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  • Garon Keuten

Shake up your life: How Covid Changed My Life Forever

The Moment of Truth


On Wednesday, January 5th, I woke up as I normally do. I was prepared to tackle my day as a high school science teacher and coach, albeit still adjusting to the regular routine due to our Christmas break. On most evenings I tell myself I will get up early, and the morning comes and I am hitting snooze for hours, literally. I set an alarm for 530, 545, 630, and finally another at 730. 730 is the last one though, because if I go beyond this mark, my day will be marred with being unprepared and forgetful at best. The reason I tell you this will make more sense later on down the line. It's a daily excuse and bargain I make with myself that leads to a lack of positive personal and professional growth.


Something Was Off


I realized that I had a very slight sore throat and just felt 'out of it,' so to speak. I pushed forward through my day and things got better after my morning caffeine ritual. I could create a blog just about coffee alone. My phone has a Coffee is Life section, equipped with apps at the ease of my fingertips. Following the early release school day, I came home. And crashed. Like completely. A solid two hours of needed sleep, prior to heading to my second job as a bartender. I decided to take two Covid tests, one after I woke up and then one later on in the evening when I finally ended my day. Both tests came back negative. My wife on the other hand, tested positive. Great! I wasn't totally worried. I had Covid-19 the previous year, and although a moderate hell for 4-5 days, I luckily made a full recovery. We both had been vaccinated as well, so even if we did get the latest variant, we hoped it would also be much less virulent. My wife had moderate symptoms, so I decided to stay home Thursday the 6th and take care of her while testing again to make sure I did not spread the virus to my students. I tested for a third time, and was yet again, negative. I felt really good through the afternoon and evening, so I assumed I had caught one of the countless other bugs that run rampant through a high school filled with voracious teenagers. I proceeded to go to school Friday and the day ended with me feeling 100%.


Wham


I remember resting my head to go to bed on Friday night. I had just worked a 5-10 PM shift at my bartending side gig, and I was flat out tired. Tired from a long day and busy night of slinging drinks at our local watering hole. I awoke to something that would bring me back to some moments that genuinely made me scared for my life. I vividly remember opening my eyes and feeling like I was rested. The next recollection was rolling my out of shape non-dad bod yet body out of the spare bedroom, since my wife was still positive and very symptomatic. I immediately felt like razor blades going down my throat when I tried to swallow and a tightening of my throat and chest. I stood up and could feel dizziness, congestion, and a sudden curdling cough that rattled all the way down to the core of my pulmonary system. Oh man, I thought, I have felt this before. I knew right then and there I had finally caught Covid again. Little background story before we proceed. I grew up as a chunky but lovable big kid. I was fat. Lets not sugarcoat this, my mom had to take me to the special store for the 'Husky' kids, lol. This led me to have what I like to call 'fat-sma,' the version of asthma that bigger kids experience, well, because they were corn fed like myself. Long story short to tie it all back together, I have always had reactive airways. I had experienced pneumonia 3-4 times already in life, hence my immediate concern. As you can expect, on January 8th I tested a 4th time, and was in fact positive for Covid, yet again.


A Rare Opportunity


My phone dinged. I picked it up and realized my principal had responded to the news of me being Covid positive. Always supportive, she mentioned that she was sorry that I had to go through this again. A day later, I was notified by our county that I could not return until the following Friday, January 14th as long as I was symptom free and had a negative test result. My Saturday and Sunday turned out to be miserable days. Tough to breathe, coughing, waves of dizziness and daze, zapped of all energy, just sleep it off type days. I filled my days with cold and flu relief meds, mucinex, ibuprofen, and decongestants. Finally by the 10th, I felt semi normal again and that I was at least improving. My wife let me know about a program called 75 Hard by Andy Frisella. We both committed to starting right away and it was life changing from the moment I began reading. I immediately became addicted to the style of writing and the no nonsense attitude Andy provided. The dude flat out motivated me unlike anything I have ever experienced in life. Thanks to all my spare time, I read the book in two days, completing it on January 11th. We have now successfully completed two full days of 75 Hard, which I will dive into more detail later on. I feel as if this second round with 'The Rona' is going to be one of the biggest blessings I have ever received.


My Why


I thank God every couple hours it seems, about my wife showing me the 75 Hard program. "Thank you for giving me Covid," I exclaimed, enthusiastically. I know, that is really bad, but I literally said it. I was thankful that I was pulling through the sickness, and I set out to become a better person. I realized my lifestyle and my choices were negatively affecting me in every way imaginable. My personal, professional, and physical life was going down a road that I did not want to be on. If I got this sick at 35, what will happen when I am 40, 45, 50? If I kept going down the path I was on, I would undoubtedly die young for some reason, Covid or other. I want to grow myself into the true potential that I hold within. I made a conscious choice on January 10th to quit listening to my 'Inner Bitch,' as Andy proclaims in his book. I want readers, no matter how many or how few, to know that this is my reason for starting the blog. I am not some inspirational coach who is going to take you to the next level in your personal growth journey. This isn't a self-help page or guide promising results for you. This is a personal story about how I will one day became the most bad ass version of myself. Brick by brick (wink wink for my VoCo brothers), decision by decision, small choice by small choice. I also want to mention that I always enjoyed and excelled at writing in school, however it has been a long time since those days, so bear with me on punctuation and grammar.


-GK-





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