Athletes working through loss of seasons, staying in shape during COVID

The whirlwind of the current pandemic has canceled events left and right, ripping away graduations and dances. But some of the most noticeable cancellations have been of athletic teams and events. The dangers of coronavirus have resulted in the cancellation of the spring track season. 

For many track athletes, they have been preparing for the season year-round. To suddenly have it torn away came as a shock to many. Junior Alexis Hesse said that she was saddened to hear the news and will miss many aspects of track. “I was sad to hear that the spring sports were canceled. I felt and still feel terrible for the seniors. I will hopefully get another season but they won’t,” Hesse said. “The thing I will miss most about doing a spring sport is the time spent with the girls. The thing that has kept me going out for track every year is my teammates. My fellow throwers are so fun and goofy to be around. We are all so supportive of each other and I’ll really miss that atmosphere. I’ll also miss running our throwers 4×400 race we do every year at our home meet.”

Junior Mandi Warren had just joined the throwing team this year and said she was looking forward to her first-ever track competition. “This year I was learning how to throw, and I actually really enjoyed it. I found it such a fun thing to do after the long school day to just have fun. I miss not working out and pushing each other to our fullest potential. One thing I especially miss is the positive environment; no matter what kind of day you were having, it was a breather to work out with amazing people,” Warren said. 

But despite the fact that their school sport has been canceled, many track athletes are finding creative ways to work out from home. Hesse, who also plays softball in addition to track, said she utilizes her siblings to help her workout. “Every night I’ve been doing some sort of a workout. I have also been doing a pyramid workout that my track coach showed us during the season,” Hesse said. “My workouts have been more focused on softball, so I either hit in my backyard or go up to Birdsall fields by myself and hit off a tee there. I also catch for my stepbrother who is a pitcher. Some other activities I do to stay active is play outside with my siblings.”

Warren said that she also finds different ways to workout without her team. “I try to get outdoors as much as possible. My family enjoys taking long walks and bike rides. I especially like doing this now because I am stuck inside for school work,” Warren said. 

But the shift from working out with a team to being isolated at home hasn’t been a seamless one. Hesse said that not having the types of equipment from the school can be challenging. “One difficulty I’ve encountered is not being able to lift weights. I’ve been pushing myself to gain muscle and lift but without the weights, it can be difficult,” Hesse said. 

Warren said that at times the combination of schoolwork and trying to keep up with workouts can be overwhelming. “I think it is just overall hard to get myself motivated to learn school work and be productive from home. I loved participating in track for the little time I did this year because it was fun working out with some of my closest friends,” Warren said.

Despite the difficulties, Hesse and Warren agreed that staying active during this uncertain time will be extremely beneficial in the end. “For people who want to stay in shape during Coronavirus, just stay active. Try and get your family involved. It makes it a lot more fun. I know it doesn’t seem like staying active now will have much of an impact, but if you keep up with some sort of workout, you’ll see improvement,” Hesse said. “Coach Wood has been reminding us of this: When you look back on this time in 10, 20 years, are you gonna regret how you spent it? Or are you gonna be proud that you pushed through it and rose to the occasion?”

 

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