Wow, I cannot believe it’s down to the final stretch – just one more week of classes left! And as my second year of university wraps up, I’ve been reflecting lately on what a truly amazing eight months it has been. I really made an effort this year to take advantage of opportunities to get active, and it has tremendously paid off. In first year, I think I used the AC once or twice. But ask me what I did this year, and I could tell you that I…
– Golfed with President David Naylor at the Varsity dome
– Learned how to fend for myself through Wendo
– Braved the SCC
– Played outdoor intramural soccer for my college team
– Biked to and around campus
– Attempted to belly dance
– Found drop-in classes that I love
– Learned the basics of tennis
Reflecting back on all this and more, I can tell you that I really have noticed a change. I’ve realized that my legs have gained more muscle and my upper body has become much stronger. I used to do almost nothing but cardio, but now that I’ve started attending drop-in classes and using weights, I’ve activated and toned new muscles all over my body. I can literally feel the difference in my strength and energy level, and it feels amazing. It’s the reason I keep on keepin’ on.
I’ve learned a lot through my experiences over the year, and there are a few things I would really like to pass on to you:
It’s not so scary doing things on your own. Don’t always wait until you have someone to go with to events and such. I’ve tried to coordinate work-outs with my friends and drag them out to events, but it often doesn’t work out with our conflicting schedules. So now I’ve learned: if I hear of an event/activity that really interests me, then I’ll go, even if it means going alone. Honestly, I would not have tried half the things I did this year if I sat around waiting for someone to accompany me every time. By putting myself out there, I met SO many cool new people.
Don’t avoid an activity just because you think you “suck” at it. No one is there to judge your skill level. And if you never practice, then it’s kinda hard to improve! So if you really want to try something new, then don’t be intimidated by lack of ability. I suck at dancing, but I went out to a dance workshop anyway and just did my best. No one laughed at me or gave me weird looks – the instructors and other dancers were happy to see I was interested and were really encouraging.
Find something you actually like doing. Exercise shouldn’t feel like this tedious chore that you dread doing every day. There are so many different ways to get active that there is no reason to force yourself to do something you hate. I personally still don’t like the fancy weight machines, so I avoid them and use free weights instead. Running is my favourite form of cardio, so I do a lot of that. The reason I exercise is to feel great after, both physically and mentally. So be creative and find activities that make you feel the same way.
I hope that the experiences I have shared over the last eight months have helped you discover all that the St. George Campus has to offer when it comes to healthy active living. I’ve had an amazing time and have met some wonderful people. Now I’m looking forward to staying active outdoors all spring and summer!