During my senior year of high school, I ceased—for the first time since elementary school—to play team sports, and as a result, I essentially went an entire year without exercising. Upon arriving at college, however, I quickly discovered (epiphany!) that exercise was an essential for a balanced, healthy life. Having two gym facilities within five minutes’ walking distance has been the clincher, and I’ve gone to the gym regularly ever since.
Certainly, one might make the argument that college life simply does not allow time for exercise. What I’ve found, though, is that a few hours a week in the gym serve as an invaluable stress reliever which both relaxes and invigorates me, enabling me to study more effectively and efficiently when I do sit down to work. Of late, the gym has offered a couple of other unique attractions—one has been helpful instruction on workout routines, and the other, the opportunity to practice Spanish.
You see, when I go to the Galloway gym across campus, I often run into friends who are athletic training majors. This turns out to be of great benefit to me, because they often stop what they’re doing to show me how to do a particular workout more effectively. Often, they even go into a detailed explanation of the physiological bases for their advice, which proves quite instructive and fascinating.
My time in the gym has also been especially interesting lately due, in large part, to my time in Spain last semester. The reason for this is that many of Erskine’s athletes are from Spanish-speaking countries, and so I often run into them at the gym. While before studying abroad, I might have ventured a timid hola, my experience overseas has given me both more courage in speaking and a greater ability to identify with students studying outside of their native countries. As a result, I’ve lately gotten to have a number of conversations in the gym with friends from Puerto Rico, Spain, and Peru. Thus, I’m able to get both a physical and intellectual workout all at once. And now, off to the gym!