H-Town Run Tourist

The "Take it One Step at a Time" Challenge

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. Read her blog, HTownRunTourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy

Is it May yet? Nope, it is only the first week of April. There is only so much beer, rest, and Tiger King that you can handle. Do you find yourself waking up wondering what day is it? Have you worn pajamas for the last week in a half straight? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I think I have something for you. It is the Let's Take it One Day at a Time" Challenge. Here are some FAQs about it:

Why should I do this challenge?

That's simple. To stay sane. It is hard to have purpose in your life when your routine is turned over. This is the perfect thing to find some grounding. Besides mental and physical health should be top priority now.

When does it start?

The official start date in Monday, April 13, 2002.

Where is it held?

We are definitely practicing social distancing. This challenge can be done where ever you can find some mileage. This could be at a park, in your neighborhood, on a hike and bike trail, or on a treadmill.

How do I do this challenge?

This is a running and walking challenge. Every Sunday, you will pledge your commitment on our Facebook page. The commitment goes as follows:

10 miles/week

15 miles/week

20 miles/week

25 miles/week

We will keep track of the miles and post them on Sunday.

When does the challenge end?

This challenge starts every Monday. Because we do not know when life will go back to normal, we will have a challenge every week.

What can I post on the Facebook group?

Post as much as you want. We love to see memes, pictures, your times and distances, and other motivational posts. The rules are on the Facebook group.

How do I join?

Follow this link to register. You will receive a welcome email with further instructions.

Is there anything else I should know?

Join us Sunday, April 12, 2020 from 4-5pm for our virtual Happy Hour on Zoom. You will be invited after you register for the challenge.

What is really cool about the challenge is you now have a community to be a part of. So tell us about your run. Ask any questions you need and I'll be there to answer them. So get those running shoes dusted off and meet us in the Facebook group.

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College football needs to call a timeout on the 2020 season.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are set to announce, maybe today, perhaps in a few weeks, whether they will play football this fall.

Already the Ivy League, Mountain West and Mid-American Conference have canceled their fall football season for health and safety reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Power 5 conferences – the Big Ten, Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference – should get onboard and put their football seasons on hold, too.

While some elected officials without medical degrees say that coronavirus amounts to little more than sniffles for young people, healthcare experts argue that college-age people, while they do recover quickly and may not exhibit symptoms, do contract and spread the virus.

There has been a 90 percent increase of young people testing positive for the virus in the past four weeks. More important, health experts say they can't measure the long-term effects of the virus, which may include brain damage, heart disease and reduced lung capacity.

There is a simple solution to play or not play college football this fall – postpone the season to next spring, when health experts will know more about the disease. There possibly could be a vaccine by then, which would allow fans back in stadiums.

Many high-profile college players and coaches weighed in on the debate Monday, almost unanimously saying that the 2020 football schedule should be played on schedule, starting in a few weeks.

Players, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, adopted the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. In a tweet, Lawrence said that players would be more at risk for coronavirus if the fall season doesn't move forward. "We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football."

Lawrence added that, if the football season is canceled or postponed, players "will be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely."

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN, "Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home."

Two points: University presidents should listen to only one group of people – healthcare professionals – when they decide whether to cancel or postpone the fall football season. Yes, players want to play during this pandemic. But players also want to play when they are injured or their brain was just scrambled by a vicious tackle. We applaud athletes who play with a broken leg. We see players with concussions plead with their coaches to put them back in the game.

As for the argument that players are more likely to catch the virus if they're sent home – who's sending them home? These are student-athletes. Students. Most college campuses will be open with students attending classes this fall. Major college programs like Clemson have 85 full scholarships designated for football. Colleges won't take away players' scholarships if the football season is canceled. Clemson's campus will open Sept. 21 for in-person classes.

ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy also said the season should be played as scheduled: "If they're (players) OK, then I'm OK." Texas governor Greg Abbott chimed in on the players' side. He said, "It's their careers, it's their health."

What "careers" is he talking about? There are about 775 colleges that play football. Only 1.7 percent of all those players will play in the NFL or another professional league. On Sept. 3, Rice University will play Army. It is unlikely that any of those players will have a career in football. However, given the excellence of academics at those colleges, players will have career opportunities in something other than football. The average NFL career is 2-1/2 years. Rice and Army grads can top that.

The NBA is completing its season in a bubble in Orlando, with players confined to their hotels between games. Only 22 teams are in Orlando for the lockdown. The Rockets organization sent about 35 people, including coaches, players and essential personnel to Orlando.

Baseball is playing its season outside a bubble. So many players are testing positive for coronavirus that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred last week threatened to end the season if teams don't do a better job of enforcing the league's health protocol. What's left is an unbalanced season. For example, the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners have played 18 games, while the St. Louis Cardinals have played only five games. The ironically first-place Miami Marlins, which had 18 players test positive, have played only 10 games.

College football can't be played in a bubble. There are too many teams, with some having more than 100 players and 20 coaches. And no sport thrives on fans' excitement and marching bands like college football. Several colleges, including the University of Texas and Texas A&M, have stadiums that hold more than 100,000 fans. Even if college football could be played in a bubble, it would require isolating players from August to January, when they're supposed to be in class. I know … supposed.

This one is easy. For the health and safety of players, play the fall 2020 season in spring 2021.

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