In my Private Practice, as well as among my friends and colleagues, I have been hearing more and more expressed frustration with travel restrictions and lockdowns. One of the most common complaints seems to be related to the apparently arbitrary, inconsistent, and illogical rules and regulations. I keep hearing about “moving goalposts” being used to justify onerous restrictions. It seems that, just as soon as promised criteria for “opening up” or “getting back to normal” have been achieved, those pesky goalposts are moved once again.
I was having lunch with a colleague, and he was recounting several trips he had planned that had been cancelled due to COVID restrictions. This had me reflect upon several trips of my own that had been cancelled over the past two years, some at the eleventh hour. The majority of trips for both of us were visits to foreign lands. Some were for vacation and recreation, and some were business lectures and seminars. I looked back over my Journal and refreshed my memory as to my mind-set planning the trips, excitedly rearranging my schedule, and the disappointment when they all fell through. Several points became abundantly clear as I reviewed the various scenarios with the blessings of 20/20 hindsight.
First, it seems that I really didn’t learn from the first trip or two being cancelled. Although some of the trips were more business than pleasure, the time and destination were established by others. It was agreed that the arrangements were all subject to change, given the various countries’ restrictions relative to the pandemic. I was less disappointed when these trips were cancelled, because I had no real discretion or latitude choosing the venue or the timing. I typically try to plan my “vacations” around several adventures to visit friends, family, colleagues, and points of interest. I like the feeling of satisfaction that comes with “killing two birds with one stone”.
Second, it seemed that the rest of the world was becoming less and less accommodating with repeated on-again/off-again changes in their travel restrictions. Travel to another country became tricky enough, but when there was no guarantee to be able to return to America, it became serious. Between passports, vaccine passports, vaccination certificates, booster(s), timed negative COVID tests to leave or enter, masking, and social distancing, it soon became obvious that foreign travel was currently more trouble than it was worth.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to travel in my own state of Florida. Here, because of courageous leadership (and a resilient people) we enjoy near “normal” (read: pre-COVID) freedoms. We decided to revisit some of the fun places we have neglected for many years as the rest of the world was open. We decided to begin with Key West.
The Keys, and Key West in particular, are a world apart from the rest of the panic-driven Country. No masks. No social distancing. No fuss, and no shaming. Instead, we enjoyed a delightful, relaxing, laid-back, laissez-faire couple of days. It was an amazing change of pace and was “just what the Doctor ordered” …! I have enthusiastically reported my experiences to my patients, family, friends, and colleagues. However, I think the greatest benefit could be felt by my patients who, for lack of a better term, are bordering on becoming “stir crazy”.
But, enough of that…! Let’s see what we have in store for this first issue of 2022. Destiny provides us with two articles this issue addressing training your glutes and muscle hypertrophy. Andrew reveals some techniques for mentally strengthening athletes. Cade takes us through the world of performance coaching, while Nancy looks at the benefits of simply getting off the couch and moving. For those of you into physiology, Julianne looks at the role of various enzymes while Jacob peeks into the new and exciting world of SARMs. Gabriel takes us through several popular supplements as Marc explores supplemental proteins. Aniya explains performance and antihistamines as Madison looks into the timing of nutritional intake. Finally, while Nicole explores the need for energy balance, Mokonya reviews the importance of adequate sleep for optimum performance.
As we approach the 2-year anniversary of restrictions and lockdowns, unfortunately there appears to be little relief in sight. In the meantime, I’ll continue to explore my home state of Florida with a hopeful eye on the future. Stay Hard and Pay Attention…!
-Dr. Tom Fisher