Baton-twirling superstar Renae Edmunds figures she did just about every workout you can find on YouTube during lockdown.
The Picnic Point teenager, who is one of Australia's leading junior baton twirlers, admitted that lockdown had been "challenging".
"Motivation was one of my biggest challenges. Finding the drive to keep to my heavy training schedule was tough. Both with studies and then pushing to do a hard fitness or twirling session after studying," she said.
"I changed up my workouts most days. I did a lot of pilates, stretching, yoga, and the occasional high intensity (HIIT) workout. Taking our new puppy on walks most mornings was a highlight of lockdown, as is a new found love for skipping.
"I am really keen to get back to the gym and start a new program and get back on track with all my fitness goals."
Edmunds is about to enter her third year as a member of the South West Sydney Academy of Sport's Wests Future Star program. She said joining the academy has made a "huge difference."
"It is such a small sport in Australia there is not much funding available to its athletes. This is where SWSAS and its partners such as Wests Leagues Club have made a huge difference. Because of the program I have been able to attend a high-quality gym and receive a personal training program," said Edmonds, who has competed at several World Baton Twirling Championships.
"As well I have been able to develop as an athlete within the Wests Future Star program, where I am able to be a part of a greater collective of other unique athletes.
"The Academy coaching and support staff consistently check in on its athletes and provide us with many opportunities to grow as a holistic athlete. A highlight of lockdown was the online Nutrition workshop with Sports Dietician Kelsey Hutton, where we prepared four nutritious pre/post sport meals. This was not only fun but very beneficial, and I was able to gain valuable professional advice on what I should be eating as an athlete."
So what exactly is baton-twirling?
Picture trying to hold a metre-long stick that you throw in the air, doing back flips, cartwheels or summersaults whilst trying to sight the stick in the lights and catch it cleanly. Edmunds said the sport is "physically demanding."
"I was always interested in gymnastics. Baton-twirling is very similar as it combines gymnastics and dance elements into a performance with a baton. It is very challenging and always keeps me on my toes," said Edmunds, who has recently started teaching younger athletes to twirl.
"There is always a cooler skill or trick I could be doing which motivates me to keep practicing. And the sport has given me the opportunity to travel the world and meet many other great twirlers and people."
- Nominations for 2021/2022 South West Sydney Academy of Sport programs, including the Wests Future Star program will remain open throughout October. Details: swsas.org.au.