Pandemic Give Soccer Player New Goals

Rodrigo Cejudo, Journalism 1 writer

The New York Times Magazine celebrates the little things in life through a weekly column called “Letter of Recommendation.” For the opinion writing assignment in Journalism 1, Mrs. Weiss asked the students to follow this style and write about something that they have come to appreciate more during the school closure and stay-at-home orders because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Enjoy! (Here is the link to the New York Times Magazine stories where these students got their inspiration.)

When my soccer club told us that we weren’t allowed to go back to practice for the rest of February it was hard to realize that I was getting back from a one-month injury and soccer was getting canceled because of the coronavirus. At that time, I was just so upset that I couldn’t think about anything else, but March came and my problem was that I was getting out of shape.

Then, in April I got a call from my parents that said that I needed to go back home to Mexico, my time as a foreign exchange student had to come to an end. I was sad and upset at the same time because we were doing quarantine in Erie already, and I had the hope that one day during May we were going to be allowed to go back to practice, but suddenly, soccer in Erie was completely over for me.

When I got home to Mexico from my eight-month exchange year, all I was thinking about it was that I wanted to go back to Erie and meet up with my friends again, because I didn’t even get to say goodbye to them. Then, things in Mexico started to go bad and the pandemic started with tons of cases in my city. I was in Erie when everything started and I had to do one and a half months of quarantine there. When I came back home, the crisis was just starting in Mexico, so I’m probably one of the only people who had to do the longest quarantine in the world.

After getting home I knew my problem was my physical shape. I couldn’t run a mile without almost dying, so I decided to start doing exercise from home and a few days later I could see the changes. My brothers, who are 14 and 12 years old, watched me and wanted to get back in shape too, so they started to do what I was doing.

I think it’s great that from the exercise we can get time as a family. We have been working out for about two weeks now and we enjoy the time we spend together running or just doing some exercise and after a good sweat, we go swimming for an hour in our pool. I think this is  pretty cool, and we have so many great times together that now our relationship has changed a lot.

Now that I think about my decision to do some exercise to replace the workout I used to do playing soccer, I think it was the best decision. After two and a half weeks I could tell that I’m more athletic than ever and I’m feeling good about it. I have no health issues and no injuries. This is the best way to keep your body in shape if you’re not allowed to be outside because of the obligatory quarantine.

I’m getting in my best shape practicing from home, and after this quarantine I’m expecting to keep this routine. I’m sure I will impress all the coaches with all the hard work I did during the quarantine. I’m sure I will keep it as a normal routine in my life when everything goes back to normal because it is not a long routine and I’m impressed with all the changes not only in my physical shape, but my mental shape too.That’s what keeps me excited to do even after the pandemic is over.