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All about that hustle and grind

All about that hustle and grind All about that hustle and grind

If you’re a sports junkie like me, you’ve probably beyond grateful to see the NBA and MLB resume their seasons. I’m not much for baseball, I know, blasphemy, but it does make me happy to see sports in some fashion or another take place every night.

If you’re also anything like me, you’ve probably been watching the recent development of professional athletes and college teams opting out of the 2020 season. There have been several NFL players that have chosen not to play this year thanks to COVID-19. There have been several colleges, the most prominent being the Ivy League, that have put the kibosh on fall sports.

A lot of people are waiting with baited breath to see what will happen for high school and college sports. Here in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) voted 8-3 to have a shortened fall sports season. But as you’ll read on our front page, COVID-19 cases are on the rise, especially in the small area of Abbotsford, Colby, Curtiss and Dorchester.

That throws into doubt how long of a season there will be, should cases keep rising. Well, two more dominoes fell just recently, with the WIAC and the Midwest Conferences suspending athletic activities until at least January.

That means that student-athletes like Ean Rau and Connor Jeske will not play for Knox College or Ripon College. Blake Draper, Gavino Lopez and Chase Sperl won’t get to enjoy their freshman season in pads at UW - Stevens Point.

It’s disappointing to say the least, considering the years of hard work and sacrifice that have been put in by all these student-athletes. If you’re a regular reader of my stories, you know I’ve profiled every one of these men, and their journey to the NCAA.

I’ve run into a few of them in recent weeks, and they’re sad, as this is just another entry in the long litany of moments they are missing out on. But it’s important to stay the course and to remember that the work is never in vain. The grind is the reward.

It’s been years since I’ve considered myself an athlete, but I still go to the gym as often as I can and put in half an hour to an hour of hard work. I tell all my student-athletes this - fitness is a lifelong pursuit. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is a healthy mind in a healthy body.

That’s been one of the rare silver linings of the coronavirus. I have been able to get back to Benz Fitness in Colby, been able to get back into a fitness regime. I’m proud to say I can now run a mile again, do 30 minutes on an elliptical and bench 200 pounds. We have just the one body we are born with, so I think it’s important we all do what we can to get the best out of it.

I tell all my student-athletes, as their season hangs in the balance to stay the course. Besides, the worst thing that could happen if they keep going to the gym is they get in great shape, and who knows, they may even get a girlfriend!