It is incredible how, almost a year ago, I was just another 8th grade student at Community Middle School, getting off the school bus on what felt like an ordinary chilly March day. Little did I know that would be the last day on the bus for me for a long time. What started as a short, two-week quarantine has turned into several long months of staying at home with our families. Being stuck inside was gut wrenching for me. Before quarantine, playing sports like football and basketball with my friends was an everyday occurrence. With spring right around the corner and the weather getting warmer, quarantine started at the perfect time to be outside. Staying physically active and in shape was something I took seriously, from morning jogs on the weekend to working out at the gym. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to maintain those things.
For the first few months, going outside wasn’t the easiest, and it certainly made my physical activity abnormal. My football coach two years ago had said that a daily 10 push-ups and sit-ups said it was great for building up strength in your core and abs. Luckily, I was able to keep that up. But after some time, I was doing the same routine every day. Wake up. 10-push ups. 10 sit ups. Breakfast. Zoom. Repeat.
Over the course of the year, as things got a little better and we were able to see friends and family in limited gatherings, my escape from repetition had come.
One of my close family friends who lives in my neighborhood has a small gym in their basement. It had different kinds of weights and a working treadmill, materials I had not used in so long. It completely left my mind how I could be getting the physical fitness I wanted right here. I cherished this opportunity, and the next few months were great. Almost everyday afterschool, I would bike over there for a workout and bike back home.
Of course, working out got me to focus on staying in shape and building muscle. But more than ever, it has motivated me, kept me busy during the lonely times of quarantine, and brought a sense of normalcy back to my life.