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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
How the pandemic and sports changed my life
By Aaron Murillo | May | June 2022
For most of my life, I struggled with my weight. Due to my weight issues, I also developed high cholesterol. In December 2020, I was determined to finally do something about my weight. Since I was home during the pandemic, it was slightly easier for me to start working on my health. With the help of my friends and family, I went from 172 pounds down to 128 pounds in about six months. I started a daily routine of eating better, eating less, running, lifting weights and performing other workouts. Being healthy helped me physically, emotionally and academically.
Eventually, I sustained an injury from so much exercise. This prevented me from continuing my daily workouts for several months. Once my injury healed, I was able to participate in various virtual running activities. It took me a while to build up my stamina to run and exercise again. By this time, I was getting out of shape again. This is when I heard about my future high school’s cross-country team tryouts. They were two weeks away and I was lacking the confidence that I had a few months before. Two days before the official time trial, I reinjured my leg. I was tempted not to try out because I was afraid I would not make the team. Thanks to the confidence I built in myself during the closures, I made the high school cross country team. I was excited because cross-country would further support the healthy living habits that I developed during the closures.
The cross-country team has changed my life. I made many new friends and have learned so much more about myself. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. Running is a mental and physical sport. I have been given the opportunity to participate in various running events, and I have regained my speed and strength. If I had not taken the chance and tried out for the cross-country team, my first year of high school post-pandemic would have been a different year. Going back to school after the pandemic was challenging, but knowing that I would be a part of the cross-country team helped make that transition smoother.
As my cross-country season came to an end, my coach encouraged me to participate in track. Participating in track is just as much fun as my first cross-country season. My goal is to continue participating in high school sports and making healthy choices for myself a priority. This journey has not been easy, but participating in distance learning for over a year helped me make healthier choices. Although the pandemic was bad for many people, I turned a bad situation into something positive for myself.
Aaron Murillo is a freshman at Etiwanda High School in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District.
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