In between all the running, don't forget the Getting to know your Harriers series. Thanks to Jason & Deanna for sharing their story, it's gonna take some beating!
1. We all know you're a member of the famous York Postal Harriers but away from the club what does your work life look like (or retired or something else entirely)?
J: I’m the Design Manager for a furniture manufacturer based in Essex, but our design studio is located in Knaresborough. We design, manufacture and install furniture for the hotel industry right across the country, but mainly in London.
D: I’m the Gallery Manager for York Fine Arts, an independent commercial gallery with branches in York and Harrogate. My job includes everything from sales, admin and operations management to working with artists and planning/hanging exhibitions—and of course, things like taking out the rubbish and washing someone’s late-night takeaway off the pavement first thing in the morning. I adore my job but it’s not nearly as glamorous as people often think!
2. How has life changed in the last week and how have you been able to adapt your running routines?
J: Having a laptop has allowed me to carry on working from home and I have managed to stay in contact with colleagues, architects, suppliers etc. via Skype. However, as the hospitality industry is struggling under the current crisis, I am starting to see some of my work dry up and I’m trying to drag projects on as much as possible to keep me busy/employed. Unfortunately, I have been carrying a calf injury the last couple of weeks so I have not been able to use running as an outlet. But hopefully I can get out this week.
D: Jase and I never work from home, so we were a bit intrigued to see how it would go, particularly with the two of us both sat across from each other at the dining room table most days. I am pleased to say that so far, there have been no casualties! The real beneficiary here though is the dog, who is thrilled to have us home all the time.
Running wise, I feel as if I’ve had the chance to come full circle a bit. When I first got into running, I wasn’t in it for the races or the times; I was in it for the headspace. After my first full year with YPH last year, I learned to value the thrill of the race and the sense of achievement that comes from reaching your goals and watching your friends reach theirs, which was incredible. But now that I’m not necessarily training for anything at the moment and am using running more as a stress release again, I’ve found myself going out and enjoying my runs in a different way, more akin to when I first started running. I seem to hardly look at my watch, but instead focus on the simple things like the warmth of a sunny day or the feeling of gratitude that I am able to breathe air into my lungs and pump oxygen throughout my body without a ventilator. I might not be getting any faster, but for now, I’m okay with that.
3. Is there any support you need that your fellow YPHers could help with. Remember we're observing social distancing so it could be a weekly video call to have a chat or you might need some shopping delivering because you're self isolating.
J: I think Deanna and I are okay and managing at the moment. But if we can help supporting any other Posties please let us know.
D: I’ve loved and felt really supported by the team challenges, as they give you that extra motivation to lace on your trainers and get out the door, even when we don’t physically get to see each other in person and have that sense of tangible accountability. A fab idea, Simon!
4. Are there any skills you've got that could help others at this time. The Council is co-ordinating the volunteering effort so check out www.york.gov.uk/COVIDVolunteering if you would like to / are able to offer your support.
J: I like to think I am a pretty good listener, so if anyone wants a chat feel free to contact me about anything at all. I have also gotten pretty damn good at making Negroni’s over that last few weeks and I am willing to share my secrets.
D: I think communication and holding on to a sense of community is so important at times like these, so I’d just like to say that I’m always available for a text, chat or photograph of my dog. I also really enjoy cooking and am pretty good at creating meals from the dregs of my cupboard and fridge to use what we’ve got and eliminate waste. So if you find yourself stuck at home staring blankly at a shelf of seemingly random ingredients, I’m your gal.
5. In a positive sense, is there anything that the current situation has allowed you to do that you wouldn't have been able to previously? Have you worn a path around your garden yet trying to figure out how many laps you'll need to do to get to 5K?
J: I am often really busy with work and other stuff, so sometimes I forget to slow down to appreciate the simplicity of everyday things. I have enjoyed spending more time with Deanna, but also time by myself reading or listening to records. It’s helped me re-align myself with what I value in life.
D: Having never had the opportunity to work from home, I have to admit it’s a nice change. The flexibility and control over how you choose to manage your day is amazing and it downright just feels so civilised to sit down and have lunch together at a real table!
But mostly, like many others, I’m really just trying to enjoy the slower pace and soak up the positive attributes of this unprecedented time because (hopefully!) it’s not likely to happen again. I mean, truthfully, when was the last time any of us actually made bread from scratch? Made a fort? Or just thoroughly taken a moment to enjoy—and I mean really savour—something as simple as a half an hour’s walk in the sun? Or even just have the opportunity to be BORED? Whenever I start to get overwhelmed by the current climate, I find myself returning to these small graces. Along with the support of good friends, family and of course, YPH, it makes it all a bit more manageable—and dare I say it—sometimes even fun.
6. Free format. What else would you like to share with your clubmates.
Erm—WE’RE PREGNANT! Another wee Postie will be joining the ranks in October 2020.
YPHers - on behalf of your fellow Posties, this is just lovely news. Huge congratulations to all 4 of you (Including your dog). What a brilliant way to share the news and great that you will have something positive to remember this time of your lives by. Get ready for the inbox deluge.