Miami student-athletes find creative ways to work out during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Jesús Jiménez, assistant director of editorial services

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down universities around the country, Miami University student-athletes have found creative ways to stay active during quarantine. While some student-athletes have access to workout facilities, others have had to get creative.

Here are five questions exploring how Miami student-athletes have remained active during quarantine.

How have you trained and stayed healthy during quarantine?

For the first couple months, when none of the gyms were open, I would just go for runs in my neighborhood. For weight training, I would stick paint cans on a broom stick. I would take my backpack and stick books in there, and my dad made me some sand bags. Luckily, my sister played volleyball in high school, so she would play with me or toss the ball around so I could keep up with the touches. My family, we eat pretty healthy in general. – Abigail Huser, volleyball, senior

How do you keep the right mindset despite the uncertainty regarding when you will have a season?

When I got sent home, I remember thinking I’d be home for four weeks and I’d be back and continue spring ball, but that ended up not being the case. The things that kind of kept me motivated were just the fact that I have to hold myself accountable by running, working out and throwing on my own while I was home. I knew if I wasn’t doing that our opponents would be passing us up. I owe it to my teammates to at least hold my end of the bargain. – Brett Gabbert, football, sophomore

What was your reaction when COVID-19 ended the spring semester?

It was disappointing for us, because we had just won the first game in the MAC Tournament and we were headed back to Cleveland. We were going to start playing, we were going to get on the bus and leave and all of a sudden, we had a meeting with the whole team and our athletic director, and they told us that they thought we were going to get canceled. The Big Ten and other big conferences canceled their tournaments so it was just a matter of time. We had one senior and we were trying to go out on a good note for him. We were catching our strides at the end of the year and it was disappointing for sure.– Elijah McNamara, men’s basketball, junior

Is there anything that you’ve learned about yourself during your time away from the everyday grind?

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I’m a person who likes to have a schedule. It was a challenge to have all the free time and find things to fill it. Usually, when I’m at school, it’s just so focused on basketball and school and I really enjoyed having a structured schedule. I definitely think I’ve taken the time to try to find new hobbies, but I can’t really say that I’ve found any that have stuck. I would say the biggest one, I’ve spent a lot of time cooking and trying new recipes. I’ve also learned I’m not always the best at connecting and reaching out to people unless I see them in person. I think the biggest thing was reaching out to people I hadn’t seen in a while, whether it was calling them or texting. – Kenzie Schmitz, women’s basketball, senior

How do you keep in contact with teammates?

We have our Zoom meeting every Sunday around 5 p.m., and we go around and people talk about what they did for the week. Coaches will get speakers for us and, other than that, we just text each other all the time. We’re a pretty close group, so we’re always texting each other here and there. – McNamara


Help support Miami University student-athletes during #MoveInMiami, our annual day of giving, on Aug. 13. Visit to learn more.

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