Diana Wenrich, 37, resident of Winter Garden Fla, Mom, Wife, Athlete, and Yoga Teacher sets an example on ways to adapt during the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. After losing her father to pancreatic cancer, 2 years ago at the age of 63, Diana says “Since his battle I’ve tried hard to live life in the moment, because truly that is all we can be certain of. Is this pandemic inconvenient? YES! Will it end? Of course! We just must be patient and grateful that we are healthy and still afforded the opportunities to do the things that make us happy. It may not be yoga in a studio or running an organized race, but we can still do these things at home for the time being and find the joy that they bring to our lives.”
During the March interview, Diana said she was teaching yoga classes at both the One Yoga & Fitness Studio in Clermont and at the Hot On Yoga Studio in Winter Garden. Shortly thereafter a state of emergency declared by the United States Government required all non-essential businesses to cease operations. This order was enforced as an attempt to stop the spread of the corona virus and to protect the health and safety of all citizens. This forced many individuals and small business to become creative and discover ways to remain active and be able to provide service for their clients.
In order to continue teaching yoga, like many others, Diana had to use technology. “Although I’m unable to teach yoga in a traditional studio, I’ve continued to teach a little bit virtually. I’ve led a few live Zoom classes for my running group and have also recorded some yoga sessions for One Yoga and Fitness’ YouTube channel” says Wenrich.
I’m getting more and more comfortable with this! I’m using zoom for yoga and for my job. I think video conferencing programs like this are going to pave the way for the future. Kids are learning to use this at a young age and many adults are relying on it for remote work these days. It’s going to be exciting to see how the use of technology during this pandemic shape business and education in the future,” says Diana.
Although she recently retired from teaching middle school, Diana says “I’ve been trying for the past eight years to teach at Florida Virtual school (FLVS).” As of March 23rd, Diana began teaching 7th grade language arts. “The timing (with everything going digital) was a complete coincidence and I can’t tell you how excited I am. I teach in the Flex program, meaning students can enroll at any time throughout the year. Although it is a virtual environment, I feel like I get to know my students so much better this way! We communicate with our students one-on-one and have truly incredible academic conversations. This is my thirteenth year as a teacher and I can say with certainty that this is the most I have ever been able to offer my students with quality help and instruction,” says Wenrich.
Diana also adds, “Although I am not teaching yoga as much as before, I am really appreciating those times I can offer a class via zoom or record one for YouTube. I’m also using this time to deepen my own practice. It’s nice to have that pause to be able to refine your craft.”
Finding ways to improvise, Diana has not allowed the restrictions set forth to limit her from remaining active. “My fitness has been one of the constants throughout this crazy situation. I’ve tried to remain active and give as much as I can to others.” As for practicing yoga, I’ve tried to maintain my 3 day/week yoga practice. It keeps me balanced and sane. I’ve been practicing outside in the garage or on my back patio to try and simulate the heat of the studio, but I’ve also been content practicing indoors. One thing I’ve learned in being forced to alter my practice is that I really don’t need a heated room to have a good practice,” says Diana.
In addition to the temporary closures of the yoga studios, marathons and many other athletic events have been put on an indefinite hold. Serious about fitness, Diana completed 6 marathons and was preparing for an upcoming event in May. “I have also continued running 4 times a week. All my upcoming races have been cancelled and it’s really been disappointing. I was looking forward to a 100-mile relay run in the Keys that was supposed to be in May, but it’s now postponed until next year. Without any goal races in sight, I’ve really focused in on speedwork and getting faster. When life throws you a roadblock, forge a new path. My current goal is to run 7 miles in one hour. My last attempt was 1:01:08…. getting close,” says Weinrich.
When asked about family life, Diana says “I have truly been blessed with a fantastic family. The kids (ages 8 & 10) have been troopers. My husband and I have done our best to continue their activities and routines from before the pandemic. We have gotten them set up with their digital education and they have embraced it well. My son is taking virtual karate classes and my daughter is doing virtual dance, both offered by the studios they normally attend.
We even got my brother, a police officer down in Sunrise, FL to do a zoom chat with their Cub Scout group. This is something we would have never thought to do before all of this! They were most disappointed in the fact that our annual ski trip was cancelled in March, but it was a really good lesson that sometimes things happen in life that are out of our control…what we can control is our reaction to the situation. They’re looking forward to going back next year. They’ve become more independent and mature in the last few weeks, and I attribute it to the sudden change the pandemic affected in our lives.
In addition to the virtual dancing and karate, the Wenrich’s also keep active by bicycling. “My family and I have found biking to be one of our favorite activities. We like to take the bikes out and go for a long ride to look at nature and really tune into our surroundings. Last week we went out to the South Lake Trail and rode over 8-miles. The kids were proud of themselves, says Diana.”
In conclusion, Diana says, “I am 40 hours away from finishing my 200-hr Yoga certification (that’s 2 weekend sessions). There’s a lot of unknown right now so I can’t tell you when I’ll be finished, but I can tell you this…I trust that when it is finally safe to do so, Gina (my teacher/mentor from One Yoga) will ensure we get our hours completed and earn our certificates…and there will probably be a big party to follow!”
For more information or to connect with Diana, please follow her on FaceBook.