Sophomore men's basketball player Joey Rodrick pulls up for a jumpshot at his local gym after lockdown in Portland was lifted | Photo by Joey Rodrick

Humboldt State Athletes stay fit safely during pandemic

COVID-19 is not an excuse to stop sweating.
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COVID-19 is not an excuse to stop sweating.

Student athletes do not have the luxury of taking a break because once COVID-19 is over, it is right back to the game they play. Athletes not only have to worry about the lack of open gyms, but also the ongoing social justice movement that swept across the country. Some athletes found it easier to cope and build a healthy diet and workout routine around these problems than others.

Benicio Benavides-Garb, a sophomore soccer player for HSU, has stayed in shape by using his personal weights and running. Benavides-Garb lifted with his barbell and set of dumbbells whenever he could. The running app Strava played a large role in Benavides-Garb’s fitness still being at a top level.

“Strava allowed me to try and break all my previous records I had on all my runs before,” Benavides-Garb said.

Benavides-Garb has also stayed in shape by passing the soccer ball with his little brother. Benavides-Garb’s passing has really improved since he trained with his little brother. The training not only improved both of the brothers’ skills, but also their relationship.

“Practicing with my little brother has led to a lot of bonding between the two of us,” Benavides-Garb said. “We are probably the closest we have ever been.”

One athlete has taken the all natural approach to staying in shape for their season. Kahanu Amantiad is junior and member of the Humboldt Rowing team. Amantiad trained over summer on her rowing machine. The rowing machine was essential in Amantiad staying in shape for her season. Additionally, Amantiad has been surfing all quarantine in her home state of Hawaii.

“I’ve spent most of my days surfing at my secret spot,” Amantiad said. “There are about two other people in the lineup, so we socially distance very easily. I’ve been working on my bottom turn and a couple snaps here and there.”

For some athletes like sophomore basketball player Joey Rodrick, there are more distractions to training than just COVID-19. Rodrick spent most of his time in quarantine lifting in his homemade weight room and training with a socially distanced trainer. When quarantine was over and parks reopened, Rodrick was able to play with the top talent of Portland. Rodrick worked on his jumpshot and other moves for his upcoming season.

“Playing with the best of the best definitely allowed me to work on my skills and improve as a player for HSU,” Rodrick said.

However, training came to a halt when Rodrick chose to be a part of a call for social and racial change. Protests rightfully proved to be more important than playing basketball for Rodrick.

“It’s been hard to train and practice because of all the protests,” Rodrick said. “I have been taking part in them and have really been adamant on doing my part for social justice.”

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