Presley Miles: Adapting to the New Norm

The "norm." Is there such a thing at this time? Being a "ducks in a row" type of gal this situation is confusing and irritating. With plans being changed, new routines in place, and goals having to be revised, it's hard to find the positives. But amongst all of these rain clouds, there is a silver lining. This is a time to grow and strengthen your body, mind, future, and relationships.

Body: It's time to train. With a 6 am wake-up call, off to school, then practice, homework, and the nightly recovery routine; free hours were few and far between. However, this is an opportunity to take your newly available free time and use it to become stronger. With the outdoor season cancelled, the time to prepare for cross country is lengthened. Sometimes peaking for meets actually takes away from what could be your ultimate fitness level. So being able to train without having races is a positive thing. How many times have you wanted to go harder in the gym, but you knew you had three events on Saturday and the team was counting on you to take home the gold? Time to gain that core strength and flexibility you always wanted... and needed now that you have time. Stretching during online learning and finding ways to lift at home. Yes, you can. On the road all the time eating unhealthy meals, problem solved. Time to try that performance-based eating. I will exit more powerful than I entered, will you?

Mind: This time away from your team, your motivators, your coach, etc. can truly test your purpose for running. One of my favorite quotes is "A champion finds a way; a loser finds an excuse" and this situation will shine a light on your true character. While some sports such as baseball, softball, and tennis have to worry about when their next practice will be, our sport doesn't require a designated practice time. We are able to go out and run whenever and wherever.

Pick up a new book like Roar by Stacy T. Sims, The Courage to Run by Jim Ryun, Olympic Collision by Kyle Keiderling, or Today We Die a Little by Richard Askwith. These books help solidify your WHY and are great motivation for those tough workouts. Two more that are great reads but are out of print and a bit hard to find are The Surrendered Christian Athlete by Coach Brant Tolsma and A Shining Season by William Buchanan. You might want to pick up a box of tissues for the second one. If you would rather watch movies, go back in time to Coos Bay and try out the Prefontaine flicks and pick your favorite: Prefontaine or Without Limits. Then hit the Roger Bannister movies Four Minutes or The Four Minute Mile. Little known fact, I have two fast cats named Pre and Bannister :).

So, will you spend your time reminiscing about past races, scarfing cheese puffs, re-binge-watching gossip girl, mastering 318 TikTok dances, completely vegetating until cross country season or use this time to become the best version of yourself?

Future: As a Junior in high school, college is just around the corner. Preparing for the ACT and SAT hour after hour for them to be cancelled, without the guarantee of being able to take it again before decision time is disappointing. On the positive, coaches also have more free time and are able to FaceTime and speak on a regular basis. Take the extra time to insure you are making the right decision for both parties. I'm also focusing on building my athletic resume and enjoying the journey God has in store for me.

Relationships: I'm sure you've gotten to know your family pretty well over these past couple weeks. During this time, communication is imperative for keeping and growing relationships. I encourage you to reach out to a friend and tell them you are thinking of them. Get to know more people, hear more stories. This is a time to care for one another and get to know each other. We are blessed to have FaceTime and many other apps that help us get close while keeping our distance. I had a great reunion on a Webex video conference this week with the @dream.team21 (follow our insta!) girls I met at Duke Running camp.

This is just the beginning of a new chapter. Although circumstances don't seem ideal, this season is a chance to enhance your body's strength, toughen your mind, establish your future, and evolve your relationships.

Gone for a least six feet ahead of anyone else,