Ida's Taylor Wegener has been doing workouts with her future Saginaw Valley State University volleyball teammates five days a week without leaving her home.

Dealing with coronavirus has been tough on Taylor Wegener.

The Ida senior is accustomed to staying active. She is a volleyball All-Stater and the co-Monroe County Region Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Practicing, lifting weights, working out and doing school work usually keep her busy all day.

Much of that was stripped away by stay-at-home restrictions caused by the global pandemic.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I am used to practicing all the time. Now we are locked in the house all day. Usually when I put my head on the pillow in bed at night, I am out like a light because I am so active. I’ve got to do something.”

Technology is helping Wegener get her exercise fix.

She has been doing workouts with her future Saginaw Valley State University volleyball teammates five days a week without leaving her home.

“We do it Monday through Friday for about an hour,” she said. “I get on Zoom with my teammates.”

Actually, the workouts end after about 40 minutes. That’s the time limit for the meetings on Zoom, the video conferencing application.

“This is my first experience with Zoom,” Wegener said. “Before coronavirus, I had never heard of Zoom. I had to ask my sister (Whitney) about it. She uses it for college.”

The app has helped Wegener make her coronavirus confinement a little more bearable.

“It’s great for team bonding,” she said. “Honestly my favorite part is hearing the girls’ voices and joking around. That’s important for team chemistry.”

And it makes the workouts easier.

“I hate to work out alone,” Wegener said. “The mental part is the toughest thing. It’s slightly better when you have someone to talk to.”

Wegener is at a disadvantage when it comes to the virtual workouts.

“Three other freshmen are coming in with me,” she said. “We don’t say much because we’re at the bottom of the totem pole. We’re still learning all of the voices.”

And the freshmen are getting their first taste of workouts that the rest of the players have been doing for a long time.

“The other girls know exactly what they are doing,” Wegener said. “A lot of times we’ll have a freshman group chat afterwards and say, ‘What are they doing?’”

Virtual workouts are the only option now.

Colleges have banned all organized workouts involving coaches and other school personnel.

“I e-mailed my coach (Will Stanton) after our club season was cut short,” Wegener said. “I said, ‘Hey, I am really stuck in the house. I can’t get into a gym.’ He told me, ‘You can reach out to your teammates, but I can’t help you and our trainer can’t help you. Only the girls can help you.’”

Team captain Emily Friesl, a middle hitter from Byron Center, organized the Zoom workouts.

“We do a mix of stuff,” Wegener said. “Luckily, I have a few weights in my house, but some of the girls don’t. Sometimes we have a backpack of books and lift that way.

“Monday is kind of a weight room, Tuesday is running and other things the rest of the week. We work on different muscle groups. They have specific plans.”

Some of the workouts are done outdoors.

“A lot of times they are outside and it’s so cold,” she said. “The girls are from all over. My closest teammate is in Grosse Ile. We all have different weather. It’s funny, some will say, ‘It’s hailing here’ or ‘It’s sunny here’ or ‘It’s sunny here.’

“It’s a kind of cool experience. It’s something to do besides homework and laying around the house all day.”

The Saginaw Valley players are keeping in shape but are unable to hone their volleyball skills

“The next time I pick up a volleyball, it’s going to feel foreign,” she said. “I hope I can play sand volleyball or something like that this summer.”

Staying up to date with homework also has been a challenge for Wegener.

In addition to finishing her classes at Ida through virtual learning, she is taking online classes at Monroe County Community College.

“Honestly, I am a huge procrastinator,” she said. “It’s a big responsibility. I am always forgetting to check on it, but our high school is organized and the staff does a great job.

“It’s hard because senioritis hits about right now. We want the fun parts, but don’t want to do the work.”

Some of the fun already has been lost.

Ida’s planned class trip was called off because coronavirus restrictions.

“All the fun activities we’ve waited so long for have been ripped away with the snap of a finger,” said the daughter of Kim Johnson and Toby Wegener. “I understand that there are bigger things to think about, but nobody has ever had to deal with this before.

“I talked to my mom about it. She said, ‘Honey, I am almost 50 and I’ve never dealt with anything like this.’ This is supposed to be the time of your life when you say goodbye to all the people you’ve grown up with.”

Taylor and her twin brother Travis both are seniors at Ida.

“I’ve always gone through everything with Trav,” she said. “We are going to different colleges next year. This was my last high school experience with him. It’s part of growing up. It’s bittersweet going your separate ways.”

Travis will attend Adrian College in the fall.

Taylor remains optimistic that she and her classmates will be able to gather at some point for a prom or a graduation ceremony.

“The saddest part of all of this is one week everyone is joking about coronavirus, then on Thursday they are talking about not going back to school and Friday they are telling us to pack up everything out of our lockers,” she said.

“We haven’t had a chance to say goodbye.”

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