Since Governor Charlie Baker issued the closure of all Massachusetts schools for the rest of the year, all high school and club spring sports have also been canceled, leaving many athletes without a normal training schedule. Instead of just taking the spring off, many students, along with the help of their coaches and online resources, are finding new ways to keep in shape and train.
Even though all rowing races have been canceled this spring season, Community Rowing Inc, (CRI) a rowing club in Boston, did not cancel their training season. Instead, they changed their team’s spring training to virtual. The girl’s varsity team still has practice six days a week and are required to record their stats online to their coach.
“We have to log how much we sleep, all our heart rates, and all of the workouts that we are doing,” said Anna Hemmerle ’22, a student at the high school and member of the CRI girl’s varsity team.
In addition, rowers also have to do virtual check-ins with the entire team three times a week and an individual meeting with their coach once a month.
“Any rower will tell you that you can’t replace what you get from being on the water, because of the technique and just the feeling of rowing… Since there is less school, I am able to focus more on [rowing] so that is something to keep me motivated. So yeah, I would definitely say that I feel strong,” said Hemmerle.
Students who aren’t able to access virtual training through their teams, are relying on online resources, including a few offered by local gyms and fitness centers. Train Boston is one such local business in Wellesley, trying to adapt its model since it was forced to close around the same time that the schools did. Train Boston is not considered a gym, but a certified physical therapy and personal training facility for students and people of all ages.
“Typically spring is not that busy at Train Boston because so many kids do spring sports. Winter is always our biggest season with student-athletes. But as I have mentioned, lots of kids have home gyms so their coach, meaning our trainer, wrote up three or five day workouts for them. We have student-athletes that are doing private training via zoom. Kids can form their own groups if they want to,” said Terry Sherman, the business manager at Train Boston
Another local business, CycleBar, knew that members needed more than online classes to keep participating.
“At the beginning of the quarantine, when CycleBar had to close, Nancy (the owner) started renting out the bikes in the studio to customers, so my mom reached out to her and I got one and have been renting it every week,” said Coco Martin ’22, a student at Wellesley High School.
Cyclebar members can access live cycle classes and boot camps online almost every day so that people who have rented a Cyclebar bike or have a different stationary bike are able to ride with them.
“All of the instructors are trying really hard to make this more natural for everyone and they are doing an amazing job. In the middle of every class, they give us inspiring speeches about this time and how we are not alone and we will get through this,” said Martin.
Students are also finding many free options online that help them workout and stay healthy.
“We are also offering daily on Instagram and Facebook free thirty minute bodyweight workouts and then also we are posting Monday-Friday on YouTube,” said Sherman.
While nothing can replace practicing with teammates on a boat or a field or a track, students are motivated to keep in shape so whenever they can get back, they are ready to compete. This would not be possible without resourceful coaches, innovative businesses, and motivated athletes.