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ISSUE 116 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/20/2002

Generating an awareness for physical fitness

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 20, 2002

Just as Sept. 11 revived Americas patriotism, the new Tostrud Center has generated a greater awareness for physical wellness on campus. Recreation has played a part in many of our lives during our time on the hill. Exercise comes in many forms, yet structured or not, physical fitness is one key to developing a balanced life. Jerry 60 and Allen 61 Tostrud recognize the need for students to develop themselves beyond their academics. In the program handed out at the Tostrud Center dedication Jerry Tostrud is quoted as saying "Recreation, physical education and athletics are an important part of the liberal arts experience, and it is our hope that this new recreation center will serve as one of the cornerstones to fulfilling the St. Olaf mission of developing the whole person in mind, body and spirit." Typically at St. Olaf, more focus has been placed on the mind and the spirit. We pay high dues to obtain a quality education, therefore it makes sense that we focus on academics. However, for many students, athletics are also an integral part of the St. Olaf experience. For those not involved in athletics, the emphasis on physical well-being is sometimes lost. Perhaps we owe the Tostruds an energetic thank you for encouraging each of us to focus on our physical health and also for reminding us that balance is the key to healthy living. St. Olaf aids in encouraging fitness by requiring students to take fitness classes. A brand new climbing class adds variety to the list of available course options. Professor Matt McDonald teaches the new course, which has been well-received by students. "It is a different kind of class experience because we literally have the lives of our classmates in our hands, so we have to build a big level of trust with the group," said Senior Ann Jolivette. "Climbing is a sport for me, which really integrates the mind, the body and the spirit and is the full embodiment of the Tostrud ideal." Fitness is not a concern for some, but to others, it is a daily activity. Some people include athletics or intramurals into their workout plan while others lift weights or run. For those who run, St. Olaf Avenue has become the prime running location. Although other scenic trails such as the paths at the back of Skoglund parking lot are available for running, many stay loyal to "Ole Ave." Routines become a vital part of our balance as individuals. They offer a sense of comfort. While habitual patterns may be helpful for some, senior Kristi Ramseth finds balance in variety. "I think it is important to vary your workout because after a while, your body will hit a plateau." In an effort to provide variety to St. Olaf, Ramseth took it upon herself to teach a kickboxing class. Her classes, offered twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8-9 p.m. in Skoglunds south gym, provide a stimulating and energetic workout. "As an instructor, I have found kickboxing to be a very important outlet for me in terms of releasing tension and gaining more positive energy," said Ramseth. Gaining energy is a common reason for pursuing physical activity. John Lygre, Senior Stewardship Officer, fits his workout into his lunch hour. Several faculty and staff spend their lunch hour playing basketball ball, tennis, or lifting weights. "After I work out I feel much sharper in the afternoon," said Lygre, "the more fit you feel, the better you can incorporate mind, body and spirit into your life." Typically, Lygre plays tennis on his lunch break, but is now getting excited about lifting weights in the new center. People unfamiliar with the new equipment can easily get help from the student workers. Sophomore Theodore Gonsior has started Lygre on an upper body lifting routine. Other student workers throughout the Tostrud Center, including the desk workers, are excited about the building and are also available for assistance. Although the words "Can I check your ID," may be the first words you hear as you enter the building, handing over your ID is a small price to pay for such a high-class workout facility. "I know that students find it annoying for us to check their IDs, but we are simply doing our job," said senior Lisa Eidenschink. "Checking helps everyone and prevents outsiders from the community from damaging or stealing equipment." Heightened security and ID checks are necessary for the new center. With increased equipment and the climbing wall, more accidents are bound to happen. St. Olaf students who enter the facility are under an insurance plan so that if an accident occurs, they are covered. The Tostrud Center is a busy place, but is sure to attract more people as the winter nears. Whether people exercise for fun, for a GE credit in fitness, or to loose weight, our bodies deserve the attention. Body image plays a large role in our reasons for working out, which often keeps us motivated to continue to incorporate fitness into our life. Our minds and our spirit are enhanced by being physically stimulated. It is our job to create the balance. "There are so many things about our bodies that we cannot control, but fitness is something we can control," said Lygre. The Tostrud Center brings several options for accomplishing individual fitness goals.

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