During a time of unprecedented circumstances, it can be difficult to find the motivation to stay active. Without a team, coach, or friends to go to the gym with, it can be difficult to stay driven; however, these individuals of Deerfield Athletics are finding ways at home to continue to push themselves regardless of the obstacles they face.
Emma Theriault, head strength & conditioning coach, stresses the importance of daily physical exertion. “Maintaining a regular exercise routine is pivotal in our overall well being,” said Ms. Theriault. Using Zoom to enlist in cycling classes every weekend with a group of women living all across the world, Ms. Theriault has been especially creative with her time in quarantine.
Aside from her own personal training during quarantine, Ms. Theriault has also been essential to aiding Deerfield’s students and faculty with their own quarantine workouts. Alongside strength and condition coach Thomas Reynolds, Ms. Theriault has been running an Instagram account named @deerfield_strength. Ms. Theriault and Mr. Reynolds have frequently posted workouts for the entire Deerfield community to use. They have also been able to facilitate students and faculty with individualized plans custom to the home equipment each person possesses.
Tri-sport varsity captain Christina Halloran ’20 has been utilizing her family and the internet to make sure exercise is a part of her quarantine daily routine. “I go for runs with my sister, lift, bike, and do some exercise/challenge videos too!” said Halloran. “I’ve also been going for lots of walks when it’s nice out.”
John O’Loughlin ’21, a member of both Deerfield boys’ swim and lacrosse teams, would have been transitioning from one season of athletics to the next. He has chosen to look at quarantine time as an opportunity.
O’Loughlin said, “We have all the time in the world so might as well use it.” Similar to Halloran, O’Loughlin has used exercise as a way to connect with family. In his house, he and his father have found a workout machine, and his entire family is starting to use it.
Perhaps one of Deerfield’s most determined teams for the spring term has been the Deerfield girls’ varsity crew team. When their Florida pre-season trip was canceled and school was initially postponed, they chose to not ruminate over what could not be controlled and directed their energy on what they could.
With the help of Head Coach Melanie Onufrieff, the team created a game in order to stay motivated. Members were placed into virtual sub-teams to aid in easier communication. These sub-teams competed with one another to see which could log the most amount of exercise. These smaller, virtual teams also allowed the team to build chemistry even without being physically together as they were constantly sending messages of encouragement to one another.
Girls’ varsity crew captain Claire Cummings ’21 is continuing to motivate herself even after her team’s activities. “Personally, as events, camps, and races are being canceled left and right in the rowing world, and in general, I have found it really helpful to focus on micro-goals,” said Cummings. “I think about getting on the erg or working out one day or one stroke at a time.”
Whether it be from family motivation, a text from a friend, or their own initiative, all of these members of the Deerfield Athletics program have stayed driven during these challenging times. They act as models of what Deerfield’s Athletic programs truly stand for. It is not composed of nice equipment, fields, or gear, but rather, it is constituted by heart, dedication, and the desire for excellence.