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Staying active during the pandemic

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Staying active during the pandemic
Amy and Andrew Apparis, stretch for their workout to stay in shape during the pandemic outside of their house in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Feb 26, 2021. Photo by Samantha Neff

Balancing work and a workout may not seem like an easy challenge for some people, but it’s not a problem for some Pierce students and staff.

Professor Christopher Corning of the Pierce College English department has been maintaining his  cardio routine throughout quarantine. 

“I’ve recently turned 40, so I challenged myself to do a 40-mile run,” Corning said. “I went just last week and did the 40-mile run in about seven and a half hours.” 

This challenge is one of the many he has completed. Corning recently signed up for and completed an eight-week 500-mile challenge. 

“I logged all my running on an online platform,” Corning said. “Each day I would log how many miles I had run and how long it would take me.” 

Corning is approaching an anniversary that will be celebrating his accomplishment of  running at least a mile daily for the last two years.

“My wife tells me when I don’t run I get grumpy,” Corning said. “If I get some miles in,  especially before my son wakes up, then I just feel a little more prepared to handle being a father, a teacher, a husband, being a human.” 

Corning is not the only professor at Pierce who takes on bold and new physical challenges. 

Professor Cara Gillis, Chair of Philosophy and Sociology at Pierce College, has been known for  her extraordinary physical accomplishments. 

“I did ‘Race Across the Country’ in 2012 as a part of a two person team,” Gillis said. “I was supposed to do a solo version of the first third of that called ‘Race Across the West’ this past summer before it was canceled by COVID.”

Prior to COVID, many of Gillis’ bike rides were focused outside. She currently focuses on her trainer, which keeps her bike stationary, and the app SWIFT as a placeholder for the “real” bike ride experience. 

“I sit on my bike trainer during a lot of meetings,” Gillis said. “There is so much that happens right now because there isn’t a separation of spaces between home and work.”

Both professors mentioned how maintaining their physical health also helps their mental health.

“You always feel better when you’re done exercising,” Gillis said. “If your body isn’t feeling great, your mind won’t work well.”

Pierce alumni Andrew Apparis and current Pierce student, Amy Apparis, have both been working out from their home ever since quarantine has been set into motion. 

“Quarantine did not affect my workout regimen at all, and if anything, it made me want to work out more because I’ve been so bored at home,” Andrew Apparis said. 

Andrew Apparis also said he prefers working out in the comfort of home, and considers himself lucky to have all the needed equipment.   

Amy Apparis said that she felt motivated by seeing other people at gyms working out. She also said that she prefers the gym environment because she finds it motivating and socially stimulating. 

 “Now, I workout at home watching YouTube videos,” Amy Apparis said. “Andrew and I work out together occasionally. We would both push each other, strive to do better and achieve our own personal records.”

Amy tries to maintain a schedule of working out five days a week and resting two, while Andrew works out about four days a week while resting three. 

“Working out helps me feel more productive,” Amy Apparis said. “Putting energy into my workouts helps me feel at ease.”