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The quarantined athlete

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Shayna Foppiano (above) during a night of professional boxing promoted by Boston Boxing. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

By Lorenzo Recupero

Athletes all over the country and beyond and right here in Everett have all had their sports careers come to an abrupt stop as a result of Covid-19 emergency actions. From the city’s high school and younger athletes, to the professionals such as local boxer Shayna Foppiano, lifestyles have changed and when they will return to normal is kind of an unknown.

In a cell phone conversation recently, Foppiano shared what she does know about staying active and possibly ‘reinventing’ yourself during the time of coronavirus and quarantines. From studying film to getting loved ones involved, here’s her take on it all.

What’s your mindset through all this? How are you able to tell yourself as an athlete to keep working your hardest even though you won’t be able to compete?

I personally don’t feel like it’s difficult to keep active every day during all of this – In fact, I think of this time as an advantage. Of course, it’s hard not being able to go to the gym and use the bags and train with my team and coach, but on the upside now I have all of this free time out of work to train. I’ve been studying a lot of boxing film while I’m inside and making sure I work out in some way for 2-3 hours a day. I crave the structure and my body feels awful when I’m not working out regularly.

Has social distancing effected your workouts with not having your trainer and usual equipment? If so, how have you supplemented that loss?

Not having my team and coach has definitely altered my workouts but I’m making sure they still are boxing focused. My husband has been holding the pads for me a few times a week so that’s been helpful. I also started running more every day, which is great because my coach told me that I needed to “fall in love with running”- what better time than now.

What’s your advice to the student athletes in the area that are struggling to stay motivated without workout partners or coaches or the facilities they are used to?

My advice to student athletes and young athletes would be to remember that this isn’t forever. Becoming GREAT at something is hard. Sitting on the couch and being lazy is easy. Use this time to get an advantage over your opponents as well as to prove to yourself that you’re capable of doing what most people won’t. Sometimes if I’m having a hard time getting started I like to remind myself that my competitors are probably

sitting on the couch relaxing right now and that motivates me to get up and get to work. Come out of this and show everyone just how hard you’ve been working to be a better version of YOU! BE GREAT!

Aside from running and your boxing workouts, are there any other workouts you’d recommend to those of all ages looking to stay active while indoors?

My advice for anyone trying to stay active inside would be to GET CREATIVE! If you have tv or internet access there are so many great free workouts for all levels, with and without equipment. Even with no equipment you can fill a backpack or gym bag with books or other heavy materials and use that for weights. Set small goals. Fifteen to 30 minutes of working out a day could increase your immune system and you will also feel mentally clearer and have a more productive day.

This is a little more specific, but how about dieting, any advice for athletes on how your handling cravings while quarantined?

A healthy, well balanced diet is more important than ever right now. Along with exercise, proper nutrition is what will keep your body fighting and help to prepare it to fight off sickness if necessary. I have cravings just like everyone else. The way I have been handling my cravings during this is to take the time to prepare my own meals and desserts(if that’s what I am craving). A lot of pre-packaged desserts and sweets contain preservatives and ingredients that do more harm than help to our bodies. Preparing things ourselves from scratch will help keep us from consuming unnecessary chemicals and sweeteners. Check out Pinterest for great healthy snacks to keep your cravings at bay. Make sure to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies especially during this time and again GET CREATIVE while we have the time … Oh! And don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water – good for the skin and great for the whole body.

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