The Beet

Breaking News: Students Losing Backpack-Carrying Muscles

Nora Malone

Quarantine has taken things from every one of us. Family, friends, the simple joys of life like drinking coffee in a coffee shop and not having personal space in a grocery store. But the worst thing people have lost, the most horrible, gut-wrenching, pain-inducing, thing is backpack-carrying muscles.

Just think! Every day, students used to carry bags full of textbooks, folders, notebook, pencils, and random crumpled-up pieces of paper to and from school, thus, building up mighty back muscles. But now they are spending their days sitting in chairs or on beds, their backpacks sitting forgotten in the corner, gathering dust.

Students’ backs, which used to be so powerful, are losing their strength. It’s like when Rocky got really old and weak. Without constant use of these muscles, going back to in-person school will be painful.

It’s important to keep these muscles battle-ready. Here are a few helpful exercises.

  • Carry your younger sibling, or the family dog up and down the stairs on your back. Bonus points if they thrash and fight to let go–that just makes you stronger.
  • Instead of carrying groceries like a normal person, find a massive stick and carry the grocery on either end. Like the scene from Mulan when she decides to become awesome.
  • Volunteer to help old ladies across the street, and when they accept, swing them over your shoulder in a fireman’s carry. WARNING: Please be careful of old women with walkers because they could use them as weapons, so make sure to remove all canes and other tools of destruction before proceeding with your workout.
  • Get a pickaxe and break up bits of asphalt from the street, put it in your backpack and run. Bonus points if someone begins to chase you.

Be careful when starting these workouts; ease into them. Your back has been relaxed for a long time and isn’t as strong as it was before. Make sure to have proper equipment, a water bottle, a heating pad, and some bail money (apparently it’s frowned upon to grab people and just start running).

Lots of people have been doing exercises just like these to prepare for when schools reopen. 

“They’ve been really helpful,” Sophomore Jane Krill said. “I’ve been carrying my little brother around a lot. At first it was difficult, but my back muscles are already feeling stronger. And once I held that bag over his head it became much easier to carry him.”

Not only students are struggling to regain these once powerful muscles. Phill Oak, an Alexandria businessman, has been trying and failing to return to his former glory. “I used to be able to carry everything I needed to and from work every day. Now I struggle bringing in my take out,” he said.

He is not alone. For many people, days of sitting-and-staring-at-computers-at-home have been difficult, as opposed to the previous sitting-and-staring-at-a-computer in the office or at school. It has really taken a toll on people.

“I mean, who wouldn’t be suffering?” said Angus Olaf, a junior. “It’s so much worse now. Before we sat in nice solid metal chairs with every leg a different height. And now I spend all day in my nice warm, even-legged bed. This is the worst year ever!” he said.

It’s okay to be feeling this way. This is a hard time, and students truly have had many things taken from them, but it is important to get the most important thing back…your back!