With school shut down for the remainder of the year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and activities like sports cancelled for the foreseeable future, Berkeley High School (BHS) athletes are grappling with ways to deal with lost seasons and stay in shape for the future. Kaja Arusha, a senior captain of the BHS swim team who will swim for Swarthmore College in the fall, said, “I’ve been doing daily workouts … the emphasis is usually on repetition and volume since I have less equipment available.”
Lack of equipment is a challenge for BHS athletes, but many are making the most of what they have. Connor Wrubel, a junior on the track team, has been stuffing his backpack with textbooks and using it as a weight for strength building. However, some sports make it difficult to stay in shape without the proper equipment. “I worry that athletes who aren’t year round swimmers will have been out of the water for a very long time. Swimming is an annoying sport in that it takes almost no time to get out of shape,” said Arusha.
Most spring sports have lost the entirety of their seasons. We didn’t have a single official meet,” said Arusha. “We would’ve had league champs around now, and NCS would’ve been in early May. We won’t have a senior night or any of the honors that come with that.”
According to Clara Raedeker, a senior on the crew team who will attend Northeastern University in the fall, everyone is trying their best to stay in shape despite the challenges. “It’s been nice to do distance runs with my teammates or a circuit over Facetime, but it isn’t the same as seeing each other every day,” she said. “I know a lot of my teammates are also feeling lonely and unmotivated to train sometimes without the team as a support system, but we’re trying our best to stay in shape.”
Some teams have plans created by their coaches for staying in shape. Raedeker explains that their coaches have asked them to train four to five times a week. They have a spreadsheet where they recieve recommended workouts, and rowing machines have been lent out to the athletes for home use. They also have a check-in on Zoom with the whole team once a week. Rachel Pierce, another senior on the team, says the workouts are a bit of a competition, where the people who work out the most are rewarded with prizes such as Peet’s gift cards.
John McDonnell, a senior captain of the lacrosse team, who will play for Oberlin College in the fall, only got to play one game this season. Despite the loss of the season, he is looking ahead and staying in shape for college by setting up a routine of running, jumping rope, and lifting everyday. According to McDonnell, it was a bummer to lose his senior season. However, after having torn his ACL last year, he knows he must enjoy the times he had, not the times that he didn’t. “I’m just doing what my college coach has told me to do,” he said. “I’m excited for next year and the future in general.”