Hi, it’s Guy Harrison here. I am a para athletics, golf and badminton player for New Zealand. I spent lockdown with my Nana up at Ninety Mile Beach. Her house is right on the beach, so all my training involved long distance runs on the beach to increase my distance and fitness. This led me to enter the Air NZ Half Marathon, as I needed a goal to keep the motivation going over the seven weeks. Unfortunately this event was cancelled due to COVID-19 but I entered the Rotorua event and completed it.
During lockdown, I was supporting my Nana, who had just had hip replacements in both hips before lockdown. I taught her to walk again and built up her distance over the time I was there. Seeing her doing the exercises that I set helped me with my own training. It made me more motivated to do my own training, because it was extremely painful and difficult for her, but she never complained, just got on with the programme that I developed for her.
COVID-19 taught me that I needed to have ‘goals’ as I was pretty much on my own, without my coach, parents or others to motivate and encourage me. I developed good habits to ensure my training was done daily, even when the weather was terrible.
One of the things I missed was my group trainings. Being with other athletes, talking, joking and bonding is just as important as the physical training. I also found not being able to swim or attend the gym for strength and conditioning made my body tighter and sore.
Due to COVID-19, all the events I entered for 2020 have so far been cancelled but I have continued to train for both athletics and golf. I was disappointed that I was not able to compete in some of the overseas events, but in the end my health is more important. I know I will not be able to travel internationally until a vaccine has been developed.
Over lockdown, I continued with my Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science. All lectures were on Zoom and all assessments were on computers, so I had lots of extra learning to do to bring my knowledge of technology up to speed.