COVID-19: What I’ve Learned

Posted in Announcements Blog Fitness Fitness & Wellness Corner Intramural Sports News

By Annabelle Zebrowski, Student Intramural Sports Manager
November Fitness & Wellness Corner

Selfie of Annabelle wearing a rainbow-striped face mask walking on a raised wooden walkway.

As I sat in Starbucks* this morning, it was certainly not because I wanted an overpriced grande Chai Tea Latte. Recently, I’ve been craving some feeling of normalcy, and this is one of the closest I’ve had. Sitting at a table with no mask on (physically distanced, of course) and listening to a throwback Spotify playlist over the Starbucks speakers, I’ve felt closer to pre-pandemic times than ever before. Honestly, I don’t even like Starbucks that much (sorry), but I need to get out of my apartment, and this is one of the only coffee shops that is open for indoor dining in my area. As I sit here sipping tea and typing on my laptop, I hear bits and pieces of conversations around me; COVID, election, and school reopening are a few of the keywords I keep picking up on. With so much unpredictability around the future, I have found it’s not even worth it to worry about these uncertain events; in fact, it’s not even worth my time, or anyone else’s. I did my part, everything I could, and I’ve come to learn that is enough.

The first few months of the pandemic and lockdown was very hard for me. Being torn away so suddenly from classes, my on-campus jobs, and friends at Georgetown was incredibly upsetting, and that was compounded with being at home with my four brothers, in a house that suddenly didn’t seem to be large enough for seven people and multiple pets, made it even more challenging. Each day I would wake up for my classes, throw on a nice shirt with my pajama pants, and try to pay attention as much as possible, despite the background noise, spotty WiFi, and obstacles of being in my childhood bedroom. Then, as soon as classes were over and I completed my schoolwork for the day, I would be trapped in my house until classes the next day, and the next. It seemed like an unending cycle that was impossible to break out of.

On campus, I am very involved, and this added to the stress I felt by being at home. I take on a rigorous course schedule as a double major in the business school, in addition to working at the student credit union on campus in a large leadership role. One of my favorite activities, though, was being a Supervisor for Intramural Sports. This, more so than my other commitments, required me to physically be at Yates; until this time, we had never done anything virtual, only in-person. After all, our events were tournaments and games, either played on the courts or the field. Making the transition from being constantly busy, whether in the classroom, the library, the credit union, or at Yates to being at home, in New Jersey, where the most exciting part of my day was my morning walks with my mom, was a complete lifestyle change, but thankfully there has been one stable thing in my life to keep me grounded throughout the pandemic, and that is working out.

Throughout my life, I’ve always been an athlete. Whether it was playing basketball in my driveway with my brothers or playing lacrosse competitively until just last year, sports have been ingrained in me from before I can even remember. It may not be surprising, then, that this love I have for being active and motivating myself through working out has kept me sane during the pandemic. While I couldn’t hit the gym or attend a yoga class in quarantine, I learned other ways to keep myself active. In my garage, my brothers set up a makeshift gym, collecting weights and benches from local yard sales and even Craig’s List. Spending just an hour in there a day, focusing on mostly bodyweight exercises became my greatest outlet; it was a way to sweat out all of my frustrations from staring at a screen all day. Working out in that garage became an otherworldly experience; in there, it was me, the music blasting in my ears, and my workout. Nothing else in the world even mattered. I also used running as a way to explore my little hometown and the surrounding area. I’ve always found long runs to be a form of therapy; some people use shopping and others find solace in art or music, but I find it in the unique form of running. Turning on a great playlist and just going until my legs can no longer take me gives a rush I found myself needing during quarantine, and one I still need. With everything going on around me, it is crucial for me to escape reality for a bit, even if it’s just an hour a day.

In late August, I moved to an apartment in Georgetown for the semester. While unsure if this was a good decision at first, I have continued to be active, getting a membership at a local gym and discovering some really good running trails near my house, which remind me of being at my lake house in upstate NY. I continue to work virtually for Yates (got some fun events planned for the next few weeks!), and the credit union as well. I also began working in retail, as a sales associate for a store in Georgetown, which gives me the opportunity to interact with people on a daily basis and get away from the computer screen. Taking six courses and juggling three jobs is definitely a challenge I’m facing, but in these times, it is so important for me to stay busy, and focus on what is important to me – my schoolwork, my jobs, my family, and my health.

Being active, now more than ever, has actually saved me in more ways than I can describe. Many people don’t have the opportunity to belong to a gym, let alone own a pair of sneakers. It is definitely harder some days than others to get up before my 8 a.m. class and full day of work to go for a run, but knowing that this is an opportunity, not a burden, that I have, is what gets me through just an hour a day. That hour of strictly me and my thoughts helps me see how lucky I am to have everything I do; even as I complained for months about being stuck at home, there were many people who did not have a home to go back to or who lost a family member in these times, who would’ve taken my spot in a heartbeat. When I feel frustrated at the difficulties of working and taking classes virtually, I think of all of the people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic or cannot afford to take classes. The pandemic has made it hard for everyone, not just myself, to stay grounded. Soon enough, though, I’ll be back on campus, and for anyone who wants to find me, you’ll know where I’ll be: Yates.

* Opinions/views expressed in this blog post are solely that of the author’s and do not express the views or opinions of Campus Recreation or Georgetown University. If you are currently an on-campus student or living in a Georgetown neighborhood, please ensure you are following all Georgetown University COVID-related procedures. If you are not currently residing in the Georgetown area, please ensure you are following the public health guidance set forth by the city or state you are currently in.

This blog post was written to provide educational information only. This article should not be used as a substitute or a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health, you should always consult with your physician. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care professional before beginning any fitness regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs. The use of any information provided by this article is solely at your risk.