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Tales from Lockdown!

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Monday 13th July 2020

Whilst we have all had plenty to deal with in recent months, life has been even more hectic for Beth our pole vault coach who has had to cope with changing job and moving home as well. Here she has written a semi-serious account of recent times!

Tales from Lockdown.

So when lockdown was announced on 20th March I was still merrily working away in my old job as Sports Academy Manager at Newham Sixth Form College (East London). I had 7 weeks remaining until I left the role and started with UoN as the new Club & Coach Development Manager within the Performance Team.

Needless to say the transition to Nottingham has not been smooth!

Over that first weekend 3 months ago I desperately packed up all of my belongings and managed to persuade the last removal company still operating to transport them into Big Yellow Storage asap.

For the following 8 weeks I lived with limited branded clothing, in an empty flat, with a mattress, desk, broadband & some pots / pans. To say it focused the mind is an understatement, however on the up side I could use my newfound space to leap about to Davina Mccall, Gabby Logun & Dance fitness workout DVD's to my heart's content!

Much to my former team's distress I also had time to write up a 64 page handover document (oops).

Whilst putting my flat on the market to Let I discovered my front door needed replacing (bye bye £2k) and also my fuse board (bye bye £1k) - who knew I'd been living in a death trap for 6 years! But no fear - my new tenant is now reaping the benefits.

My leaving do's were cancelled & replaced with online waving goodbye's / watching other people eat cake and I embarked, as many, on the plethora of online quiz nights & house-party groups, which only confirmed that I have absolutely NO general knowledge (thank the lord for the sports round!).

On 11th May I started with UoN and swiftly had to learn new technology as I didn't want to be that melon who couldn't get into a Teams call!

A week later I left London and made the partial jump to Nottingham - which meant moving in with my parents in Bedfordshire (eek!).

For anyone who like me who hasn't lived at home for near on 20 years, let me fill you in on little things that might tip you over the edge:

- joint shopping lists

- their need to run the taps elsewhere in the house EVERY time you get in the shower

- their need to use a blender at 6.30am on a Sunday morning!

- the risk of reverting to your former teenage self, hiding in your room at the weekend watching the ipad and avoiding the inevitable 8th "cuppa?" call of the day

- dreadful WiFi thus affecting your ability to revert to said former teenage self hiding in your room watching the ipad!

- washing machine / line etiquette - ask yourself when was the last time your septuagenarian dad got your washing off the line and handled your smalls??

So now I've been working for UoN for 8 weeks and I can't express enough how welcoming and accommodating literally everyone I'm working with has been.

My main fear was that I'd be more of a burden than an asset in trying to learn from afar, but I'm sincerely hoping this is not the case.

Outside of work I coach a Pole Vault squad, for whom the summer was meant to be a period of transition to another coach. In some ways the fact we've all transitioned to online coaching has been a positive. I've maintained a brilliant relationship with the athletes through delivering weekly zoom circuit sessions. I now spend my Wednesday evenings watching many many vids of semi clad fitness 'experts' covered in body lotion demonstrating various activities (it's a hard life) in prep for our Thursday coaching.

The ability to now meet in the park has also proved fun, as we spend Sunday mornings at a social distance running through pole drills and everything except the actual vault - much to the amusement of the passing dog walkers!

I'm now really looking forward to moving to Nottingham and meeting everyone face to face - not least so I can figure out how tall everyone is (very tricky via a Teams meeting!).

This has certainly been the most unorthodox way I've started a new job, but I'm positive the kindness I'm being presented with is not just a symptom of lockdown and long may it continue.

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