Running from disappointment

People exercise to keep spirits up during coronavirus outbreak

A screeching halt.

Waynesburg spring athletes’ seasons, along with many others across the nation came to an end  in early March. A month later, there is no competition in sight for the immediate future.

“Disappointment comes every day as part of every life, and you can only get stronger by it,” said Waynesburg track coach Michelle Cross.


Now disappointment sits inside millions of homes each day as people young and old watch time pass, awaiting an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Neither Cross, nor Waynesburg cross country coach Chris Hardie, saw the pandemic coming.

Nobody did.

In mid-March, the NCAA cancelled all spring seasons, and within a couple days Hardie, Cross and their respective coaching staff’s devised a new workout plan for their athletes.

Now, with nothing to do all day, ordinary people are turning to exercise.

 Both coaches agreed the workout strategy for beginners can’t be the same as one for a seasoned athlete.

Hardie envisions three simple steps for starters.

“Consistency,” he said. “If you’re starting a new plan for the first time, they want to be active every day. If it’s a walking plan, do it every day and stick with it.”

The second step is goal setting.

“If someone is getting into it casually, there should be some goal at the end,” Hardie said. “Whether it’s a time or distance [goal], they’ll stay on track and stay motivated.”

The final part: Don’t overdo it.

 “It’s important to not do too much, be careful with that,” Hardie warns. “You’re increasing your mileage or activity at about 10 percent per week. It’s good for our athletes, but it also helps a crowd just getting back into a fitness activity.”

 Cross coincides with Hardie, suggesting a specific method.

 “You can train for a 5K,” she said.  “There’s a program online called Couch to 5K and it builds you up and along with [Hardie], it goes slow. People aren’t going to be burned out.”

Exercise tracking applications like Nike Run Club are also easily accessible and provide good workouts.

“Some of them are good ideas, some are not,” Cross said. “Those programs in particular have a beginner and intermediate [status]. You can find your spot.”

Hardie adds more extensive, individualized plans can be tailored for people looking to train.

“If anybody wants to reach out, I can make suggestions on things to do or [give] support,” Hardie said. “Our coaching staff is all about fitness and helping people reach their goals. They can email me.”

Little by little, people can make large improvements regardless of their current status..

“Start slow, you’ll actually do those things every day,” Cross said. “Instead of just intending to.”