Louis Fowler’s Pandemic Journal: Worked Out

About two years ago, after my first stroke—I can’t believe that’s how I gauge time now—I started working out at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic’s Wellness Center a couple of times a week, where I met plenty of people who had more of a weight crisis than a weight problem. I know the pain, man.

Needing more and needing it closer, I bought a membership and started working out on a daily basis at the Gold’s Gym on NW 23rd, about half a mile from my house—a half mile I walked to and from everyday. And it sure did work, helping me not only lose many excess pounds, but put on some much-needed muscle as well.

But, as soon as the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic hit, the gyms were the first to get closed down and Gold’s was no exception.

Even though Gold’s sends me constant emails about trying their whole fitness-at-home app on the phone, there’s nothing like using their multifaceted equipment live and in person—that’s why I pay them $40 bucks a month.

So while my membership is on hold, sadly, my body is not; the lack of iron being pumped, I feel, is a great factor in my recent downfall. As my body aches and my hunger intensifies, I have been trying to walk five, sometimes ten, miles around the dangerous part of town that I live and, possibly, will die in.

And though I’m collecting more and more fitness awards on my used Fitbit, much like sex with a condom, it’s good but doesn’t really feel the same. But I still keep on keepin’ on. Even as soon as I got out of the hospital I attempted to walk a few miles, with varying success.

That being said, there are so many memes circulating right now that, because we’re in a pandemic, it’s okay to overeat and be generally unhealthy during this trying period; it seems as though self-care has turned into another buzzword for immediate gratification.

I would never tell anyone what to do; you have to do what’s right for yourself. But, for me, I can’t let that happen to myself again. I’ve got to keep trying. I’ve got to keep walking until this is over and I can return to the gym again.

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Walmart is using the David Bowie song “Heroes” in their commercials, which feels like that moment when your parent likes that one Taylor Swift song and plays it over and over in the car—it’s downright uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, I learned via NextDoor that not only has someone from the Wal-Mart near my house contacted Covid-19, but the store isn’t paying professionals to clean the place, but is instead using the hapless kids trying to earn their lowly wage to do it for them. This doesn’t seem right to me.

And people thought Whittaker’s was going to be the epicenter.

Thankfully, the 7-Eleven nearby has given their employees not only gloves and facemasks, but installed Plexiglas protectors over their check-outs. While the crew was quick to thank me for the entry I wrote about them, telling me that it “must have” reached corporate, I liked to think the famed convenience store did it because these are, you know, human beings.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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7 Responses


  1. How can Walmart on 23rd and Penn be the epicenter if covid19 has been in Oklahoma since December ?


  2. Everyone should do what works for them personally, but walking is a near-perfect exercise all by itself. Cardiovascular system, lungs, muscle tone (in the core and lower body), balance…

    Louis, it sounds like you may be out of the hospital and back on the road to recovery. I hope that’s so.


    1. What he said, walking helps more than you think it would.


  3. Maybe walk down to the capitol and check out the back to work group.


  4. Keep moving, Louis! You got this!


  5. Louis-
    A few words of encouragement my friend. You’ve already done the hard part. We establish good habits, just as we fall into bad. Training your body has to become a part of your lifestyle and a priority, making it such is arguably the hardest part. You’ve climbed that mountain. I would encourage you to try some of the at home workout routines, keeping in mind that it’s only temporary and you’ll be back in the groove in no time. Keep up the walking. Not only will you live longer, the years will be more productive and enjoyable. Progress not perfection.


  6. Is bicycling an option for you? You’ll slim right down if you eat right and work up, slowly, to riding greater distances every week.

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