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Student-Athlete Feature: Natalie Cummings

Student-Athlete Feature: Natalie Cummings

Though no events or games are taking place this fall on campus, St. Bonaventure student-athletes still have great stories to tell. During the fall semester, GoBonnies.com will feature members from each of our 17 Division I teams – how they're adjusting to the new norms of campus life, preparing for the upcoming seasons and more.

In this edition, we feature women's cross country senior Natalie Cummings.

A Derby, N.Y. native, Cummings has been a valuable asset for the cross country team as a four-year member of the Bonnies' running program.

In the classroom, Cummings is an Elementary/Special Education major.

How have you adapted to the new changes on campus regarding COVID safety protocols? Have they helped make you feel safer since coming back?
I worked at a daycare over the summer and we had all of the same protocols, so the adjustment was nothing drastic.  Having protocols throughout campus has helped ease my thoughts about another potential breakout.  

What did you do over the spring/summer to stay in shape and get ready to get back to practices this fall (and was it difficult to find places to workout/practice because of quarantines)?
During the spring and summer, I continued with a running schedule similar to what we would do during the season.  I also watched and followed along with yoga and core youtube videos. 

What was one good thing that came out of the spring sports shutdown and odd summer for you? Did you develop any new hobbies/interests?
Throughout shutdown and this odd summer, I was able to slow down on my life and live in the present.  One of the best things that I took out of this whole experience was a new hobby of gardening with my mom.  We planted grapevines, herbs, and a lot of vegetables.  Besides developing a new green thumb, I also spent time picking up sea glass at Lake Erie and making it into jewelry and art!

What messages/advice have your coaches given you for staying positive during these tough times?
During the summer, Coach Mac and Coach Lonzi made sure to zoom with our team consistently.  This definitely helped our team stay connected and positive.  As a team, we also read a book, Make Your Bed, by William McRaven. During Zoom meetings we discussed each chapter and connected the life lessons from the book to our team and sport.  Doing this as a team, especially during the pandemic and odd summer, was very motivational and necessary for our team.

Even though there are no competitions this fall, how excited are you to get back to workouts with your team? Do you look at practices and work with your teammates any differently since the COVID shutdown?
Getting back into practices and having a consistent schedule is so exciting!! I am really looking forward to running on the trail with my teammates again; my favorite memories are always from trail runs! My team is trying to make the best of what we can but we are grateful our sport is non-contact so we can go out and run without worrying too much about spread.

What was the one thing you were most looking forward to about returning to Bonaventure?
I always come back to Bonaventure excited to see the mountains and gorgeous views that surround our campus.  I am on the Bonaventure trail almost every day and I love watching the leaves and weather change slowly throughout the semester.

What is your favorite class at Bonaventure and why (now or previously)?
My favorite class has been Field Block 1 because that was the first time I was able to prepare lessons and teach them to a Pre-K class.  This class has helped me prepare for my future career and fall more in love with teaching!

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For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get cross country updates @BonniesXCTrack.  Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.