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VOICES OF CORONA-- Teri's story

May 26, 2020

VOICES OF CORONA-- Teri's story

Teri Akovenko
mom, personal run-coach
Nashville, TN

Stay-at-home status:
My girls’ schools closed on March 5th for a “deep cleaning” and they never went back. My husband started working from home shortly after and we are all still at home.
What are the hardest challenges you’ve experienced during lockdown?
From a professional standpoint, the biggest challenge was going from working full-time within the running community (as a coach and training program coordinator for my local running store) to only being able to connect virtually and with reduced hours (3 hours/week). Our local race was cancelled - whose wasn’t?!?! - and continually finding new ways to keep my athletes engaged and motivated while providing value for the remainder of the training season took a lot of energy and effort. The emotional toll was pretty high as well because so many of my athletes were training for their first ever half or full marathon, which obviously didn’t happen.

On a personal level, as an introvert, having everyone at home ALL THE TIME has been super challenging.  Not to mention the fact that there are three menstruating females in our household and it can get a little… hormonal… around here.  And as someone who likes to know what’s going on and to be in control, I think that for me, a lot of the strain of quarantine is just not knowing what to expect and coming to terms with the fact that I can’t control anything.

Any blessings, glass-half-full moments?
Before quarantine, we were in the throes of a too-busy life with no end in sight.  The forced slow down has given us space to breathe and reconnect as a family. My husband’s job in healthcare is as busy as ever, but no commute means we get to eat dinner together every night (despite the teenagers’ moaning) and even fit in the occasional morning run or evening walk.  I’ve also loved seeing my girls’ creativity develop - they’re upcycling clothes, designing lego houses, learning new braiding techniques, baking and connecting with friends in new ways. 

This time at home has also given me the ability to explore the reality and dream of working for myself and I’m excited to have started my own personal run-coaching business!! I don’t have a name for it yet (any suggestions??) but I already have a few athlete/clients and am loving the personal interaction and sharing my passion for running!

What are you watching?
I love a good science fiction show and have enjoyed “The OA” and “Maniac” (Netflix) and I’m a sucker for all things House Hunters.

What are you learning?
Turns out I’m pretty basic because I’m baking sourdough! During the first weeks of quarantine I tried to cultivate my own sourdough starter and it wasn’t working… but I became determined to figure it out and am now baking up to 6 loaves a day and experimenting with other sourdough creations - sourdough chocolate chip cookies, anyone?

Any new habits you’ve picked up?
No new habits, but I’ve dropped the habit of a nightly glass (or two) of wine. I got a new watch with a heart rate monitor and discovered that even tho I thought I was sleeping well, my heart rate told me otherwise. So I experimented with cutting out alcohol and it has made a tremendous difference.  Occasionally I will still have one glass, but that’s it! I wouldn’t have said I had a problem with drinking, but I feel so much freer now. 

Any random life hacks you’ve discovered?
Not a recent discovery, but putting on earrings helps me feel “dressed”. I may not be able to take a shower, but if I can put on a pair of fun earrings, I’m ready for the day.

Favorite quarantine snack?

Extra Toasty Cheez-its always and forever.

Favorite way to move your body?
Running and yoga, although I’ve recently started walking, too.

Any favorite scripture or quote you’re loving?
Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

To connect with Teri and learn more about her coaching services, email her at You can also find her on Instagram at @beepieruns

Janel’s Disclaimer: We know that the current global pandemic, COVID-19, has brought devastating and irreparable loss. This blog series in no way attempts to capture the scale and scope of this tragedy, but instead aims to share individual stories of everyday women living under various stages of stay-at-home orders across the country.

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