Jo's Lockdown Journey

My Lockdown ZOOM Journey 

Week beginning 9th March: I carried on teaching, wiping apparatus, encouraging class members to wash hands before and after class. Each class ended with me saying “Hopefully see you next week for class, if we are allowed” Being very British: stiff upper lip, keep calm, keep carrying on, this will blow over! Monday 16th March was my last class, the news was getting bleaker and I didn’t want to put my class members’ health and safety at risk.  Classes closed.  I spent the rest of that week contacting all my class members and wondering what this ZOOM I’d heard of was all about. 

Having downloaded ZOOM and deciding an HD webcam was needed, having tried many positions for my speaker and volume settings, having got a great response from a lot of my class members who wished to try online classes with me, having jumped in and done some FREE trial sessions, having talked through it with quite a few ladies and gents who were not ZOOM savvy, having moved my kitchen table several times until I found he best angle and space on Monday 30th March I went LIVE. 

The kitchen table since then has been my workstation, with a military operation every time we had a Lockdown Family Meal (a HUGE PLUS for me was to spend much more time with my grown up sons and hubby) I have to admit that sometimes it was OH NO I can’t be bothered: it’s meal on laps boys! 

There was a lot to get used to in the early days: the Internet signal was up and down; my entire family were banned from using my signal when I taught, not even the microwave was allowed to be used.  Everyone had to make sure they had their breakfast before my classes started, as the kitchen was a NO GO AREA once classes were on. Jacob, my son, lent me his Apple Mac so I had a big screen to see all my class members: an offer he later regretted once he realised this lockdown was in for the long haul. 

As for the classes, well they have been great! Everyone is so smiley and happy to join in. The sessions have kept me connected to most of my members, have kept me occupied and active, and have allowed me to keep teaching and earn some money. The sessions have kept my members active and, for some, have been their only weekly face to face contact with other people. They have been vital to us all for health, emotional and mental well-being. 

Apparatus you ask? Well some differences! We have used tea towels, fluffy socks, scarves, weighted “sock-bags”, rolled up magazines, wooden spoons and knotted pillowcases! 

The Medau method of teaching is adapting and working well. I have taught new faces, regular class members, old friends and esteemed colleagues, which has been a real joy. People have joined from Luton, Australia, Devon, Chester and Preston to name but a few. I also manage to squeeze in a 40 minute seated class per week for a Retirement Village I teach at with husbands joining in with their wives, embracing new tech and wanting to keep their regular exercise going, for their bodies and their brains  For those I haven’t been teaching via ZOOM, I have been sending regular newsletters and emails. They certainly haven’t been slacking: just either not wanting to join via ZOOM or, having no internet access, just unable to They have however been walking, gardening, volunteering at food banks and even cranking up their dusty VCRs and getting old 1980’s fitness videos out to keep themselves going. They certainly haven’t been slacking. Teaching with ZOOM has certainly been another string added to my bow - never too old to learn a new trick eh! Thirty years teaching this year and I didn’t realise it was going to be quite like this but being a Medau Teacher means you are equipped for anything!

Jo Power