In my coaching, running, and writing travels, I came across a breath of fresh air in late April. It was from the parent of a senior 800 meter runner, said runner was picked to be among the favorites in Class A Private this Spring at State.
Anyway, she said this, "As for now, he continues to train for a race he may not get to compete in. He continues to work on his music for a concert he may never get to play in. He continues to look forward to social events he may not get to attend."
They say integrity is how you act when no one is looking, how you handle yourself with no judging eyes upon you. What this lady said, in my humble opinion, is the epitome of what class and integrity are all about.
Coming from another angle, how exactly do you train for a race when you don't know when or if it's going to happen? It's as if we are that Christmas ball a kid has walked up and shaken us, hard and now right had become left, up has become down, there is no order or anchor point.
How do you know when to peak? Or step up your training? Or taper? We've always lived by marks on calendars. Our fingers turn to three months out in cross country and we set our peaking sights on region in late October, Carrollton in early November.
Ah, equilibrium! These two events have always filled in the needed connections on the training formula. And now, it is uncertain. One coach said, "I'm just training my kids to maintain," the idea is just to stay around it, to stay at a jumping off point. Once we know something, then we can step it up however needed."
One of the many coronavirus articles I read backs that up. "Keep your training at easy to medium," it said. "After all, if you train too hard you could weaken your immune system, and it doesn't take a scientist to know you don't want your immune systems weakened at this point."
This is uncertainty on top of uncertainty. This has never, and hopefully will never happen again. We are people who have followed books and apps on how to train for…well…just about everything. Still, there has always like in races been a start and a finish.
What now? We train with class and integrity, that's what. We train because that's who we are, what we do, how we express ourselves. We train because it's how we make sense of things, reduce stress, work things out, while getting to stay fit, compete, and even flirt if we want in the process.
After all, just because we don't know when it is, doesn't mean there's not a starting line out there waiting, a starter pointing his gun in the air. It's there, so as the parent suggested, "keep training for that race that may or may not happen."Because one day, and hopefully one day soon it will.