COVID-19 threw Abby Murphy a curveball, which she hit out of the park

Like many, Abby Murphy, 22, of Northville, had big plans before the COVID-19 pandemic.  Earlier this year, she was in Arizona attending school and planning to move across the country to New York, with a post-graduate job in baseball retail. Then the pandemic closed everything.  

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“I graduated in May with a degree in sports business and a certificate in cross-sector leadership,” she said. “I was set to move to Cooperstown, New York, post-grad with a job in baseball retail. However, like most people, I had to pivot when COVID-19 came along. I am currently coaching CrossFit virtually for my gym back in Arizona, and interning with an entertainment and education company doing anything from social media, to reviewing analytics, to assisting production, to sharing my thoughts and opinions from a student aspect.” 

Luckily, she likes what she’s doing until the rest of the nation opens. 

“I have been active my entire life,” she said. “Working out energizes me, keeps me sane, and makes me feel good. It is a one to two-hour break in my day from everything else going on. If I did not work out, I would be a very anxious, crabby, tired person… more so than I am now. I truly enjoy the endorphin rush I get from working out and being able to go back to my sports routes in being competitive.”

She said she works out up to six times a week with CrossFit. 

“Because I do CrossFit, each day is a bit different but follows the same concept,” she said. “I warm-up, do a strength piece, followed by a cardio piece, or metcon, then often a gymnastics component, and a cool down.”

She also follows a strict diet. 

“My meals are fairly boring,” she explained. “I start my day with a protein smoothie, then have beef and potatoes pretty much the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I am still 22 and enjoy my pizza and beer every once in a while, but I have found if I keep it simple, it is a lot easier for me to stick with it.”

Sticking to her diet is a challenge sometimes, she said. In order to stay on track, she avoids purchasing junk food and practices meal planning. 

“For me, the best thing to do is prepare, and keep junk out of the house,” she said. “I make up my beef and potatoes for the week so that I don’t have to think when I am hungry. I do not spend money on junk at the grocery store because, if it is in the house, I eat it. I try not to waste mental energy fighting with myself, debating if I should eat it or not. If I have been good all week, and it is a Saturday out with my friends, I will eat pizza with them, but that is something I have allowed for myself and know I will pay for it in how I feel after.”

She said her healthy lifestyle is something she learned as a young athlete. 

“It is because of fitness that I am how I am,” she said. “Having scheduled practices as a kid made me always have a planner and be sensitive to time. Now, when I plan my workouts, I make sure my whole day is set and planned. It is because of fitness that I am less anxious, less stressed, and a happier person. It truly is my escape for the day. I am a very addictive person, and if I did not have the fitness to fill that addiction, it would not be good for me.”

Her advice for others: be active! 

“Start a walking group in the neighborhood, go for a bike ride every day with your partner or kids, just do something,” she said.  “I truly believe, the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health is to move your body. It doesn’t need to be complicated, either. Take 20 minutes to an hour of your day,  just shut everything down and move. All you have to do is start. Once you do that, everything else is a breeze.”

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