Transition Bikes rider Bonnie Burke makes her way through stage two of the Mad River Enduro course on the way to winning the Open/Pro Women's class on September 7. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Club sport athletes stay on track

Unable to practice as a team, athletes practice one-on-one.
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Unable to practice as a team, athletes practice one-on-one.

Humboldt State University’s athletics clubs are currently unable to practice on a team level. Members hold themselves accountable in hopes of the restriction lifting and allowing teams to meet and practice again.

Part of being ready to play whenever COVID-19 restrictions loosen or end, is staying in shape. Colin Waichler, president of the cycling club, has no set plan for his team, just encourages them to stay on the bike.

“We haven’t been doing any real individual training this semester,” Waichler said. “To be honest, we don’t do any team training in normal years, there’s no motivation around for that when just going for a rip is way more fun. If you count super chill group rides as training, I guess we train.”

Waichler said the club members are riding mostly the same amount as they would normally, even without races that would be scheduled.

“Right now, everyone’s riding at their usual level minus the four or five race weekends we normally have in the fall,” Waichler said. “For most of us, that’s one to three casual rides a week.”

Waichler has been doing more than just stepping on the bike to stay in shape.

“Ordinarily, I’d be riding four or five hours a week. Distance varies, but about 30 to 100 miles, usually on less rainy days but occasionally I’ll go for a swim,” Waichler said. “Outside of that I don’t really train but do a good amount of hiking and ski touring when possible.”

Anthony Perez, president of the archery club, staying in shape is not the only reason he maintains individual practicing, mental health is a huge factor when it comes to being able to practice.

“I try to at least shoot twice a month, safely of course,” Perez said. “The only reason why I go out is because archery helps me destress. With the whole staying indoors and not having much contact besides the house plant, it gets hard to find motivation but when I go out to shoot, it helps me clear my mind because I’m only focusing on my breathing and the target.”

Perez elaborated on how practicing helps him stay in touch and focused with his surroundings, a great break from the monotony of virtual instruction.

“Just overall feeling the surroundings, like how strong the wind is, the leaves falling and just have that feeling of being alive versus migrating from the bed to the desk,” Perez said. “It’s really hard to explain but it’s like you’re in touch with everything because you’re using all your senses to make sure you make that shot, but when I’m inside my house, I only need one or two senses and I’m not at full capacity. Like I’m on autopilot.”

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