Before I came to Rutgers, I had been a ballerina and dancer for over 13 years. The hours spent every week at the studio became an inherent part of my life, which has been reflected in my discipline, respect, and even my body. I never realized how important staying active and taking the time to focus on your physical health was until I arrived at Rutgers and no longer had my dance classes as an outlet. While I joined some clubs focused specifically on dance, I mostly just wanted an opportunity to stay fit with flexibility in my schedule to pursue other leadership and academic positions. I figured college was all about exploring and I craved to try something new.
At first, I tried running more on the treadmill because all Rutgers students had free access to the gym equipment and I knew it would be a definite way to burn off some of that Freshman 15 (it’s real). While I definitely worked up a sweat from the cardio, I dreaded every minute of my workout and I came to the conclusion that running definitely did not excite me. A few weeks later, I learned that students were also able to access all fitness classes in addition to the gym facilities. Remembering my enjoyment of dance classes, I hoped that the similar group setting in these fitness ones would motivate me and push my body more.
I tried out a whole bunch -- zumba, yoga, weightlifting, HIIT classes, spin -- and it turned out that I loved them all. The instructor yelling at you to do better, the loud music, the supportive community, the energy -- I couldn’t have asked for more. My favorite gym class is a high-rep and low-intensity weightlifting class called BodyPump, and I’ve even specially chosen certain sections of my engineering courses so that this fitness class could be a staple in my schedule for the past 8 semesters (Tuesdays from 5 PM - 6 PM!). It works every part of your body and can make you so sore that it’s a struggle to walk on stairs or even sit down in your chair. I’ve shared my love for this class with friends, clubs that I’m a part of, and even professors, and I’ve gotten them hooked as well! In fact, check out the picture below, which shows me and some wonderful SoE Ambassadors after a tough BodyPump class :)
Over the course of my four years here, I have been able to pursue my academic interests, while molding my own personal fitness schedule thanks to the fitness classes and access to the facilities. Rutgers provides a variety of ways for students to stay active, and I am incredibly grateful to be part of a university that prioritizes my physical wellness.