Heading South for the Winter

Sadly, Summer 2020 has almost come to an end. When I talk to a lot of my friends about this summer, the consensus is that summer was a wash due to COVID-19. I personally did not do anything this summer and this was the first time since high school I did not go on a trip. I haven’t even been in the city since February. It’s crazy!

With all this time on my hands, I have remained focused on what are some things I can still accomplish. One of my biggest goals it to make it down to Florida to start what I call my winter hibernation in paradise. Basically, snow birding or going south for the winter. Usually, I leave for Florida in November and stay until March or April. The reason I choose to head south for the winter is my body cannot take the cold anymore because of my condition, muscular dystrophy. I don’t have the muscles to keep my body warm. If I stay in New York during the winter, I never leave the house. It’s funny because during all of this COVID-19 stuff over the spring and summer, I feel like I never leave the house anyway.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a few days where I woke up and I was freezing and I couldn’t get to my tea kettle fast enough for a cup of hot tea to warm me up. So, I have decided to head down to Florida early this year. I plan on staying down there until next year. I usually come back up to New York for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The government has said that restrictions may be lifted by the end of the year. I would love to come back up to New York for Thanksgiving and Christmas but I am going to wait and see the status of COVID-19 before driving all the way back up.

I’m hoping I can go to my annual spring training baseball games down in Florida with my dad in March and April. I’m usually a planner. Sometimes, not knowing or being able to create a plan annoys me. So, the uncertainty around the next six months is going to weigh on me heavily. I’m completely okay with this because I know it’s what I have to do to stay safe.

There is also another thing I would like to accomplish. I love the water and the ocean. During the summer, I’m always in the water. I have not been to Florida all year and I’m looking forward to my time in the ocean. In September and October, the weather is still nice, usually in the 80s. So, I’m extending my summer a little to accommodate my goals. One of the activities I can still do is surfing. I know what you’re thinking: You have to stand up to surf. I actually use a regular surfboard and I lay down on my stomach. I always have to be with someone, and I wear a life jacket just in case. I use the surfboard to hold on in deeper water, almost like a pool float. When a wave comes, I might be able to paddle into the wave. Sometimes, I have a friend push me into a wave, which allows me to get the speed I need to have the inertia of the water propel me. (This all depends on my level of tiredness that day.) Once I have enough speed, I can control the board by leaning left or right. I’m really thankful I have a good group of friends who help me and understand the passion I have for the activities I can still do. I’m really looking forward to some surfing time and what I call, “ocean therapy.”

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.