While there are no actual sports, conditioning practice creates community
Working out at home can be quite a hard task, but you now no longer have to search for a workout video and position yourself in an empty area in your house; Stevenson’s in-person conditioning program lets you join a community of athletes.
With the constant isolation from society, students were ready to try a new activity that offered a safe yet enjoyable experience. After being quarantined for so long students might continue to be stuck in a rut of boring quarantine, but as freshman Mia Schlenker points out, “it is crucial to encourage and integrate bonding activities back into our lives.” The sports conditioning program will shake up the student’s usual schedule and offer an opportunity for human interaction.
First and foremost it was important that the activity would take place with the necessary safety precautions in place, so mask wearing, social distancing, and other practices were established. As soon as a masked student arrives they sign in and have their temperature taken. Students fill out a wellness survey prior to arriving. Once they are checked in, they head off to their specific place on the football field that corresponds to the cohort they are in. Once they reach their designated spot (socially distanced from all other group members) they are permitted to remove their mask and take part in the workout.
Though some students might have felt timid and nervous, the enthusiastic teachers who organize this event have made students feel welcomed and excited to participate. Sarah Vanoli says, “The coaches are great and it’s a good workout. Coach Clymo has been great in making this program happen.”
This new sports conditioning has so much to offer. For some, it was an opportunity to see friends after being away for several months. Freshman Jack Le Towt explains, “I just wanted to see my friends again,” and this program presented him with the perfect chance to do that. Although students must remain six feet apart at all times, they are still able to see friendly faces and chat in between exercises. It was also a great way for incoming freshmen to meet new people. Schlenker says, “It still allowed me to get to know and see some of my peers for the first time.”
Lastly, the conditioning program offered an entire hour of exercise outdoors. The first 30 minutes is spent on the football field doing a variety of cardio and conditioning exercises. The remaining time is used for a complete ab workout on the lacrosse field. All of the exercises are led by Stevenson teachers, so students just follow along. The sports program has offered students the best of both worlds, Vanoli says “Sports conditioning has helped me get into better shape as well as meet new people.”
Motivating yourself to workout is a feat in and of itself for most, and working out is often done indoors. But this unique program offered a screen-free experience with fresh air all around.