Photo credit: Nolan Jez, MileSplit
When I woke up on Thursday April 9th, I was expecting it to be a normal quarantine day: Eat breakfast, do school work, do my daily run and core work, then have the rest of the afternoon to do whatever I wanted.
While that was the case, my normal day was interrupted. I had a notification from WGAL on my phone saying that Governor Tom Wolf issued the order that all Pennsylvania schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic school year. And with no academic spring, that means no athletics in the spring, either.
All of the hard work over the last four years — but more specifically the last year leading up to now — seemed pretty much flushed away. I spent all five miles of my run just thinking of all the memories I made with my teammates, coaches, and other competitors I have raced in my high school career.
I spent all five miles of my run just thinking of all the memories I made with my teammates, coaches, and other competitors I have raced in my high school career.
Some of the memories that came to mind were winning the coveted Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two Title for the first time in 30 years, building unbreakable bonds with my coaches and teammates and having fantastic races with some of the best runners in the state and even country.
Those memories will never go away, but there will always be that disappointment that I wasn’t able to continue those memories into my final track & field season.
I feel like I am most disappointed, however, about the fact that I am unable to defend my state and national titles. When I failed to defend my indoor state title this past winter, I found myself with even more motivation than before to work harder during the spring to defend my outdoor titles.
Although I am unable to officially defend my titles, it doesn’t give me any less reason to put in the same amount of work I was going to during the season.
If anything, I feel like I am now working harder, using my frustration to fuel my workouts.
I have also been able to train with some great runners such as Zach Lefever — a junior at the University of Pittsburgh — and my old volunteer distance coach Wayne Hooper. They have both been helping me throughout this time in training, even helping develop my own training plan to help me reach what would have been my high school goal times: a sub-1:50 800m and a sub-4:10 mile.
I guess when I truly think about this very unfortunate situation there are still some positives. I still get to train, and I am technically still the defending state and national champ.
I will have four years at Penn State University, and I am still able to achieve my time goals — even if I have to run them by myself, with only a few people watching.
At the end of the day, it hurts to not have a senior high school season, but at least I am still able to put in work day after day and achieve the goals I set at the end of last year.
TYLER SHUE — EPHRATA HIGH SCHOOL
2019 PIAA INDOOR 800M CHAMPION
2019 PIAA OUTDOOR 800M CHAMPION
2019 NEW BALANCE NATIONALS OUTDOOR 800M CHAMPION
Read Tyler’s training log here
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