“Slow You Down”

House of Sport as a co-working space is made up of a community of individuals. With the community now more spread out across the country (in some cases, the world) we are missing those morning-in-person-coffee-break catch-ups, those lunchtime active lunchbreaks. How can we stay connected to our community?

In this new reflective series, we look into some of the experiences of our residents as they navigate this new way of working and of living.

This first piece from London Sport’s Senior Insight Officer, Laura Green, gives us an insight into her life in lockdown and what she has been learning along the way

Many moons ago on a mild March afternoon I waved goodbye to my friends as we parted ways from a slightly boozy brunch. Prosecco-filled and nervous, my friend joked that it may well be the last time we see each other for a very long time, and as ever, my friend was right.

Before I knew it, my flat transitioned from a place of rest and riojas to an office and gym all rolled into one, and suddenly I had an extra two hours in the day. I waved goodbye to overcrowded trains and people standing on the wrong side of the escalator and hello to… well, perhaps a glimpse of serenity?

Okay, so serenity may be exaggerating slightly, but I certainly noticed that I was slowing down and taking my time navigating my way through the day… and it turns out that the little old man from my hometown did actually have a point when he said (in a very Norfolk accent, I should add) “slow you down girl, what’s the rush?” as I sped past him biking to work.

I won’t lie by suggesting that my ‘new normal’ is a life of ambling around with no worries or stress, and that I am oh so much happier for it. Nor am I implying that slowing down has solved all my problems, of course it hasn’t. But allowing myself to press pause on my life every now and then has been healthy, both mentally and physically.

So, as I continue to try to “slow down” and spend less time in the past or fixated on the future, here is what has helped me be a little bit more present:

Keeping a journal– yes yes, I know I sound like Bridget Jones, but keeping a journal has been incredibly helpful for me. Whether I write it in every day or once a week, having this time cemented into my routine has allowed me to just stop for a hot sec and write down anything, or everything.

Taking a walk to nowhere in particular- ah yes, my favourite lockdown activity. I spent most of the first few weeks of lockdown exploring East London by foot. I am fortunate to live in a part of London where there is so much green open space, but I didn’t realise just how vast it was… for London anyway. If you fancy a walk, I recommend section 12 and 13 of the Capital Ring.

Reigniting my love for music- music, in many forms, has always been a huge part of my life. From road trips on the North Norfolk coast with my family, to music festivals with my friends, music has played a part in so many important moments in my life. Having time to sit down and discover new music, or watch old Glastonbury sets (cries), has really helped me throughout lockdown. But my gosh do I miss gigs and festivals! I’m currently listening to The Fight album by The Overcoats.

Finishing a book- I have a habit of buying books and never finishing them. But having a book ‘on-the-go’ has again helped me to stop and pull myself away from screens. I’m currently reading The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown.

Not having a plan for my annual leave- if you know me, you will know that I am someone who spends her annual leave travelling, but that wasn’t really an option this year. So, this year, I decided to take time off with no plans whatsoever, other than to switch off from my work, social and digital life. It helped me recharge and reset both mentally and physically.

Going ‘home home’ for more than just a weekend- I have loved being able to explore the county I grew up in. Since going to university and moving to London, I rarely go back home to Norfolk and would never really venture beyond the realms of my village and my favourite beach. But this year I took time to explore Norfolk again and it is so beautiful. The Norfolk Broads and the Norfolk coast are idyllic. Where to visit in Norfolk? There are so many great choices but Holkham beach is so beautiful.

Alas, I could ramble on for pages and pages about what I have learned throughout the pandemic, and how great Norfolk is, but let’s be honest you probably don’t have the time nor desire to read anymore of such ramblings. So, as we continue to live in a world that seems on the verge of collapsing, hopefully this can act as a reminder that despite all that is wrong with the world right now, it’s still a pretty beautiful place.

If you want to read more about how some of our residents have been faring during lockdown, check out House of Sport at Home.

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We’re based a short walk from Borough Station (London Underground) and London Bridge Station (London Underground & National Rail).

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