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Lighten UP! Global Pandemic Quarantine Edition

The BIG GUNS are doing a special bonus podcast, discussing how we manage the (unprecedented) disruption the coronavirus is bringing to the US. Coach MK lived in Hong Kong during SARS and lived to tell us about it; Dalia Kinsey will discuss quarantine nutrition; and Jummy Olawale will tell us how to stay calm when your whole family is at home and there's no toilet paper ANYWHERE. Special guest Allison Cao, an American nurse raising her family in Mainland China, will talk to us about quarantine hygiene.

We can't make things better, but with laughter, perspective and a little coaching&loving, we can LIGHTEN UP and get through this, together. #AskAway, we are HERE for your burning (quarantine) questions!

Click HERE to try a free month of Fitness Protection and join our Quaran-Team!

Running Life Podcast Lighten UP! Quarantine Nutrition Quarantine Hygiene Woman in Surgical Face Mask Fitness Protection Program Shield

MK Intro:

#AskAway is the catchy title for my Sunday night Q&A sessions for Fitness Protection Program clients. I had been wanting to start real conversations about Diet Culture to alleviate some of the anxiety many of us feel around family, fitness and food. Lighten UP! Became a thing after meeting The Big Guns at a conference and totally loving our chemistry. On Thursday, the world changed, and a whole lot of us are feeling all kinds of anxious right now, so it made sense to combine #AskAway and Lighten UP! Into one bonus podcast.

Most Americans haven’t lived through anything like this before. I have; in Hong Kong. It was called SARS, and to this day it’s the scariest coronavirus most epidemiologists have ever seen. This strain of the virus you’re hearing about today is different. It’s not the virus itself that’s scary, we aren’t quarantining to save ourselves, so the constant cries of “SELFISH!” can be downright paralyzing. With stakes so high amidst so many ethical decisions, it can be hard to think clearly, which is exactly why we need to Lighten UP! Right now.

To be perfectly clear: I'm taking all of this seriously. Markets are tanking, people are being furloughed, and for a whole lot of people this crisis is ripping the fabric of their security. Most of all...I realize that for many people, home is not a safe place, so an extended holiday is a living hell. If you need help, or are ready to work on your exit strategy, call 1-800-799-7233.

Vulnerable families are not a new thing, but the cracks in our society are going to be more evident, making it hard to remember that these systemic issues are too big for one person to solve alone much less with one action. You cannot afford to dwell in thoughts of hopelessness or shame. Privilege is something to be aware of, not ashamed of. It’s something to factor in when assessing other people. There is power in privilege, you have more than you think you do. Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have.

Most of the people watching and listening to us right now can work from home. We will still be able to pay our mortgages and take our goldfish to the vet. It is truly a first-world problem to have to stay indoors with little kids for a month, trying to adjust to being a homeschool teacher, WHILE holding onto hopes for a fall race and trying to get something resembling work done in a house with no toilet paper and no food delivery. We need to brace ourselves for a period that can, and likely will, strain our mental health. We gotta get in front of that and take care of ourselves so we can take care of the people around us.

I’m a run coach not a life coach, but I am here to run through this life, together with you. Let’s get ready for The Gun Show, I don’t know about you but I sure do need to Lighten UP! Right now.

It’s time for THE GUN SHOW!! Jummy Olawale is…...and Dalia Kinsey is …..Together, they are THE BIG GUNS

Welcome! Thank you so much for being here! How are you doing?

Tonight we are bringing in a THIRD, very special, gun. Allison is an American nurse who has called Hong Kong and Mainland China home for the past 3 years.

Pandemic Living: it's hard to describe how crowded Hong Kong is. You are never more than a foot away from another person. During SARS, we stayed indoors and wore masks outside. In Denver, even indoors I don't face crowds like that, the only people breathing that close to me are my kids. I'm not saying this isn't serious: it is. But I've not even briefly considered the need for a face mask. And I have one made by Louis Vuitton! Key here is to remember: this isn't nuclear fallout. You can, and should, get outside. Take walks, Have extra long morning and afternoon playtimes.

  • Dalia: I am something of a prepper, and have 100 cans of Spam in my basement. How long can I continue to order pizza?

  • Jummy: Runners are typically planners, so uncertainty is hard on our mental health. How can we anchor ourselves during uncertain times?

  • Allison: How many times per day do I need to make my kids bathe in Clorox?

  • Dalia: How do we support vulnerable families in our community? I’m guessing we don't need to show up at the soup kitchen or food bank.

  • Jummy: What is one exercise I can do to keep my brain from spiraling into depression and anxiety?

  • Allison: It feels like every action we take is meaningless, like nothing we do will DO anything. Can you give us some perspective?

Client Q&A


  • My children and I will be home (I am in a high risk group) but my husbands company is continuing to require employees to be on site (he’s an R&D chemist and there isn’t much they can do from home). Should I have him shower/change clothes before he interacts with us or is simple hand washing enough?


  • Will focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet help me keep from getting the virus? I work outside of the home and rarely cook lunch or anything more that quick breakfasts. My communities schools are closed for the foreseeable future. What suggestions do you have for easy breakfasts and lunches to make to keep both kids and adults well fed and happy.

  • Should I start taking any supplements to help my body stay healthy? I heard turmeric and vitamin c might help, Is that true?

Mental Health

  • There are so many changes and I’m not sure where to begin processing my next steps. I feel paralyzed how do I begin to move forward?

  • I generally function best when my time is structured and my schedule is busy. I see a lot of unstructured down time on my hands as I prepare to be home with my children. How do I manage the unstructured time and increase in anxiety that it is prone to bringing.


  • Hi MK, I’m training for the Colfax Marathon and hitting those longer runs in the teens. Will these longer runs lower my immunity? Thank you for your thoughts. Hopefully, I can make the best decision about training. I

  • I’m following the 100-mile plan for 3 Days at the Fair. My son had major surgery last week, so I’ve missed most of the weekday runs and am not feeling rested enough for the weekend long runs. My plan is to take it easy, maybe go for a few walks, and pick up again on Monday. Does this sound good? Is there anything else I should keep in mind?

  • Hi Coach! Not unexpectedly, my marathon scheduled for next Sunday was cancelled. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to run my own 26.2 or if I just sleep in and try again another day (many months from now). If I do it, what are your race strategy recommendations? I know what you suggest for a half but not a full. My only goal truly is to finish. Thanks for your thoughts and for coaching and loving us all through the latest craziness that has become life. Alicia

  • A bit irrational, I know, but pleeeease convince me I'm not going to lose a ton of fitness. Just tapered my for cancelled half, now I'm in a winter wonderland and I'm trying to set a good example and not go to the gym right now to use the treadmill. I'm trying to get some good strength sessions in daily. And being diligent about foam rolling!!!! 😍

  • Looks like my runs are going to include a jogging stroller in the near future so I need to adjust anything to run successfully with a stroller?

  • My race was cancelled 😭 I know training is never wasted but I was excited and now I’m super bummed. How do I get over it and how to I get motivated to train again?

Coach MK livestreams question and answer sessions each week on the Fitness Protection Program Facebook Page, The Fitness Protection Program YouTube Channel, and Twitch, simultaneously. Join us! They are a lot of fun, super informative, and anyone may ask follow-up questions during the live broadcast! Try a free month of Fitness Protection today!

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