How to keep Bringin' the Stoke during COVID - 19

In one’s life, you may experience many things. These things come in all shapes and sizes. You will experience the wind blowing in your face. You may experience biting into a juicy red apple, or even experiencing the awkwardness of your first slow dance in middle school.  There are experiences that are a bit bigger, such as graduations, weddings, childbirth, and even death. Yes, especially death.

 I recently watched, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a biographical film about Mr. Fred Rogers. In this movie, the other main character, Lloyd Vogel, is a journalist and is interviewing Mr. Rogers.  Lloyd is a bit distressed, as his father is dying.  He talked to Mr. Rogers about this, and Mr. Rodgers has the absolute perfect words to say to Mr. Vogel. “To die is to be human and anything human is mentionable. Anything mentionable is manageable.” Take a second to think about that quote. And really think about it.

How does it make you feel?

What thoughts came to mind?

Now if you watched a snippet of any news channel, scrolled through Facebook, or any other source of social media, you heard of the global pandemic that’s happening.  Pan-demos, a Greek word meaning “all people”.  COVID – 19 affects all people, and sadly, the death that has come with it. In a way, personally, it feels as something in my life has died. Right before spring break, I said goodbye to my roommates expecting to see them in a week. I expected to go back to the elementary school where I volunteered and see all those kids again. I had my last college (in) class without even knowing it. I went on a spring break trip expecting to go back to my dorm Sunday morning and see my best friends. But Life had other plans. That’s ok.

As Mr. Rogers said, death is manageable, right? How can we possibly manage ourselves in this oh so very strange time we are living in. How, as a college student, will I manage the remaining six weeks of my college career? How can you still Bring the Stoke during this pandemic?

It’s easier than you think.

I should start this off by stating that you should stay inside and only go outside if it is an absolute must or to grab some fresh air with the classic “walk around the block”, make sure you are by yourself, and if you are with somebody, please stay six feet, or for the metric users out there, two meters.  Also, don’t touch or pick up anything – do your part and stay apart.

Okay back to your normal schedule program, Bring the Stoke weekly blog.

So, picture this: it’s early springtime, the year is 2020, you are stuck in quarantine because that is what the world is telling you, and everybody else, to do. You are also on the verge of losing your mind and going insane. You aren’t alone.

Here is the first (and hopefully only) official Bring the Stoke guideline on how to manage and keep bringing the stoke towards daily life during the global pandemic of 2020.

First, think of something you always wanted to do but always made up some excuse on why you can’t do it. Is it time? Money? Motivation? All valid reasons, but now is a rare time in our lives where we have more of an opportunity to try out new activities.

For me, I set a goal to try to read one book per week, (I’m currently reading Jurassic Park, and it’s unreal, so good!) and to cook one new recipe each week.

From scrolling through social media, here are activities I’ve notice that people are gaining interest in.

Yoga – This is one of my favorite forms of exercise. I think it is underrated and is way harder than people give it credit for. The best part, anyone can do it! Below is a full body stretch that is only 20 minutes. Try to find a quiet place and really try to focus on this yoga session! Remember to breathe.

At home workouts – You had a good routine going? After work you would head straight to the gym, right? What are you doing now that the gyms are closed? I sure hope you aren’t doing nothing! Your bodies are made to move, and there are so many ways to keep them moving during the virus. Check out the 20-minute full body that requires NO EQUIPMENT. There are always ways to make it harder or easier! If you are having trouble with a specific exercise, google the regression form of that exercise. Good luck!

Running – I know tons of people that want to get back to their running shape or to start running, this would be an ideal time to do so. The weather is getting nicer, the trails are starting to blossom with life. I have attached a beginner 5k training plan. The first workout is run for 1 minute at a comfortable pace, and then walk for 1 minute, repeat 10 times. A total of 20 minutes will help you get you towards that 3.1-mile goal of yours!  


Hiking/Walking – Out of all the activities I listed, hiking is by far the most popular during these times. Which is amazing! But at the same time, not so good. The reason I say this is because there are some basic rules of hiking (and just being outdoors in general) that people don’t always follow.

  • If you see wildlife (turtles, frogs, spiders, snakes etc) don’t pick them up and play with them, don’t take them home as pets. They are apart of the ecosystem and they help it flourish and grow!
  • Don’t throw apple cores or banana peels out into the wild. Yes, they are biodegradable, but hear me out. Deer aren’t used to eating bananas. These could cause some bad digestion. Animals could also get used to looking for food in places with a high traffic of humans. This could very well lead to injuries to either humans or the animal. Also, it takes around one month for an apple core to decompose – leave no trace!
  • And as cliché as the saying “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints”, it’s very true. It is not yours to take. Please just try to be mindful next time you decide to take a hike.

But on a more positive note, I love to see people outside exploring their local parks, be sure to always wear the correct footwear, grab a map, bring water & always give yourself enough sunlight to get back! - Just pick your state then a city near you and get on out there!

Coloring – Whaaaaaat!? 50 easy things to draw? Sounds sweet, better check it out.

Reading – Reading is something I have been getting into more and more. Here are books, that I have not read, but were recommended to me!

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X – told by Alex Haley
  • Outliners by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Elmo’s Fire by James Cassaday
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • When Breathe Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Sphere by Michael Crichton (the same author who wrote Jurassic Park, which is an unbelievable novel)

Cooking – This activity is something I recently found out I enjoy very much! You can get creative, work on your multitasking skills and patience, did I mention you get to eat your creation? Yeah, sounds like a good time to me.

 Pour yourself a beverage and cook an easy dinner everyday with this link!

Maybe you always had a goal to work on your handstand? Play with Legos? Build a birdhouse? Buy a Bring the Stoke hat for your friend who loves supporting start up businesses? Wash your car? Scrub your floors? See, there is an endless list of activities to do during this pandemic, but it comes down to you and want you are willing to do!

In the end, life is just simply moments. No matter how good or bad your life is, it all comes down to the only thing you can control – your reaction to what is happening. This COVID – 19 moment that is happening, is it unfortunate? Yes. Is it an opportunity? Yes. So, if you think social distancing is boring, well then, it’s probably you.

Thank you for reading and remember, be kind. - Miles

1 comment

  • So glad to see your blog is up and running, Miles! 😁 Thank you for this message today. We all need encouragement and inspiration like this! Since you mentioned yoga, I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene. She has yoga routines for every situation and offers monthly yoga journeys for free through her website and Youtube! …Looking forward to your next post!

    Jess Rinker

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