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COVID-19 pushes Alaska athletes and coaches to get creative with training

Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 6:36 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - No matter the age getting enough exercise during the pandemic is difficult. This winter has presented numerous challenges putting many Alaska athletes’ dedication to the test.

Anchorage’s 12-year-old Brooklyn Haywood has dreams of playing basketball for the University of Connecticut. Chasing that division I dream means Haywood can’t afford to take days off, and that’s why she trains with Alysa Horn to take her game to the next level.

“She’s really helping me reach those goals,” Haywood said. “She also helps me with the food, I am eating better, making sure I hydrate a lot, getting good rest, [and] taking care of my body.”

Horn is a former player and assistant for the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team. For the past two years, she has been the strength and conditioning coach for UAA before creating her own training business called Make Yourself Unstoppable. Similar to the athletes she trains, staying in business means being on top of her game.

“The fluctuating mandates and trying to keep up with that is challenging,” Horn said. “Especially as a solo entrepreneur.”

Haywood is one of many athletes Horn meets with weekly to keep in tip-top shape. Even though working out in the pandemic isn’t always ideal, Haywood can’t thank Horn enough.

“Wearing masks while we are working out is not the best,” Haywood said. “Sometimes I have to do like zoom workouts when the gyms aren’t available.”

Take it from a trainer like Horn to turn the negatives into positives.

“It’s the people that take something like this and choose to use it as an opportunity and not an obstacle,” Horn said.

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