#21Stretches continued: The fi

#21Stretches continued: The final stretch – or not?

#21Stretches is a personal illustration and writing project as South Africa finds itself in lockdown.

#21Stretches continued: The fi

Following on “Here’s how to stretch your lockdown legs – and your sense of humour”, sit back and relax while we bring you the rest of the #21Stretches to lift your lockdown blues.

Stay socially connected

Yes! Well done, everyone! Take a big deep breath and slowly let that breath out. Please also remember, the term social distancing is wrong. It should be physical distancing. In times like this we need to physically stay apart, but stay as socially connected as possible. We need the social connection more than ever right now.

 So reach out and make sure your friends are doing okay. Okay? Good. Now, one more deep breath and a double high five. We got this.

Jenny is four. Jenny is her own superhero. If she was going to defeat evil and protect the world, then she needed to be ready and warmed up. So it wasn’t hard to guess what her favourite stretch was. And if Jenny was going to do the superhero stretch, then she was going to do it properly. She was literally going to put her back into it. Jenny was going to look and feel like the powerful superhero she was. Although Jenny is only four, Jenny has it spot on: We all need to be our own superhero. Especially now.

When Derek went to see a show at Gate69, his cabaret dream was born. He went back every week for the next three months. He suddenly knew he wanted to be a Trolley Dolley, to share the stage with “the hostest with the mostest”. Nothing else mattered anymore, especially not his corporate accounting job.

The problem was the Trolley Dollies looked like a tough threesome to crack. No matter, he’d keep training in the meantime (doing a pirouette in heels wasn’t for sissies). He also needed to lose this paunch. He wondered how hard it would be to do a HIIT class in heels. Also Derek was 5ft2 and the shortest Trolly Dolly seemed to be 7ft. Here’s hoping height wasn’t part of the selection process…

Cathy had run the 2020 @2OceansMarathon Lockdown #nooceans Ultra yesterday and today she was tired and stiff. A mindnumbing 48km on the treadmill in the garage and 10km around the house. She was pretty sure the normal Two Oceans Ultra didn’t involve treadmills, stepping on Lego, tripping over her kid or falling down the front door steps. At least there was always a waterpoint-slash-kitchen nearby. And plasters.

The only thing that had got her through yesterday was that today she wasn’t going to move from the couch. And she was going to eat her body weight in Easter eggs guilt-free. Now, where were those white eggs? She’d only had four of those so far.

Eric belonged to the local Björn Borg Fan Club. They all had to grow their hair and a beard to be allowed into the club. Once a month they would meet up and watch his old games, dissect his double-handed backhand and talk about how he kept his hair in such good condition for his whole career.

Tonight was a special night. It was the annual Björn Borg Fan Club versus their mortal enemies, the John McEnroe Fan Club. It was quiz night! Held in honour of the 1980 Wimbledon final which the “Ice-Borg” had won, this was Eric’s favourite night of the year.

The BBFC had never lost and it absolutely infuriated the John McEnroes. As Eric warmed up, he grinned. He could already imagine them screaming at the end of the night, “You cannot be serious!”

Murphy was an avid #tuesdaytrails runner and a fan of the shoulder stand stretch. As usual, he tried to empty his head of all his thoughts. This was proving hard to do.

Think of nothing, think of nothing, think of…Heathrow is just one letter away from Deathrow, that’s weird, right? Think of nothing, think – wait, so if you do think about it, good health is really just the slowest possible rate at which one can die, right? Stop it, think of nothing, think of nothing…ah crap, I think too much blood has gone to my head — I can’t feel my toes. It might also be this pipe…whatever, it’s 18:00. It’s time to run!

Susan lunged for the line, a bit like she’d lunged for her ex pre-lockdown, but just like her ex, the finish line seemed to move further away and just out of reach. What the?! Surely not. Did she need glasses? An improved ability to read the situation? Let’s be honest, this wasn’t the first time.

Was her spatial awareness way off? She lunged again. The finish line stubbornly refused to come forward to embrace her. This was definitely a metaphor for her ex. She took a deep breath. Fine. Screw you, ex finish line. She’d be back in two weeks.

Thanks for peeking in at the lives of Gwen, Dave, Demolition Doug, Steve, Mary, Hannah, Bonang, Len, Billy, Michelle, Cassim, Mildred, Jenny, Derek, Cathy, Eric. Murphy and Susan. It’s time to leave them alone now. They’ll continue to keep muddling on for the rest of the lockdown. As we all will.

Keep stretching, keep smiling, celebrate moments, celebrate small victories and keep dreaming of better times to come. It’s not getting easier, but we’ve come this far.