be a kid again 

Do what you want. Pick an exercise that makes you genuinely excited. Jump rope. Rollerblade. Bike ride. Pop a wheelie. Do your best MJ impersonation and learn the entire “Thriller” dance — trust me it’s a cardio workout. No one wants to be forced into exercise. It’s your choice. 

Fifth: Switch carbs for lunch or dinner  

I normally work out in the morning. I’ll eat a banana and drink coffee beforehand. My reward is a post-workout carb-fest: cereal, toast, eggs, muffins. Keep an eye on those calories. Choose carbs for lunch or dinner, avoid their appearance at both. This means a Big Salad (think Seinfeld), with protein for lunch. A substantial dinner, steak, potatoes or whatever gives you that full feeling. The better you eat, the healthier you’ll want to eat. 

Keep those quarantine snacks to a minimum. Swap chips for baked mini crisps or carrots and hummus. 

Sixth: Earn that quarantini

Happy hour is key to surviving quarantine. This is not a time for deprivation. You’ll feel less guilt, and gain less weight, if you’ve worked towards that beverage. But — we don’t want all that hard work to go to waste. Balance fitness earned with drinking reward.

Here are some tricks: keep the hard liquor to maximum of two times per week. Negronis are my jam. Low-cal vodka soda drinks are handy and require no prep work. Pretend you’re in Vegas and match one drink per one water.  

Few fall in that happy medium between Team Sloth and Team Crazy. The pandemic has forced us to do something that lawyers hate doing: change.

We’ve given up goals, readjusted schedules, and most disturbing: taken a hard look at our lifestyles. We will (hopefully) never again have this unscheduled free time.     

Laurelly Dale is a criminal defence lawyer with Dale Law. Contact her at

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