By Andrew Bosworth
Athletics Director Scott D’Ottavio said that, in these unprecedented times, all of these activities are crucial to maintain one’s health.
All Leffell School athletics are currently postponed until students return, but they may wind up being canceled. Even if sports do continue during this school year, D’Ottavio said that some schools will refrain from participating in games and meets, either altogether or until a later date. But as of now, all TLS games and meets are still on.
The absence of athletics can drain students both physically and emotionally, given that they are not expending the energy they used to. Additionally, being part of a team can be really special, and it can be hard for athletes to say goodbye to that. Sophomore Zach Burton said, “I’m a bit sad…I’m a three sport athlete, so I’m used to every day after school playing sports with my team and being part of that community.”
D’Ottavio is not sure what the future holds. “I don’t have all the information yet,” he said. According to D’Ottavio, if sports start up again this season, many normal league rules will have to be waived, which could take time. Such policies as mandatory numbers of practices before participating in a game, as well as the dates of games, will have to be altered. Burton does not believe that sports will be able to continue, as so much of the season has already elapsed.
Junior Haley Wilenzick is clearly saddened at the prospect of not playing a sport this season. “It really [stinks] just staying at home the whole day and not being able to play sports,” Wilenzick said.
“Hopefully we can salvage some part of the season,” D’Ottavio said. In order for this to occur, “You really have to be in shape and hit the ground moving.” In order to make this a reality, D’Ottavio emphasized the importance of both attending the virtual gym classes, as well as working out on your own time. D’Ottavio will continue to live stream gym workouts every day, and everyone is expected to attend during lunch to work out with D’Ottavio in their allotted gym slots.
Burton said, “I am still working out and going on runs every day in order to stay physical and keep my energy high.” Similarly, Wilenzick said,“I’ve been going on walks with my family and I have also been going to the track to run… I try to get out of the house because I think that it does a lot to our mental health to stay inside all day, to get fresh air is really important.”
While it is important for athletes to get in shape for the upcoming season, it is also crucial for everyone to be exercising throughout the day, as well as receiving fresh air and spending time away from a screen.
The Mayo Clinic recommends daily exercise in order to reduce the risk of many diseases, including psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
“Playing sports everyday… relieves a lot of stress for me,” Burton said.
Staring at a screen all day can cause very irritable eyes, as many forget to blink if they are staring at the screen intensely. According to Dr. Matthew Gardiner, Director of Emergency Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, people’s blinking rate slows by a factor of three, going from 15 times a minute to around five. Harvard also says that even spending a few minutes outside each day will overall increase your happiness. D’Ottavio recommends that everyone “Stay active, stay positive.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages fitness in a time like this, especially in the following ways:
- Take short active breaks during the day
- Walk, even in confined spaces, ideally outside
- Try to stand up and walk a little every 30 minutes
- Drink plenty of water
But most importantly, stay healthy and stay safe.