When you start your undergrad career, you probably hear about the infamous “freshman 15” that may slowly start to creep up on you as the late-night pizza and bottle or five of beer become a multiple-times-a-week thing rather than the occasional indulgence. I admit, to my dismay, that I succumbed to those additional 15 lbs. of disgusting, unsolicited fat. After I lost all of it and then some following graduation, I promised myself that upon starting at ICO, I would never again fall victim to such unwanted poundage.
However, when the weeks begin to fill with 26 hours worth of class, two-to-three 8 a.m. exams and not nearly enough sleep, so begin those terrible habits you’d just gotten in check: those late Jimmy John’s orders, infinite calorie-laden coffee drinks and cookie binges that you justify with, “Hey, I deserve it… I have an exam tomorrow!” Right. We’ve all been there.
As much determination as I think I might have, sometimes I need outside reinforcement to make sure that goals are met and maintained. Sometimes we take for granted the most precious gift we have–our health. Fortunately, ICO cares about students’ well-being, and not just our grades (although yes, they want us to excel in that department, too). The college has an excellent fitness center with a full-time coordinator who creates exercise and diet programs. And as this long winter comes to a close, I need some accountability.
My friend Steven and I decided to get involved in a fitness program called the Amazing Race, in which participants pair up and earn “miles” to “travel” across the United States. Different exercises are associated with different mileage values. It was hard to get in the gym with first few days because of other responsibilities (you know, classes to attend and exams to study for). However, I put in the time and really began to take pride in logging in my achievements each day. From pumping iron (ha, what a joke, with my five-foot stature) to sprinting on the treadmill, Steven and I were both dedicating time to maintaining ourselves.
Additionally, many of my fellow colleagues are doing intramurals in pretty much every sport imaginable, including badminton, volleyball, and floor hockey (for those loveable Canadians!). There’s some stiff competition building between classes. All in all, it more than amazes me that this school wants to help students excel in every facet of their lives. The academics certainly keep us busy, but with the right strategic planning, you really don’t have to give up anything.