Without a light at the end of the tunnel, things can get pretty dark.
Good news keeps us going in grim times. People will comply with executive orders and pause their lives for days, for weeks, and maybe even for a month. But they need to know that an end is in sight.
On that front, we don’t have any good news to report this week.
The greatest scientists in the world can’t tell you when and how this will end. Reported data is unreliable for many reasons (lack of available testing, lack of symptoms) and is therefore mostly useless.
The uncertainty and the fear that comes with it creates panic. Knowing that, my goal was for the sports section to be a source of comfort until the world returns to normal. If we can’t provide good news, we can at least provide something familiar in a world so unfamiliar.
Last week, I reached out to dozens of athletes and coaches who helped me prepare coverage for the challenging weeks ahead. We talked about their favorite books, movies, TV shows and other fun things. I also asked them how student-athletes can continue to train while away from school.
Many student-athletes have used their ingenuity to stay fit: focusing on calisthenics, running laps around their house, or even lifting cases of water bottles or heavy rocks.
Exercise is great for the body and the mind, the latter of which probably needs our attention more than ever. I’ve personally found it great for my anxiety. “This is called controlling what you can when things are out of control,” as Olaf put it in “Frozen 2,” one of the many movies I’ve watched while in isolation.
While student-athletes should continue to work out, they should also take some time to unplug. Cristina Giansante, coach of Mahopac girls’ softball, explained why better than I ever could:
“Truly most of these student-athletes are always running at 100: school, sports, homework, study, travel teams, etc. They rarely ever get a break to just sit, be still, spend time with family, not cram. I think that’s actually the silver lining here; these kids are getting a mental and physical break, whether they think they need it or not. They are getting to maybe actually sit and have dinner with the family. Conversations are being had that aren’t school/sports related. Families are getting opportunities to hike together, do puzzles together, tackle at-home projects, have movie nights! These things are good for the brain and the soul.”
The light is at the end of the tunnel, even if we can’t see it right now. In the meantime, stay home, stay safe, and use this time to better your body and mind.
• The year is 2020. Tom Brady, two years removed from winning his record sixth Super Bowl, has decided to leave the New England Patriots after 20 seasons. At 43 years old, Brady will start anew with the downtrodden Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The news barely registers.
• The word of the week is “could.” We “could” be facing a years-long global recession. The world “could” come to an end. Eating dog food “could” cure the virus. Don’t panic and be skeptical when you see articles using that word because what it really means is: “We have no clue.”
• Necessity is the mother of invention. One silver lining to this grim period will be a new wave of innovation. We’ll have answers to questions we never thought to ask before. Businesses are being forced to adapt quickly or die.
• I’m lucky enough to have avoided the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020. I coincidentally bought a few dozen rolls about a month before it hit the fan. According to howmuchtoiletpaper.com, my current supply should last me about six months. So, I’m willing to barter. One can of Goya black bean soup in exchange for a roll. Hit me up.
• Out of an abundance of caution, I’ve decided to spend my upcoming weekend cuddling my dog and eating an entire bag of pizza rolls.
Brian Marschhauser is the sports editor of Halston Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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