I knew this time was going to be tough.

Although I’m a homebody for the most part, I do enjoy getting out and being around people. I like going to all our community events, having a night at the bowling alley with my boyfriend and, more than anything, covering our plethora of sports teams.

Being stuck at home is the pits, and I expected nothing less.

But more and more every day, the lack of sports is getting to me.

The best part of my day has been taken. Getting out and covering games is what I live for. The unknown of who’s going to win or how it’s going to happen is what I thrive on. Seeing the success of our area youngsters is what makes me the happiest.

I’m sure you all remember when I covered Central Coosa’s run to the Class 2A boys basketball championship — I still talk about it all the time. I didn’t sleep the night before because I was too amped up to see what was going to happen. I nearly threw up the morning of because my nerves had taken over, then I literally cried and my hands shook when Quin Brooks scored that fateful putback and the moment had finally happened.

I felt the same way about Reeltown’s journey to the football state championship game this year and will never forget that anxiety in my stomach before the Ranburne game, hoping the Rebels would finish the regular season undefeated. Or even more so when coach Matt Johnson decided to go for two in the semifinals against Leroy — I still think he was trying to make me have a meltdown.

Watching Wetumpka, Tallassee and Benjamin Russell’s wrestlers vie for individual gold medals had the same effects and that comeback the Wildcats posed against Clay Central the first year they met former head coach Danny Horn was full of excitement for me.

There are so many moments I could name, and those are just the big ones. But even just a simple regular season basketball game between Dadeville and Benjamin Russell or a softball tournament with all our local teams are enough to get my heart racing.

Touring this state — just me, my car and my Apple Music — over the last three years has been a sheer joy. Even trips like the one to Russell County for BRHS’ boys basketball area game this year, where I thought I couldn’t possibly be on the right road, or getting lost on the way to Thorsby for a Horseshoe Bend baseball playoff series were memorable ones.

I keep telling people, “If I don’t see someone throw a baseball or tackle a player sometime soon, I’m going to go insane.”

Most people are missing sports — at least the people I associate with. But for me, it’s a lifestyle. Sitting in an office for eight hours a day is not my forte. I want to travel; I want to be at the ballfields; I want to see my kids and my coaches and my teams. I want to feel their heartaches and their achievements — now more than ever.

There’s always a little extra excitement in the air the first day of football season. It’s almost like how people say they can smell the fall or smell when snow is on the way. I can smell the season opener of football. It’s just special.

It’s not something that can be mimicked in an office, no matter how hard I try to write meaningful stories about sports these days. The AHSAA said Thursday it would be releasing more details about potential practice for fall sports next week, and I couldn’t be readier. I’ve gained a new — and surprisingly larger — appreciation for the teams in our tri-county area, and I can’t wait to be back out there with y’all.

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.