Whether it is video games, TikTok, or learning a new instrument, swimmers all over the country are trying to find ways to spend their novel free time.
As of March 17, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has urged a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 10 people in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In light of the situation, USA Swimming has canceled all events through May and the International Olympic Committee has postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Swimmers spend hours in the pool each day, before and after school. A question we frequently hear – what are you doing this weekend? – is typically answered with swimming. Due to coronavirus’s quick spread, everything in our lives have been cancelled – school, swimming, meets. What are we supposed to do with ourselves?
Jack Foley, a New Jersey and USA Swimming Convention Education Athlete Representative, has found running and video games to be a good way to fill his newly found free time.
Foley said his life hasn’t been normal since March. “It’s not the ideal situation,” he said. He hasn’t been able to swim or hang out with friends, and he has found himself lifting household objects rather than weights.
Morgan Thompson, like most swimmers, is used to swimming more than 6 hours per day. Thompson, a sophomore swimmer for the Mason Manta Rays in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been trying to find new ways to occupy her time.
Thompson, although very busy with online school, has spent her free time researching about different countries and cultures. “I am very passionate about traveling the world,” she says. She also enjoys spending time with family and baking new recipes.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thompson has even started a photography and videography account on Instagram. She has spent a lot of time conducting research and learning from the pros in preparation of being able to go out and film when it is safe again.
Like Thompson, Ashley Twichell, an Olympian from Westchester, New York, has also enjoyed baking new recipes in her free time.
For a mid-afternoon snack, she cooked herself a "piece of Dave’s killer bread toasted, spread with fresh avocado and sautéed spinach, topped with two over medium eggs, sliced fresh mozzarella, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes”
Twichell, while maintaining social distancing, of course, has been able to stay active throughout this extended break from swimming. She has been attempting to doing some type of dryland each day– whether that is core circuit, full-body workouts, or yoga. Like a true open water swimmer, Twichell has been able to get a few swims in at a nearby lake.
Twichell, who originally planned to retire after the 2020 Olympic Games, has now gained 12 more months of swimming. She calls it her “unexpected gift of another year of swimming.”
It is safe to say that all of us are ready to get back into the pool– no matter what competition level you swim at.
Thanks for reading! Please comment below, or feel free to email us, if you've been doing anything fun or interesting to make being isolated a little bit better. We would love to share your story!
Author: Matthew Rigsbee
Matthew Rigsbee is originally from the North Carolina Swimming LSC and has been an athlete rep for 4 years. He currently serves on the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations National Committee and attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.