Calum Lewis has worked for English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues for just under four years.
He manages digital marketing for our hotels, including social media, SEO, website maintenance and loads of other projects besides. Calum shares how Covid-19 affected his work/life balance, and how the benefits of working for English Lakes has helped him on his fitness journey.
Because most of my work is online, the only thing that was disrupted by COVID-19 was where I worked. Instead of working from the office, I worked from home where I had easy access to my computer. I quickly discovered that, without my previous one hour commute, working from home gave me much more time in the mornings and evenings.
I’ve probably had it easier than many during lockdown. I don’t have any children to entertain or educate, and I have found that working at home on my own helps me concentrate. I’m definitely more productive and less distracted. Having the extra time at either side of my working day means that I can fit in exercise in the morning without having to get up at 5 am. After work I can enjoy a post-work stroll down Morecambe promenade.
It started primarily as a weight loss journey. For the first 18 months all I did was walk/hike every day, gradually increasing the distances whilst also reducing my calorie intake. Once my weight loss had plateaued I had to start taking my exercise a little further and made use of my gym membership through work. Each morning before work, I used the Health Club at Low Wood Bay, this was around 6 months pre-COVID. Once COVID hit, I was stuck without the gym. I started running every day, but I ended up with painful knees and injuries. Joe Wicks was a big source of inspiration, showing that you can do workouts at home with minimal or no equipment. Since then, I have found I enjoy running mostly and I’ve developed my own gym and fitness plan to help maximise and increase my fitness, whilst preventing any joint problems.
As an employee of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, the free gym membership at both Sandpiper Club and The Health Club at Low Wood Bay have certainly been big encouragements. When I am in the office, I can easily fit in a session before or after work at and be at work straight afterwards. Then, when working from home, Sandpiper Club is only 20 minutes away from my house.
Recovery is a big part of fitness, and one that I hadn’t really factored in. Having access to hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and spa facilities always makes it much easier for the body to relax, and help muscles and joints recover. Even if you’ve just been for a hike in the Lake District, it’s nice to be able to nip into The Health Club at Low Wood Bay for a swim or relax on the way home, or to Sandpiper Club when I’ve been out walking or running in the Forest of Bowland.
Since I have only really started running during lockdown, there were no official runs or races available. Like most people, I wanted to start with a 5K race, then 10K, and then work up, but since I was already running between 10 and 13 miles before any official events had started, I decided to sign up to a half marathon as my first event. I was pretty nervous, mostly about running with lots of other people, since during lockdown I have only every run alone. The festival-like atmosphere was a bit of a shock to the system. However, once I started running, the adrenaline pushed me round and I finished 19th out of 525 competitors, which I was pretty happy with.
I’m now planning to sign up for a few more trail races and will try to improve my time and increase the distance. My running friends are confident that the Bob Graham is somewhere in my future but I'll hold off that one as long as I can.