Oberlin Blogs

Spin to Win

March 15, 2023

Ariel Roberts ’25

This semester I’ve begun exercising every day, which is quite a big feat for me considering I’m not really an athletic person. I did some volleyball in middle school, but I wasn’t super passionate about it, and I definitely was not the first person picked for kickball in PE. Being a more creative and artistic type of person, I usually spend most of my time in front of my computer or a book, which, while enriching for my brain, is not very healthy for my body. Like many others, at the turn of the year I decided I wanted be more active, and so during Winter Term I began investigating some of the fitness classes sponsored by Yeofit at the Health and Wellness Center. I mentioned in my post about Winter Term that I tried out a spin class, and to be honest, after the first class, I wasn’t sure how often I was going to attend them. As a beginner, the routine had been rather tough and a lot more activity than I was used to, and the exhaustion urged me to avoid going again. Before I knew it, though, at the beginning of the Spring semester I found myself back at the gym.

What originally made me go back to the gym was needing to sweat out the stress of add-drop week. Because I was sitting in on classes I hoped to get into, I had more classes per day than I normally would and found myself jittery and pent up, especially with the anxiety about not getting the classes I wanted. I realized doing some cardio might help, so after my classes I made my way over to the Health and Wellness Center and got on the elliptical. The exercise did help, and I soon went back to spin class, trying out the different styles of each instructor and finding which ones suited me best. 

Now halfway into the semester, I’ve become addicted to spin class and look forward to it every week. I’ve quickly built the strength and stamina to keep up with the routines, and enjoy the challenges each class brings my way. The classes aren’t repetitive and stay engaging thanks to the instructors’ personal styles and playlists. Some classes even have specific themes; for example, for Valentine’s Day there was an anti-Valentines ride to the beat of breakup songs to sweat out any heartbreak. I’ve also been going to yoga class once a week, stretching out any tension and enjoying some much needed meditation. The first time I went to yoga, I noticed how rigid the movements of my body usually are day to day compared to the contortions of yoga, and was amazed by how moving your body in new ways can open things up and help you be more in tune with yourself. When I don’t go to a Yeofit class, I work out on my own in the Fitness Studio, taking advantage of the various equipment and non-judgmental environment.

I really love Yeofit because it gives me the opportunity to take exercise classes for free while spin and yoga classes in the wider world are generally quite expensive. The environment is also super welcoming to newcomers and people with little athletic experience. You can go at your own pace and do what your body needs in the moment. After mentioning my workout adventures to my friends, they’ve told me how now they’re hoping to try out some classes, too. Working out is a really great way for me to unwind and release some tension after sitting still in classes, and also a great way to rejuvenate my body and brain so that I can focus while doing my homework. I've really enjoyed working on myself and can't wait to see what mental and physical gains I've made by the end of the year!

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