Freshman Survival 101: The Gym

According to health experts, walking to and from the refrigerator to your TV is not considered cardio. No wonder my Freshman 15 is slowly adding up. I decided that since I pay a lot of money for a gym which is practically a few steps away, I may as well start using it, as should you fellow readers! Having endured many a sport-related injuries over the years (squeezing a Hot Pocket so severe that the Philly Cheesesteak filling, at boiling point, dropped on my thigh), I was skeptical at first.

Since everyone else appeared to have such a good time on the machines, I thought I’d give the treadmill a whirl, so I tore myself away from the juice bar. I don’t know how people can listen to their iPods while running, but personally, if you are exercise or technology inept, I wouldn’t recommend it. Your iPod may become entangled in your arms, fall onto the conveyor belt, zoom past you, and hit the wall behind, and you are forced to watch CNN with subtitles too far away to read.

The machines a no-go, I joined my friends for a group exercise class. I didn’t understand how kicking up my legs in pretzel moves would do me any good, and I was right. Guts-n-butts resulted in my butt being so sore that my roommate had to bring the remote, Easy Mac and Doritos to my bed for the next two days.

My spirits slowly waning, I decided to drag my sore behind to basketball. Apparently, the rules in basketball state that you’re supposed to steal the ball from members of the opposite team, not your own. During volleyball, I stood in the back and scrubbed my body with sand, while everyone around me was spiking the ball over the net. They kindly asked me to leave the team, and I kindly obliged.

My final attempt at a sport was tennis-how hard could it be to hit a ball over a net? A little hard if you’ve managed to hit every single ball over the fence, leaving you with a tennis racquet and an angry opponent.

Plopping myself down at the juice bar, I thought I had exhausted all possible gym activities when I was introduced to squash. I’m not sure what the actual rules are, but apparently it’s all about hitting a tiny ball against a wall. The best part of this sport is that it takes place in an enclosed area, so there is no way you can lose the ball! Also, it’s not a team sport, so all you have to do is kick your opponent’s ass. It’s a wonderful sport and after playing for two hours before settling down in the sauna, I was ultimately relieved that I was not bad at every sport.

So, if you are afraid of going to the gym because you think you’re incompetent at everything, remember that there is at least one person out there who is more incompetent than you; that is reason enough to drag your Chartwells 14-meal gluteus maximus to the gym. Plus, you can always go to the juice bar.

Lisa Magedler is a freshman majoring in creative writing. Instead of hanging out by the juice bar, she can now be found engaging in a sport, or hanging out at the hottub. She may be contacted at