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Ginny Otte

Weeknights 12am - 5:30am

Last year, I had extensive surgery and needed to recuperate at home.  I had recently just taken over as Production director of WMGQ and WCTC, after having worked as the assistant in that department for years.  In short order I had to find my replacement as assistant, get settled into my new responsibilities, and find a way to begin a 6 week recovery process.  I “moved in” to my guest bedroom; I am used to multitasking and asking me to stay in one place for an extended time is…a challenge.

Returning to work was a welcome relief, however within just a couple of months, COVID 19 changed the world. Being a medically at-risk person, I began working some of the time in the office, and some of the time in my guest bedroom.

It appeared that my 6 week recovery would simply be practice for what was to come, for all of us.

Beasley Media Group went above and beyond to ensure the safety and health of their employees while maintaining the level of productivity needed to get us through this to continue to be the go-to for our family of listeners with information, news, and entertainment.  In relatively short order I was one of many people set up to perform work at home as needed; my guest bedroom–a tiny affair–became an office and a makeshift recording studio for me with remarkable sound quality.  I think it’s because of the huge bed behind me that deadens any possible echo.

I also became one of those people who needed to find ways to separate work from home–when you work from home, do you ever not work?  I’m always thinking of things that I can do, or do better, and rather than make a list to do on Monday…I would just log on and do it.  I found myself becoming more and more sedentary, which would not be good for me considering I’d just recovered from an involved surgery.  So what to do?  I live in an old, turn-of-the-last-century home no bigger than a vacation cottage.  There’s little floor space.  So, I bought a tiny portable plastic step machine.

I also needed motivation to use it.

I discovered Virtual Marathons, and ‘that is all she wrote,’ as the saying goes.  Every day I use my little stepper during a set lunch break, often in the same guest bedroom that the office laptop and mic is in.  I force myself to walk before work each day–I call it my “commute”–and exercise after work each day, to “commute home.”  I log into my virtual marathon app to see where in the world I would be on my individual walk, using Google maps and street view to see the sights.

In doing so, I have become more physically fit than I have been in decades.  I have walked 890 extra miles in 8 months, roughly 300 of which are on my little plastic step machine and about 200 of which were done in a 12″x12″ guest room that is also an office, prod room, and guest bedroom.  When “this is all over,” I will be fit and have tales of the history I learned while virtually walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall, the Ring of Kerry in Ireland, Mt. Fuji, Tijuana to the US border, and the Ring Road around Iceland (which is 858 miles, and I have just under 590 miles to go).  My bedroom/office/studio is getting filled not just with the awards I have won over the years for radio, but now for walking hundreds of miles.

I am so grateful to my employer for keeping us safe and accommodating so many people to ensure we all had the tools that we needed on such short notice, and I am so grateful for the modern technology that not only allows us to do it, but allows me to walk marathons in a room no bigger than a walk-in closet.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  I share this today to give you ideas on how to stay fit and show some good news, which we can all use a little of here and there. Hopefully with news of vaccines coming and more effective treatments, we will all be “out of hibernation” soon.  I am pleased that I will not need to start “life outside” with weight to lose (although I have learned how to make small batch muffins in a toaster oven, but that is a post for another day!