Thrown a curveball, Pack athletes are forced to adapt to the new normal

The life of a high school athlete normally consists of team practices, games and competitions, which involve close contact with teammates, competitors, and coaches. However, as of March 2020, everything changed. High school sports seasons were canceled and all gyms closed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, CHS students have had to become creative in order to find ways to stay in shape.

Athletes on campus have found ways to keep active with safe, at-home alternatives. The cross-country team has continued running, receiving workouts via the Remind app. On their runs, team members have met up to cautiously run with each other, or have simply planned to wave at each other at intersections. To help runners maintain motivation and team spirit, the cross-country program recently made a group on a fitness-tracking app called Strava, which every current team member is a part of. The team has also kept in contact through triweekly Zoom meetings to do abdominal and body-weight workouts together. CHS sophomore and cross-country runner Liza Platonov has continued to work out while maintaining social distancing.

“I try to run and attend the Zoom ab workouts as much as possible in order to stay in shape,” Platonov said. “Also I’m connected to my teammates through the Strava running app, so I think that keeps me motivated.”

Other teams have also found ways to work out together from a distance. The basketball team has utilized technology and has started workout sessions in place of spring training. These teams have been able to maintain a sense of teamwork and community through technology.

Without maintaining a fitness regimen, athletes would be out of shape and unprepared for the usual intensity of sports practices and games. Keeping in shape will make it easier to return and prevent the risk of injury once sports return. Maintaining strength will prevent performances from being greatly affected. Freshman Avery Handley emphasized the disadvantages of not maintaining fitness.

“Staying active is important to keeping performance consistent,” Handley said. “If the players don’t stay active when school reopens, they will not be in shape for the next season and will struggle with basic activities and drills.”

Even for those who do not compete as “the Wolfpack,” staying active at home is important to maintain general health and fitness levels. Some ways that students can stay in shape during this time are creating a workout schedule and getting into a routine. When making a workout plan it is necessary to incorporate a variety of exercises. While going on a run or walk is beneficial, athletes may need to consider strength training and core work. One way strength training can be practiced at home is by finding heavy objects around the house to lift. FaceTiming a friend can also be encouraging and motivating to keep in shape.

Here are some ideas to help students stay in shape during this time:
– Create a workout schedule/routine
– Mix up your workouts, do different activities on different days
– Find heavy objects to lift around the house, such as bricks and boxes
– Work out with a friend virtually for motivation

While this definitely was not what athletes and active students were expecting from the spring season, this is a better time than ever to get ahead of the competition. Although there may not be teammates physically by athletes’ sides or as much space and equipment to work with, there are still many ways to keep active at home. And all CHS athletes can find solidarity in the fact that they are all in this together… apart.