“YOU GOTTA KEEP MOVING,” SATCHEL PAIGE ONCE SAID. IT’S A LESSON THAT TENNIS PLAYER JOHN ERIKSON ‘61 REMEMBERS WHEN THINKING ABOUT HIS GAME. IN FACT, IT’S A LESSON THAT MANY ALUMNI HAVE TAKEN TO HEART. STAYING ACTIVE, KEEPING FIT—THESE ARE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR BOTH BETTER PHYSICAL HEALTH AND BETTER MENTAL AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING.
BUT DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT: LET OUR OLDER ALUMNI ATHLETES THEMSELVES TELL YOU HOW AND WHY THEY DO IT.
“I think exercise has definitely had an effect on my sense of happiness, my sense of my own health, and it’s kept me fresh.”
“I had a cerebral hemorrhage in 1992 and began a very regular exercise routine. When I step on the treadmill, I reflect on friends of mine who would like to be able to do that and can’t. That’s a great motivating factor for me to get up and do it. As you age, you tend to have friends who are affected that way. It makes me more appreciative of the fact that I can.”
“There aren’t a lot of people my age who play tennis at this level. It has kept me involved with younger people, and that keeps you young too.”
“My doctor told me my arthritis would be a real problem if I ever stopped being active, but being fit helps your mind almost more than your body. Staying active keeps you alert, and you sleep better after a workout. Being together for sporting activities has kept me close to my family. There’s a sense of well-being when you’re active.”
“When I’m active, I have all kinds of physical and mental advantages. When I’m unable (to be active), I know I’m failing myself.”
“If you can find a team or a partner to work out with, then go for it. If someone else is counting on you, it makes it hard to say no. You’ll feel better, you’ll be happier, and you’ll have someone who can be strong when you’re feeling weak. When I exercise, my mind is clearer, my life is less cluttered, and I’m better at budgeting my time wisely.”
“I’ve always been active; I wouldn’t know what it would be like to be a couch potato.”
“Everybody should keep up an active lifestyle. I maintain that if you feel down in the dumps, you feel much better if you go work out. After a swim, you feel ten times better than when you went in. And ballroom dancing is great because it’s a social activity. After you go dancing, you feel a hundred times better. If you had a bad day, go dancing.”
Support of health and wellness is one of the pillars of Oberlin Illuminate: A Campaign for the College and Conservatory. Alumni donors sustain many athletics and health and wellness programs across campus, from team sports to club sports, from fierce competitors to the just plain fierce. These programs and facilities start our students on a lifelong path to staying fit, enabling them to have healthy brains inside healthy bodies.