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Update on your life as an athlete during COVID-19

Published on 30 June 2020

Regardless of the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, I am still an athlete who has a job to do! It is my responsibility to continue training so that my teammates and I can be sure to make Canada proud once our season resumes. That being said, I am sensitive and aware of the burden that COVID has placed on Canadians. I stand by our rowing Canada leaders, coaches and administration when they say that the health and safety of the Canadian people come first. It is after restrictions ease and the “new normal” begins, that we can shift our focus back to the excitement for the reopening of our training facilities.

As a team, we have all done our best to make the most out of the situation. Personally, I have been enjoying activities I otherwise would never have had the chance to do. These new activities include exploring Vancouver island on my road bike. Making sure to put on my runners as another way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air!  Also, reorganizing our backyard garage, which may or may not now is the Ultimate weight lifting and circuit facility.

Shifting from the water to on-land training had to be a quick transition but, one that I have learned to remain flexible with. Our seasons were scratched, our training routines and facilities were no longer in place and we had no idea what the future would look like. With all these changes, naturally, I needed to shift my mentality. I went from a ‘year-long’ outlook of our season to what remains a weekly (if not daily) schedule. With health and safety at the forefront of every decision, it has been easier to mentally get behind what I must do in order to protect myself but more importantly, those who are vulnerable in my community.

During this time, I have done everything in my power to maintain my fitness. I think that that is the only reasonable expectation for athletes at this time. In addition, now more than ever is the time to seize an opportunity to address areas of performance that the scripted routine of my previously scheduled days would not have allowed for. For instance, I am very inflexible. However now, I have countless hours to stretch! I also have a relatively weak core, so I’ve taken to every “youtube ab star” to motivate me to feel the burn!

The most important thing that I have done during this time is realizing that although everything is out of my control, what is in my control is what I make out of this situation. If you are to approach this unknown time with negativity, that is the result you will get in your workouts and your energy. I have learned to approach each day (although some days better than others) with what the day presents, and keep an open mind in with my training. If it is raining, I go on the erg or do some weights in the ‘Ultimate Gym’ (aka garage), then I am sure to curl up with a nice book. If it’s sunny, I strap on my shoes and hit the road for a nice jog and then head to the beach to enjoy the sun. These are opportunities I otherwise would never have had, so it’s important to keep that in mind and make the most out of each day knowing that one day, the schedule will return and you will appreciate it that much more!