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Sometimes in life, as in ski racing, things can be unpredictable and come at you fast. So much so, that every once in a while you get knocked off your feet and suddenly find yourself upside down in a tangled mess of B-net. But as ski racers know better than just about anyone, we are not defined by whether we get knocked down, but whether we get back up.
The unique difference in these unprecedented times of COVID-19 is that there is not only one racer on course at a time--we are all in this race together. Ironically, a crisis that has escalated to a battle fought collectively by all humans on earth brings us together in ways that we have never seen before, yet at the same time forces us apart via social distancing as our primary weapon against our opponent.
As unfamiliar, unpredictable, and uncomfortable as this all may be right now, it will all end. We will not only survive, but we will also thrive. Stronger than ever before, we will come back to epic early morning training days, ridiculous chairlift banter, the adrenaline-fueled race runs, and open hand high fives in the finish corral.
In the meantime, perhaps the best thing we can do is maintain habits that keep us safe, healthy, sharp, and focused on the growth ahead. At SYNC, we realize that the skis have been hung up much sooner than we had all hoped, but we are still carefully thinking of ways to be helpful. We tapped into the ski race community to gather the best strategies among athletes when it comes to their “quarantine routine” and here’s what we learned.
4 Easy Steps to a Successful and Productive Quarantine:
Without the daily grind of a heavy training block, rushing to class, then prepping for the weekend’s spring series, it can be tempting to stay up late, sleep in and let your body clock fall out of rhythm. Getting to bed and waking up at a normal hour is the best way to ensure you are rested and ready to take on the day just as you would when the season is in full swing.
Many of us are used to being on the move 24/7 are finding that quarantine life can be an opportunity to take a step back from the noise of everyday life and catch up on our personal to-do lists. However, staying at home and focusing on quiet pursuits does not involve stress-eating the emergency stockpile of Cheez-Its. Make sure you are getting the fuel you need as an athlete to keep your strength, energy, and immune system firing on all cylinders. Many grocery stores now offer grocery pickup or delivery so you can keep getting your fresh produce without even having to walk inside the store.
It may take a little more creativity within the confines of your home, but breaking a sweat every day is still a vital component to staying on top of your game. Swing water jugs instead of kettlebells, run backyard sprints, do one-legged squats in the living room, or throw your bike trainer on the front porch and watch the sunrise. For a more race-specific set of exercises, a recent article on Skiracing.com highlights a routine you can do at home. Whatever it takes, anything goes, keep it interesting, but keep it safe.
With all the turmoil being reported in the news and across social media, it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of content coming from your phone and TV. Though it’s good to be informed, these distractions can derail you from having a productive day. Instead, after your daily TikTok upload, put down the phone and use some of your downtime to invest in yourself by picking up a good book that you can learn from. When it comes to inspirational athletic pursuits and extraordinary achievements, there are several favorites commonly found on ski racer’s bookshelves. Peak, The Talent Code, Chop Wood, Carry Water, Mindset, and Relentless are all great places to start.
Stay strong, stay healthy, love each other and remember--we got this!