Runk draws positivity from pandemic shutdown

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I recently spoke on Facebook to a good friend of mine, someone I have much respect for and have shared some huge moments on the athletic fields from the time she was in seventh grade.

Jasmine Runk is a 2018 Forrest graduate and sophomore at Columbia State Community College where she was just getting started competing in her second sport of the season as a Lady Charger softball player before embarking to Glenville State College in West Virginia in August to continue her academic career and the difficult endeavor of being a two-support athlete in soccer and softball.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I miss during this difficult time of pandemic and that is by far the interaction I have with the student athletes.

I have seen two classes from seventh grade to graduation and beyond now and it just makes me so proud to see them succeed in anything they choose to do.

Runk and I use to play a little game I started where I would draw some letters in the dirt with my camera stick or a bat and she would have to guess what they meant. They were all positive and encouraging sayings and always had something to do with the moment or predicament the Lady Rockets faced that day.

She would guess them all eventually (with some hints) and I could see the uplift in her body language and play on the field.

That small idea of positive reinforcement worked, just read about what she had to say about the temporary derailment of her journey forward.

Thanks Jaz!

The Day My World Shifted

By Jasmine Runk

Columbia State Community College Student Athlete

I have been an athlete for I don’t know, say 13 or 14 fourteen years now and there has not been a school semester that has gone by since kindergarten where I haven’t participated in some sort of athletic event.

This year, the spring of 2020 every nightmare for a college athlete came true. Our world is going through a health crisis and a major one at that.

Every decision made by health officials, government officials, athletic officials, and school officials has unfortunately, been the right one with their decisions leaving many with a broken heart.

On March 26, the National Junior College Athletic Association decided to suspend the remainder of the spring 2020 sporting events following the decision of the NCAA.

Since the suspension of our season, we have all had to learn to adapt to the new norm of classes online and no athletics.

Many have asked how this has impacted me and how have I adapted to the circumstances, and well I can’t say it’s been entirely easy, in fact it’s been extremely difficult

On the academic’s side of things, all my classes have shifted to online and it’s been extremely difficult to adapt to. I miss all my wonderful classmates and professors.

When it comes to the athletic side of the situation there is so much I miss. My teammates mean the world to me and have helped me through a lot here in my time at Columbia State and not seeing them and playing the game we love has been incredibly hard.

Next, I miss the structure and order of being a student athlete and how disciplined it kept me. Having to time manage was very important and now I have so much extra time on my hands and I am not sure what to do with it.

After my first few weeks of transition I was able to learn what to do with all my free time. I found a way to incorporate athletics back into my life. Even though I don’t have teammates to practice with or a good yard to use I am able to study the game more. Whether I watch videos of softball and soccer or go for a run. I find it very important to incorporate the game into my everyday life.

Even though the Covid-19 outbreak has changed the everyday life of everyone, I have found some positive aspects. Being a student athlete, you spend little time with your family, but now that school is currently my only obligation, I can spend quite a bit more time with my family. I leave for West Virginia to continue my academic and athletic career in August, so being able to be home with my family and spend time with them has been amazing. Although I don’t get to see my teammates every day, I am still able to stay in contact with them. I usually get to talk to them every day which means the world to me.

Yes, this outbreak has brought lots of bad things, but you always must find the good in some things. We learn from the challenging times and grow on them, so don’t take this virus as all bad. Find the good.

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