It’s no secret that 2020 was… well - 2020. But that didn’t mean that people stopped caring about one another. In fact, we saw acts of kindness get a boost like never before in a time that we were all forced to be apart. People were forced to pause, forced to see what life looked like beyond what it had always been for them. We were all, more than ever before, able to understand what life was like for other people - whose stories we may never have heard without them.
One group of people who the world relied on more than ever (or at least in recent history), were frontline responders. Healthcare workers have always been the backbone of society, but that’s never been quite as obvious as it has since the pandemic began.
That is one of the many reasons why we were so excited to be able to treat Andy Brown, an ER Nurse, to a free suit, custom made to his measurements. It all started with a giveaway, where we asked people to let us know who they thought deserved a lift in these crazy times. We drew a name, our team holding their breath until we found out who it was. Andy Brown.
Andy Brown, whose wife nominated him because of the long, hard hours he’d been working in the ER. Andy Brown who was one of the first faces that countless COVID-19 patients saw. Andy Brown who just really, really deserved a pat on the back, and a moment to spend on himself.
We sat down with Andy during and after his fitting to get to know him a little better, and we'd like for you to do the same. Check out a bit of our conversation with our giveaway winner Andy Brown.
Q: How are you keeping yourself motivated during COVID?
A: Interestingly, my primary hobby which helps me balance the scales during this strange and stressful time (mountain trail running/mountaineering) has been almost unaffected by COVID. This hobby includes more than going on runs. Other activities that feed into it include constantly working on core stability, flexibility, whole body mobility, and lower strength in the supportive muscle groups in my lower body. I also ride both a mountain bike and stationary bike to supplement running with challenging exercise that doesn't beat up my joints/feet. All of these activities are either done at home or outside, so COVID has done little to change these routines. I derive motivation and a desire for life from fitness and exercise, and it feels like these activities guard me against depression. I feel like my mission in life is primarily to be an emotionally healthy husband and father, but I have found that the most important piece of that puzzle is regular exercise that allows me to explore the world around me as well as explore my own limits. Mountain trail running at the foot of the Colorado Rockies does just this! Staying connected to other athletes through social media like Strava has helped too, and made the world of quarantine feel smaller in a good way.
Q: What are some of your goals for 2021?
A: Primarily, I want to continue to find balance between the stressful things that are required in life (aspects of working in healthcare for example) with the things that give me a sense of flourishing and extra energy. This balance is sort of a holy grail, and while I don't expect to ever "find it," I do want to continue to strive for it. So many things play into this equation of flux: Time at work, time at home, nutrition, sleep, exercise, spirituality, investing emotional energy in my children, relaxation, etc. More specifically I want to also focus on relationships that have suffered due to the pandemic over the last 10 months. I have a number of friends whom I only saw rarely before the pandemic and now I haven't seen them in almost a year. This is up to me to change!
Q: What are your hopes and aspirations for a post COVID world?
A: It seems to me that the world is basically split up into two groups of people: Those whose attention is primarily directed inward on their own small world of desires, fear, and brokenness at the expense of all others, and those whose attention is primarily directed outward toward the people around them with a purpose of improving that world in some way. Or at least I find this dichotomy in myself. Every moment of every day I feel like I have a choice to stay small, safe, afraid, and disregard the greater world around me or I can look up and out, open my heart and mind, and strive to make myself and everything else better in some way (even if it is seemingly insignificant). This choice is infinite, and is always before each of us at every moment. I have never been happier than when I was living in the latter group and trying to fight against the entropy of goodness that seems to pervade the world around us. Likewise, I have never been more miserable than when I chose to wall myself off and say "screw you world" in an attempt to stay safe and comfortable. So my hope for a post COVID world is that more people find the wellspring that is knowing life is short, and that we don't have time to waste on small mindedness, bigotry, selfishness, and self-pity. Pandemics have always acted as purges to the species they plague throughout history, and I hope that whatever fills the void of what has been lost is something brighter, truer, and better. I think we can each work to make this a reality!
From all of us at Inherent Clothier, we're looking forward to a much better, brighter 2021. However, let us not leave behind this push to treat one another kindly. To look into the life and hardships of those who may not be exactly like us. Let us continue connecting with others in new and authentic ways. But let us never be too 2020 for our own good.