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The DP asked cross country junior Ariana Gardizy 15 questions about her team, her time at Penn, and her life overall. Here's what she had to say.

Credit: Chase Sutton

The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with cross country and track and field junior Ariana Gardizy to ask her 15 questions. Here's what she had to say. 

1. Introduce yourself

My name's Ariana Gardizy. I’m a rising junior in the School of Nursing and I’m from Bluebell, Pa. 

2. Where have you been spending your quarantine?

I’ve been going back and forth between Bluebell and Philadelphia depending on what the day looks like with my work schedule and who I have to run with in the city or in my hometown. 

3. What has your average day looked like?

I usually get up around 7:30 or 8 o’clock. Definitely get coffee, and then I’ll do my run or workout depending on the day and then I usually just have work later in the day. Then I go home and do it again the next day. 

4. What has been getting you through quarantine?

It’s really nice during this time having a schedule to work around instead of being free all day. It’s nice to have a work schedule — I’m a waitress — that I can plan my day around with workouts and runs. 

5. How has cross country factored into your life over quarantine?

I’d say not much has actually changed practice-wise besides the fact that we’re not running with the whole team. The nice thing about running is that all you really need are a pair of running shoes; we don’t really need much to practice and go on our daily runs. It’s just really nice to go out for our regular training runs. We’ve been doing our normal summer training anyways, but the only difference is that I’ve been doing the bulk of it alone. It is really nice to get out and kind of forget about everything that’s happening and just spend a little time on your own to run or workout. 

6. How has cross country factored into your experience at Penn?

I really enjoyed it ever since I started. It’s really nice to be super close to your teammates and it was really nice  coming into Penn knowing that I had a group to hang out with before I started to meet other people. I’m really fortunate to have mentors from upperclassmen coming in. It’s been helpful to have people to ask questions to, to show you the ropes all around campus. The upperclassmen were super supportive and helpful right from the get-go; that was a really great thing to come into. 

7. What is your favorite thing about cross country?

I really like how you see what you put in and whatever you put in is what you get out. I also love that cross country is a team sport compared to track at Penn. I like how it feels like you’re competing individually but at the same time every point counts so in the long run you’re thinking if I pass this person I’m helping myself but I’m also helping the team. It feels individual but also very team-based. 

8. What do you look forward to upon returning to campus?

Cross country-wise, I’m looking forward to seeing the team as a whole again even though I know it won’t be our usual practices from last year. Our team always finds ways to make the best of whatever situation we’re in so I’m really looking forward to that. School wise, I’m really looking forward to my clinical rotations being in person. I’m really grateful that I still get to have that. 

9. How has women’s cross country been keeping the team spirit alive?

In the beginning of it all, March and April, we would do Zoom calls with random groupings to meet the freshmen. We started to do Zoom calls and just chat about daily life and how we’ve all been keeping motivated, which has definitely been a big factor in my training and how to keep motivated because it has been really hard to do on your own. There are questions of ‘what am I training for?’ especially without a fall season, but it’s nice to have teammates to keep you accountable for what you’re doing especially when you’re doing it alone.

10. Has it been challenging being away from your team and the routine you’ve built at Penn?

Credit: Chase Sutton

In the beginning of quarantine, it was definitely really hard. Having a set schedule at Penn, especially around in person classes, it was easier to plan my time. Once I got home and lost time management skills and not having teammates to say ‘hey let’s meet at this time’ and it being up to whenever I just wanted to go definitely made it hard. Our captain even said ‘pick a time when you want to run it’ll make it so much easier’ and in my head I would think to ‘oh yeah for sure’ and never really did that. It’s been getting a lot easier because I’ve been able to meet up with one or two people. 

11. Is there anything/any class you’re looking forward to this semester?

I’m really looking forward to this semester because it’s our Med-Surg rotation. I’m honestly not sure which one I’m in now because they kept getting switched around for COVID reasons. I want to say I’m on a cardiac floor. I’m really more interested in the trauma type rotations so I’m interested in what that will be this semester. 

12. What’s something fun you did this summer?

All I’ve really done is work a lot and go to the beach. I didn’t really do that until the latter part of the summer because of crowds and a lot of beaches weren’t really open in the beginning.  

13. Do you have a TV or Netflix recommendation for all of the people reading?

I’ve definitely been binge-watching a bunch of shows. I watched Ozark and I flew right through that. Ozark is really good. I think they came out with another season of Shameless which I really like. I ironically also just started Grey's Anatomy, which I’ve always heard about but never watched. I think as a nursing student it’s weird that I’ve never seen it, but I started it and now I’m obsessed with that show. I’m on season four and I think there are about 16 seasons so that will keep me going for a while. 

14. When all of this clears up, what part of a cross country meet will you look forward to the most?

Cross country meets are wild at the beginning because the starts are so big. Funneling in with hundreds of runners at the start line almost seems impossible right now, but I would kill to do that. Also the beginning of the race when you’re in a little box with your team and it takes about five minutes to find them again because the start line is so crazy with people pushing and shoving. Totally the opposite of what we should be doing now how close we were to people. It just seems crazy that we were doing that last year and now around this time that would be totally not allowed. 

15. What’s the first thing you’re doing once the country reopens?

I was just talking about this with my roommates — we all love coffee. The ease of walking into a coffee shop, sitting down, doing work but now that’s not normal whatsoever. Then just regular training like going to weightlifting after practice or even just sitting in our training room for an hour before and after practice are some things that I would kill to do right now. 

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