“Staying Active on IMSA’s Socially Distanced Campus” by Maya Sanchez ’23

Maya Sanchez ’23 Read my bio!

Dear Future Titans, You may be wondering, “What if I am an athlete?” or “What if I want to improve/maintain my physical well-being?” Well, I have wonderful news for you! There’s a lot of ways to begin or continue physical activity at IMSA. The allure of the beautiful sunsets and bright green grass is enough to drive many of us outside daily, even if it’s just for a little while. As for the number of walks and runs students have done around campus, there can’t be a number placed on such a popular occurrence. Although the academically challenging environment requires significant dedication and time commitment, students find the time in the afternoons and weekends to do the activities they love. Whether you’re an athlete or wish to participate in moderate activity to stay fit, these opportunities exist during all seasons, even under the COVID-19 safety guidelines. Our school participates in the IHSA Little Ten Conference and the athletic program offers eleven different sports. To find the complete list of all of the competitive activities sponsored, visit the Titan Athletics website. The current protocol is that we are to wear face masks at all times unless we are outside in low-traffic areas or eating, not applying to your dorm room. For some of us, it means having to take extra breaks in a routine if exercising indoors, but it is possible to do so while taking care of ourselves and each other. When temperatures get colder outside, opportunities can be found through the Titan Fitness Center, indoor swimming pool, and open gym times, where the indoor courts are made available to play on. Due to the pandemic, there are rules set in place to moderate the procedures in the Fitness Center to ensure limited capacity in allotted times. Culture shows hosted by clubs and other school wide events are additional ways to get some exercise and learn something new. In the warmer weather, the soccer field surrounded by our running track, Yare, and Access Road accommodate a lot of the recreational activities students partake in. Attending this rigorous Academy doesn’t mean that you have to give up your love for a sport or exercise routine. The experience gained here will develop good time-management skills and that can include finding your own time to squeeze in a healthy workout or practice. As an athlete myself, I remember considering my development as a soccer and futsal player before going to IMSA. This worry faded away when I found myself going to the gym twice a week, practicing technical skills outside, and stretching before I went to bed. Currently, I play for a traveling soccer team and was selected as an alternate for the US Youth National Futsal Team. The key is to plan ahead and work within your fitness level to prevent injury. Setting a time aside to figure out the spaces in your schedule or whenever you feel like boosting your endorphin levels is a great start. Lastly, don’t forget that physical activity can still be a lot of fun, especially when you know you are following all safety measures to maintain yours and others’ overall well-being. Take Care,

Maya Sanchez Class of 2023