The global events of this year have meant a lot of change for people across the globe, and that is no different for Harrogate Town Ladies. We spoke to Lindsey Whitton to see how her lockdown unfolded and how preparations for the new season have slowly but surely began to get into motion.
"It was strange at first as everything I was used to doing as a way of keeping fit was suddenly taken away... No training, no matches, no gym, no park run. I quickly realised that I liked having a routine with my fitness and liked to have structure, so I made a schedule for each week - I found variance within that was important for my motivation! What was nice was that a few of the girls would jump onto a zoom call to do some workouts together so that was ace and a good way to stay connected!"
Lindsey continued "I think like much of the nation my lockdown experience has revolved around three activities: video calls, family quizzes and yoga. They all kept me sane and entertained when we were not allowed out that much. I thrive off social interactions, so it was a challenge for me to adjust at first. We also hosted a weekly quiz for the squad which replaced our Tuesday night training so that we could all stay in touch. I have still been working during lockdown which I am grateful for so having a 9-5, Monday to Friday routine was great and I fitted in my exercise around that."
"My workouts focused on a mixture of full body HIIT, lower body strength and interval runs. The variance kept me engaged and helped me be prepared for when we got the go ahead to train again! In recent weeks, I have been doing the 25 press up challenge, a lot of people have probably seen it floating around their social media. I was nominated for this so what you do is 25 press ups for 25 days to raise awareness of poor mental health and to reduce the stigma around it. 25 strict press ups was a massive challenge for me, I knew I was capable of doing ten decent ones from the start so I made it my goal to be able to do 25 straight through, it was definitely a struggle pushing out those last ten reps each day! I managed that though which is great for my upper body strength but more importantly raised £320 for MIND The Mental Health Charity and raised awareness of several mental health support services along the way."
After the easing of lockdown rules by the government, Town Ladies have managed to make it back on the training field. Although the centre back turned striker admitted everyone was happy to be back, things have changed drastically.
"It was so great to see everyone and I was so buzzing to be back on the pitch with the football boots on and running around with a ball at my feet! It is the most amount of freedom I have felt since the start of March. I don't think any amount of fitness that you do at home can prepare you for the fitness you face in football but it was ace just being back on the pitch and surrounded by my team mates."
"It has changed a lot. Over recent years a lot of our training has been based on possession and small sided games so when you have got a 2m social distancing rule in place it makes playing football quite difficult when it's normally a contact sport. It was fun though and Bob worked us hard. We did a lot of ball work, interval running and quick feet which was great to get us back into the swing of things."
By Isaac Martin