Midlo athletes find motivation in isolation

Spotlight on: Caroline Bowe, Colin Seiler, and Riley Martin

Photo by: Sophie King
Senior Riley Martin focuses on stick work and physical conditioning during the pandemic.

The spread of COVID-19 takes on a different meaning for everyone; for some, it can mean the loss of a loved one, while others associate the pandemic with the cancellation of prom, graduation, and the first semester of college. For Midlo’s elite athletes, COVID-19 represents the premature ending of the 2020 Spring Sports season and the postponement of the 2020 Fall Sports season. 

For senior Caroline Bowe, the cancellation of her outdoor track and field season challenged her plans to earn personal records and titles with her 4×800 meter relay team; however, she did not allow COVID-19 to hinder her intense training regimen or affect her passion for running. She remarks, “It’s definitely been hard to find motivation, but with running, I love it so much. It’s just been awesome to be able to run outside and breathe the fresh air.” Training at Pocahontas State Park, Bowe harnessed this motivation and continued to work hard through the summer, and in response to her season-free spring, she organized her own time trials. These three time trials afforded Bowe the opportunity to assess her level of fitness and earn personal bests in both familiar and unfamiliar races, and her participation on the Richmond Track Club made her eligible for various cross country races this fall.

Senior Colin Seiler, who has played on Midlo’s football team for four years, finds hope in the possibility of his last football season this winter; he states, “When I heard that my season might be cancelled, my heart tore in half because I have been committed to this team for 4 years and having my final year taken away would’ve been gruesome.” Knowing that his teammates are counting on him to prepare physically and mentally, Seiler trained through the pandemic at the field and at home, where he focused on body-weight exercises and free weights.

Riley Martin, a senior and four-year veteran on Midlo’s Varsity Girls Lacrosse team, felt “upset and frustrated” with the cancellation of the spring season; she explains, “Midlo Lacrosse has often struggled with developing a strong team dynamic. We finally had players with a good bond and a coach that enhanced it, so I’m upset we didn’t get to see what that team could do.” With her time, she focused on personal growth, describing, “I am extremely competitive, even against myself, so I was motivated to continue training to be better for next season, whenever that may come.” Despite the closure of gyms and training facilities, Martin continued her conditioning training with outdoor trail running and daily at-home workout programs; to maintain her stick work, she practiced shooting and passing on the goal and bounce-back in her backyard. This fall, she is participating in less-intense leagues that allow her to play lacrosse without the high stakes environment of Midlo’s varsity team.

These athletes offer a small glimpse into the effect that COVID-19 had on the athletic world; with dedication to self-improvement and their teammates, Bowe, Seiler, and Martin will return to their sports fitter, faster, and stronger than ever before.