Brendan Mourato lives in the High Desert and considers himself an academic athlete.
During this time when we are having to distance from each other because of the coronavirus pandemic, Brendan wants to encourage other youth to stay focused and engage in school work and physical activities.
Brendan attends Silverado High School in Victorville and his friend, Markus Cholewiak, who attends Granite Hills High School in Apple Valley, have made a commitment. They are holding each other accountable to maintain grades and a healthy diet. This is their routine since school will not be in session for the remainder of the school year:
Brendan stretches and then gets on the stationary bike from 45 minutes to one hour. He also runs after his online classes are done for the day.
Marcus runs on a treadmill between 4 and 7 miles each day.
Because of the change in their daily lifestyles, the pair need to get out to relieve tension of being indoors and get some fresh air. While maintaining social distancing, they do calisthenics, isometrics, and lift weights. To stay sharp on the basketball court, which they both enjoy, Brendan said they work out their brains by reading the dictionary and other books. Their writing skills also are improving because they journal everything they do.
These young scholars are assuring themselves they will maintain the level of expectation as if they were in the high school classroom.
“When we do go back to school, we won’t fall behind, but we will be on track to keep our grades in check,” Brendan said. “We also FaceTime and check in with our other basketball teammates to make sure we are all staying on track — both academically and with basketball. We are accountable on how many push-ups, squats, and sit-ups we each do. We encourage each other almost on a daily basis. I think this has built up morale and camaraderie with us.”
Social distancing hasn’t stopped Brendan and his friends from texting and they have been engaged in group chats, as well as interacting with family with video calls. He is also holding conversations with loved ones and spending quality time with family. He enjoys playing board games to stay sharp mentally.
Brendan’s other advice to students is to drink lots of water, try to stay fit or get fit, and have fun.
Brendan expressed how the COVID-19 virus has impacted so many of us physically, not to mention emotionally, but encourages others that by eating healthy, reading, and staying fit, that we are going to get through this.
I agree with Brendan when he said, “We can overcome the challenges together and I want to encourage others to enjoy each and every day.”
Thank you, Brendan.
You have given so many students ideas of how to deal with time at home and maintaining social distancing. Some students may not have the equipment or ability to carry out some of these activities, so please use your creativity to deal with the challenges faced because of the coronavirus.
Margaret Hill is a member of the San Bernardino City Unified School District board.