Silent Archimedes

Observations: The Campus Rec Center at the Beginning of the School Year

Posted by silentarchimedes on September 9, 2008

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of the school year on college campuses all around the country. High hopes are abound…

A campus weight room

A campus weight room

For ten years and counting, I have been on a college campus. First as an undergrad, then a master’s student, and now a doctoral student. As an undergrad, the beginning of each school year is very exciting. There’s high hopes for better grades, hanging with new and old friends, maybe finding a significant other, and of course, the ambitious workout regimen.

Now as a grad student, we know better. We’ve been so beat down about high expectations and random events, that all we want is some stability and discipline in our schedules. Couple with maturity that comes with age, and you appreciate whatever comes your way in life. Going to the gym and doing my workout is now entrenched in  my busy schedule that there are no useless impractical goals at the beginning of each school year. What happens now is having the joy at watching undergrads go through their obviously high expectations in the gym in early September. Let’s see what I’ve seen of undergrads in the gym just in the past week since school has started again:

  • A boy doing lat pull-downs with a weight twice what he can accomplish. Worst form I’ve ever seen. Whole chest is caved inwards. Arms are shaking. He then moves to the back rows machine. Tries one rep, realizes it’s too light and doubles the weight. Then he does a rep, and you can see that he is struggling to pull the bar even with his chest. Commences to do only 4 reps and slams the weight. To top it off, he then gets up, turns around and flexes in the mirror. Hahahaha!
  • A guy running in the opposite direction the track. I tell him he’s going the wrong way. He tells me, no, it was this way the other day. Proceeds to almost crash into a bunch of joggers going the right way. Changes direction…
  • The funniest is seeing guys do the most complicated stretches and routines. I bet those people don’t last two weeks in the gym. Three boys, obviously working out together, hold 10 lb weights to their head, lie down and rotate in unison together for like 3 min. We’ll see how long that lasts.
  • Guys slamming the weight stack on a machine as they finish a set. I hate that! Show some etiquette!
  • Guys obviously running on the treadmills and track must faster than they can. If they really ran that speed, they would last at most 5 minutes. Guys doing mad wind sprints on a 1/10 mile track.
  • Little skinny Asian workout partners in the gym acting like they’ve been lifting for 10 years.
  • Nothing against weight-challenged people, but I haven’t seen so many of them in the gym since I saw Battle of the Yokozunas on ESPN a few years ago.

Testosterone

Testosterone

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think it’s just the guys. When I was at the gym during the summer, it’s mostly girls, grad students and old guys. People that have the discipline to keep their workouts even when really busy. The only thing most guys keep doing during the semester is play basketball. I guess it’s the whole 18-22 year old boys’ testosterone and sexual energy. It’s funny because most girls go about doing their workout, but it’s quite obvious that guys are well aware of their surroundings, the competition (other guys) and the hot girls around them. I admit, I was like that when I was an undergrad. I wish I was more mature then, but I guess that’s not nature’s way.

Well, in a month I’ll have the gym back to myself. And this annual ritual will once again go back into hiding…

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