Embracing Adversity During Covid


I look back on where I am now with my strength and I ask myself, “If I could go back in time and stop this whole quarantine, would I do it?” I do not know my answer yet.  Everyone has their own story of what their experience was when school was moved online, when we were staying at home, and when the world seemed to be going into a panic. My beginning of quarantine like most peoples, was crazy. Everyone was wondering what was going to happen and what our lives would be like because of this virus. At the beginning of all this mid-march I knew I wanted to take this time to do something productive but I had not yet figured out exactly what I wanted to do. I thought about everything happening before this and I realized that we had football workouts coming up in the summer and then a season in the fall, and I knew I needed to get stronger. This is where my life in quarantine began.

I started off by making my own weights with water and sand in gallon jugs and I put those weights on a metal bar. This was for 3 weeks and I liked it, but it was not an everyday thing. I was not as interested in it as I had wanted to be. I began looking on craigslist for weights but the prices were through the roof with the gyms being shut down. I finally found one for $150 a cheap price at this time. My mom and I decided to pick it up the next morning, we woke up and drove all the way to fort collins for weights. At this time I knew that this weight set was what was going to get me through quarantine. My uncle generously let me put the weights in his garage down the street and that is where it has been everyday since then. By letting me put my weights into the garage I was able to create a modern sanctuary for me. He gave me a new passion in life, he gave me a way to strive for new goals and reach for new heights. I don’t know how I will be able to express my gratitude for what a simple act of letting me use his garage gave to me. I wonder what would’ve happened if I had never been able to use this place as an escape, and I often think life would be different if I never had this damp garage. I could use it to get away from life when I was angry or when life was uncertain during the quarantine and pushing weights blasting music is in a way therapeutic. The sweat dripped down and my body was tired. Going hard in the garage using all that anger into exercise, it was a healing process. 

I started going to the garage everyday for hours at a time and it was an escape from reality during this crazy time. I kept this routine up for months and I am still doing it today. Lifting not only improved my strength but also improved my mental status when we were staying at home. I was able to go for new goals in gaining strength and most of all it gave me something to do rather than sitting at home all day wasting my time. I continued this routine throughout the summer and at the end of the summer two of my friends inquired about lifting with me. We now go 6 times a week and we have been for a few months. I know on the outside it may seem just like a gym but it has been amazing to have during these uncertain times. Since then exercise/fitness has been a huge role in my life, it is basically what my life revolves around now. I even realized through the months of working out that I want to continue this through my life and in a professional setting, I think I would make a great personal trainer or anything having to do with exercise or fitness. 

If quarantine had never happened I would have never bought any weights and nothing would have changed. I also look as if I could go back and the world would be normal right now, but I would not be where I am today. I have heard countless stories of how the gym has helped many other people out there and it is because they always have that gym to fall back on. If something is going wrong in your life, you always have the gym to go to and forget about your problems even if it is only for an hour. The gym has helped me get stronger and ready for football season where without this, I would be the same person as I was in february with really no hobbies in my life. I know it seems crazy to think about or even say, but my life now revolves around lifting, working out, and just football. I don’t want to think about what my life would be like without finding these passions, I feel like it would be empty. 

This quarantine gave me a new life into fitness and new goals to achieve each day into my life. I now realize that I need to go after what I want to do in life and study a topic that has to do with sports. Without the quarantine I would have never realized that I wanted to continue doing this throughout college and out into the real world. Having this gym in a garage made me realize that I wanted to keep sports/working out in my life forever. I never thought that a gym could help me realize this or help me realize what I wanted to do with my life but it did. I can compare lifting weights with my so-called “calling” I have found my calling with sports and fitness. 

Throughout the quarantine I was able to better myself with my strength and my mind, I have already talked about how it has affected my strength but it also helped my mental health an absurd amount. During quarantine I would hear all these stories about how kids around my age were getting depressed because of all the time spending at home with no socialization. Realizing this, I began to think back and understood how lucky I was to have the gym to fall back on. During this time when many people had nothing going for them I was able to reach for my goals and have something to do everyday that I loved. At times where we didn’t know what was going to happen the next day I was able to put all this aside for a few hours each day and just forget and push my body and my mind beyond what I thought I could do. It was where I was able to escape the horrible reality, I was able to just listen to music, hang out with friends and most importantly be able to better myself physically but more importantly mentally. 

My goal was to get my body in better shape for me but also in order to play football. I worked hard for these 7 months for myself but also to be better for football. Last year I barely got any varsity reps and this was not okay for me. This is why I have been pushing myself and sticking to a routine in order to play this year and be a good player. I have worked so hard because I want to play this year and I know it will pay off. I will continue to grind and get better everyday for myself and for the goals I have set for myself for football. Football is a thing I have learned to love, I played for 6 years then did not play freshman year of high school but coming back and playing was one of the best decisions that I have ever made, there is no doubt about that. Freshman year was tough for me, I was trying to figure out who I was and I was exploring this new place called high school. My grades were not too good, I just wasn’t having a good time back then, life was tough for me. Deciding to play football sophomore year brought me back into the great times I had had. Being on a team with people who are your family there is nothing else like it. Playing football again filled the hole in my life that I knew was missing. 

I have more goals that I want to accomplish and obviously I have not learned everything yet. Football and lifting weights/working out is a big part of my life now and I would change nothing about that. Getting into working out and getting back into football was the best choice of my life so far. These two new passions gave me a reason to wake up and get going. I would fall asleep looking forward to the next day of working out and doing anything with football. The gym made me realize that if you set goals you can achieve them even if they seem too far out of reach. 8 months ago I never would have thought that today I would be going to the gym everyday and working out and most importantly having fun while doing it. I would just like to prove to anyone that if they put their mind to something they could never imagine it may work out for the best.