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As a member of the U of A Pandas basketball team, I’m no stranger to staying active. This year things look a lot different. As COVID-19 restrictions change, our season has been completely canceled and our training schedule is constantly changing or put on hold. With so much disruption to sport this year, I lost the sense of normalcy and routine I got from having such a rigid, busy, and active schedule.

As my ‘normal’ flew out the window, I had more time than I knew what to do with and it started to affect my physical and mental well-being. In an effort to stay positive, I began to view this year as an opportunity to figure out what’s next for me; an opportunity to explore all the exciting ways to stay active and keep moving outside of organized sport.

This past summer and fall I found time to hike, run, bike, rollerblade, and stretch more than ever before. I even tried outdoor rock climbing and loved it! Similarly, I am seizing every opportunity to take part in winter activities that bring me joy, such as skating, snowboarding, and tobogganing. I also began running outside during the winter months, something I had always wanted to get into. These activities not only keep me healthy, but also provide a means of challenging myself and foster a sense of self-efficacy.

Playing for the Pandas has helped me develop leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills that are integral to team sport and life. I have one more year of eligibility and I’m stoked to say I’m sticking around for one last kick at the can when we are able to start up again. This year however, by reconnecting with my ability to move and grow in a
variety of ways, I’ve gained invaluable experience for the future. I’ve learned to embrace the vulnerability that comes with change and rediscovered the satisfaction that comes from trying something new. Don’t be afraid to switch up your routine and get moving! The benefits of an active lifestyle are limitless!"