Story by Eddie Zhou
Photo by Ella Jayasekera
South Pasadena has surpassed 1,100 coronavirus cases and SPHS’ socially-distanced athletic practices have been shut down multiple times due to positive tests. With coronavirus becoming more and more of a common occurrence, Tiger spoke with student-athletes who had the virus to understand the physical tolls and the recovery processes.
After enduring a 17-day sickness period, junior swimmer Sophia Davison found it most challenging transitioning back into her day to day routine during recovery, let alone more concentrated physical activity again.
“The recovery process was hard for me. Just getting my breathing back to normal was a struggle and it was hard to get in shape after being out for so long,” Davison said.
Senior track sprinter and jumper Camdon Park experienced similar difficulties ramping up his workout regime after recovering from COVID-19. As soon as he cleared his quarantine, he jumped back into sprinting and jumping exercises but found himself having trouble returning to the levels of fitness he had enjoyed before.
“The fatigue, when you have it, you get extremely tired and you have no energy to do anything…I was extremely gassed and out of shape when just doing warmups,” Park said. “Usually after a workout, I wouldn’t be that tired, but after having COVID-19, it really took a toll on me.” Cole Stirling, a fellow senior on both the football and baseball team, feels lucky that his experience and recovery
from the virus was a relatively smooth experience. Stirling experienced mild cold-like symptoms, but like many minors who have contracted the virus, he quickly recovered after his positive test.
“I feel very fortunate that my symptoms were mild and that I do not have any lingering effects,” Stirling said. “My entire family tested positive at the same time, which actually was better for us, [considering] that we had it together and didn’t have to quarantine from one another.”
During their recovery, Stirling and Park made sure to increase intake of vitamin C and D while also ensuring that they were properly hydrated and rested. Stirling alleviated the boredom he experienced during quarantine by doing light workouts in his home gym while Park did his best to stay in shape through basic bodyweight exercises. Davison also began to go on daily runs and improve her physical fitness but stressed the importance of recovering at her own pace.
“Take your time going back into things because being healthy and mentally healthy are a lot more important than getting back into a sport,” Davison said.
Although it took a couple of weeks for Stirling to fully regain his taste and smell, he is grateful to be back to playing the sports he enjoys. He hopes that other recovering athletes have a similarly fortunate experience and urges them to take good care of their bodies.
“My best advice is to listen to your body and not try to push yourself to do things that you are not ready for,” Stirling said. “If you need rest, then rest.”
Returning to their sports may be the number one priority for many athletes, but through their experiences, Davison, Park, and Stirling stress the importance of a proper recovery. Whether it means taking extra vitamins or simply resting, athletes must understand the necessity of treating one’s body with care, especially while recovering from COVID-19.