Student Athlete Column: Be There For One Another

Kaley reflects on the mental battle of her long-awaited race and the never-ending quest to improve that athletes must possess.(Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Kaley reflects on the mental battle of her long-awaited race and the never-ending quest to improve that athletes must possess.(Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

These past few weeks have been difficult for everyone, there is no question about that. On multiple occasions I found myself feeling restless and bored, struggling with the fact that I could not run or lift. I would walk around my apartment, switching between the couch and my bed, uncertain with how to deal with pent up energy that I usually save for an early morning practice.

In discussing the athlete’s experience, I feel like we have found another time in which time has stalled, and it seems difficult to combat feeling hopeless. In dealing with uncertainty yet again and the separation from teammates, it has been a struggle to remind everyone that we are all one team, supporting each other through the tough times.

After a full semester of having zero positives on our team, the track team is in the midst of dealing with a tough outbreak, something that we knew would be unavoidable once there was an outbreak on campus. 

While there are some obvious ways that catching the virus could be mitigated, it is difficult to place blame on people who catch the virus. This has not stopped people from feeling like they are to blame for the shutdown. 

There has been an unspoken tension between those who have caught the virus and those who wish to return back to normalcy. Last semester, we had managed to practice every day up until the last two weeks where there was a shut down of athletics because a few administrators caught the virus. Now, we have peers who are catching it, not realizing it and feeling bad about it. 

To this I say, don’t blame yourself.

I have been surprised by how many people, athletes or not, have been targeting and blaming people who have the virus. Everyone I know who has caught the virus has been following the guidelines put in place by the CDC and the university. Unfortunately, they have caught something that no one can control.

As a team we were pretty disappointed, but we knew that we would not be competing anytime soon. When our coach highlighted a few meets that we could potentially be able to attend, everyone was shocked because it would mean that we had something to work toward. 

We all had to face the reality that stopping practice would be the safest thing for us to do. With the possibility of Cross Country Atlantic 10s coming up and the hope that they would be able to race, these ideas were squashed with the announcement of the two week pause. It was hard to hear, but something that we just had to face. 

A lot of seniors had to face the fact that their seasons would be cut short. There was no question that this hurt them, but we need to take into consideration how those who have the virus are feeling. 

The best thing that we can do now is be there for those who have it, protect them and support them. Nothing is going to change the fact that they have the virus or have been exposed to it. Now is the time when we band together to become a better team and community.