Someone Cares: Let’s Get Physical!

This community’s socially distanced workouts have brought them closer together.

Posted in , Oct 26, 2020

People in warm outerwear doing stretches.

My neighborhood rocks! My neighbors and I have always looked out for each other, but Covid-19 made us even more aware of how important that is. Right as things were shutting down, we met in the street and decided two things: We would check on everyone’s physical and emotional health every day, and we would make sure staying home didn’t lead to us sitting around and feeling like slugs.

My neighbor Momo Hayakawa Koenigs, whose parents are Japanese, mentioned that people all over Japan do calisthenics together—a morning routine broadcast over the radio. We all thought that was a great idea. Instead of meeting at the crack of dawn, however, we met up after dinner for rajio taisō, then took a poll of how everyone was doing.

We’re still doing the exercises together every night. We draw circles on the ground to stay six feet apart. Momo calls up the station, and another neighbor controls the speakers. The whole routine takes less than 10 minutes. Everyone can participate: There are options for sitting or standing. We do it in the rain and over Zoom during heavy storms. Even though we stand at a distance, our nightly workouts have brought all of us closer.

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