By LOGAN FALKEL
Published May 27, 2020
Whether swimmers taking advantage of the ocean, runners doing laps around their neighborhoods or dancers spinning through their kitchens, athletes who lost their spring season and those who are already preparing for fall innovatively tackle the obstacle of exercising in place.
Motivation appears to be the hardest part of staying active at home, and pushups, sit-ups and running up the stairs only stays interesting for so long. But Carmel High track coach Nick Cunningham urges athletes to keep practicing.
“There is no rule against working out,” Cunningham says. “Short sprints, plyometrics, stretching, good nutrition and rest are all things that athletes can continue to practice at home. When we resume, those that will see the most success will be those that continued to work on their craft and skill sets.”
Heeding the coach’s advice, sophomore Isabelle Silverie, one of Carmel’s track stars, runs two to four miles a day on Carmel Beach, finishing her workout with weights. Other members of the track team are continuing to practice as well, notably senior pole vaulter Michael Meheen, who continues to vault at home on a self-constructed pole vault pit, built shortly after the shelter in place went into effect.
“I made my own pit with a foam pad and some old poles to hold up the bar,” Meheen says. “I can vault up to 11 feet, but I’ve almost hit the fence a few times. It’s pretty fun and good practice for college next year.”
For those without access to equipment necessary for their sport, home exercise is proving difficult, but junior swimmer Kai Garren says that in addition to exercising at home, the swim team has taken to the water again despite all pools being closed.
“We have started doing open-water ocean swims in small groups of around four people,” Garren says, “but it’s not the same as swimming in a pool.”
Sophomore dancer Ruby Maxion agrees that sports these days are not the same for a number of reasons: no in-person coaches, no facilities, no teammates.
“I have made some of the best friends through school and studio dance,” Maxion says. “I miss them a lot, and I can’t wait to see them when this is over.”
Alongside the CHS dance team, Maxion dances with The Dance Center in Carmel, which has been holding live classes online for its dancers. She attends two to three classes a week.
“I usually take my online classes outside due to a lack of space,” Maxion says. “I don’t see myself improving much during this period because it’s hard to take corrections from my teacher through Zoom calls.”
The loss of an entire spring season or being forced to halt a year-round sport has taken its toll on athlete morale, but students continue to persevere.
CHS baseball coach Mike Kelly says that his team is able to do most of their drills and conditioning from home. Nate Trosky, the uncle of two players and a frequent team trainer, posts suggested drills and exercises on his Twitter for the team.
“I’m downhearted about the seniors having lost their season,” Kelly says. “But I’m not tremendously concerned about next year because I know the boys who return will pick up where we left off.”
Cunningham shares a similar outlook for next season, whether that will commence this summer at the Golden West Invitational, the last track meet that hasn’t been canceled, or in the spring of 2021.
“We cannot fall into the ‘poor me’ mindset,” Coach Cunningham advises. “We must preserve and come out of this stronger than before. Our final goals haven’t changed in the slightest, just the path we will take to reach our ultimate success.”