How students are remaining active in spite of the pandemic

During a regular school year, students practiced with their sports teams or went to the Tappan Gymnasium to exercise after school. Then COVID-19 hit Brookline. Now, access to practice and exercise is limited.

During school closure and the summer, despite many difficulties, students have found novel ways to continue exercising.

Before the high school closed in March due to the pandemic, sophomore Eli Fronske had just finished his swim season and was planning on joining the track team. His plans, like those of many others, were interrupted by the school closure.

For Fronske, quarantine seemed like the perfect opportunity to prepare for the cross country season in the fall. At first, he ran every day, but as time went on he gradually started to run less.

“As quarantine has gone on, I’ve found it harder to keep up with running,” Fronske said. “I’ve found less motivation and it’s harder not being able to run with friends.”

Sophomore Ada Korkhin, a competitive pistol shooter, has spent more time training in recent months than she did before the pandemic. The practices she had with her team were canceled because of COVID-19, but it hasn’t affected her ability to practice as she can train at home independently.

“At home, I shoot my air pistol because it actually doesn’t require a lot of equipment and is pretty quiet,” Korkhin said. “I have space going from my kitchen to my dining room that is basically reserved for me for a couple hours.”

While many of Korkhin’s upcoming competitions had been cancelled, some sense of normalcy has returned, as her team practices resumed on June 14.

Junior Daniel Michelson, member of a club soccer team, says he hasn’t exercised as much as he did when school was open. Still, his team has had a few online workouts since the shutdown.

“I have been able to exercise, but not to the extent that I did before, and not with the same access to fields and other people,” Michelson said.

Catie Szymanoski, the coach for the boys crew team, has been in touch with her team via Zoom. The team is training on their own these days, but they check in with her regularly about their home workouts.

“Working out, competing together, and being out on the water is our happy place,” Szymanoski said. “Not getting that everyday has been hard on the team. We also had a lot of big goals this year that we did not get to accomplish, which was upsetting.”

However, she is looking into the possibility of training with her team during the summer in order to prepare for next year.

Since June, Career Counselor Kate Kennedy has noticed that more students have struggled to adjust to life after school closure.

“Many students I have spoken [to] have lost motivation and therefore find it difficult to exercise as they typically would,” Kennedy said. “There are also more students experiencing difficulties around their mental health.”

Despite these challenges, some students are trying to maintain their physical health while they can’t practice with their teams.

“It’s still been a good time to develop more individual training plans for myself,” Michelson said.

Students continue to persevere in working out and relish everyday physical activity. For sophomore Shaanti Raychaudhuri this means walking her down, Mishti, frequently.

“She’s my ticket outside of the home,” Raychaudhuri said. “It’s hard to get up early, but [the walks are] the highlight of my day, hands down.”