Why I Decided to Take a 2-Credit Fitness Class
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Health and Wellness

Why I Decided to Take a 2-Credit Fitness Class

Physical education is just as important as an academic one.

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Why I Decided to Take a 2-Credit Fitness Class

Exercise was inherent to all of us as a kid. We couldn't wait until after school to play outside with our friends, and when the street lights came on at dusk, we knew it was time to head back inside to have dinner and do our (very minimal) homework. Summers were filled with popsicles, sweat, and fun. In other words, exercising was our unspoken priority.

Then, something happened during the transition from middle to high school, or from childhood to adolescence. We accumulated unprecedented responsibilities, and soon enough we found ourselves indoors the majority of the time with some type of paper or screen in front of us. If we weren't student athletes, we found ourselves hardly getting the exercise we needed, and for many of us, including me, our health began to take a toll.

Now, I've had a few personal health breakthroughs throughout my life. In 7th grade summer camp, I had to drink nothing but water for 7 days straight, and upon coming home I found soda to be repulsive. Ever since then, water has been my primary drink. Throughout high school, I began to alter my diet and become more health-conscious with what I was eating. At other points during these 4 years I would go to the gym to workout, but could never keep a consistent workout schedule. Over this past summer, I began cutting meat and dairy out of my meals to clean up my diet. However, it wasn't until my second year of university that I really started to combine healthy eating with working out and playing sports, and this accountability stemmed from a 2-credit Boot Camp Fitness Class.

Eating clean this past summer, I realized that I needed to couple this with exercise coming into the new semester. My only problem was that I knew I had no motivation to actually stick with a freelance workout regime consistently. I was too academically-minded; classes still always came first to me in my head.

When playing around with my schedule during add/drop week, I ended up needing 2 more credits to reach 15, the amount I needed to remain full-time and keep my scholarships. I went to my Honors advisor for assistance, and as any Honors advisor would, she asked me what my goals are at USF and in life. I kept coming back to "I really want to get fit; I want to exercise; I want to get healthier." She pointed me to the 2-credit fitness classes, many of which were full. One class in particular, Boot Camp Fitness, only had 5 students registered, and 6 were needed for the class to remain active. This seemed like a sign to me. I talked with my parents and at first they thought it was odd for me to take a fitness course for credits, but then I reminded them that when they went to USF 20 years ago, it was mandatory for students to take at least one semester of a gym class and that they had taken badminton and racquetball. In the end, they knew that this is something that I wanted to do and consequently encouraged my enrollment in the course.

I'm going on week 4 of the semester, and this is the best decision I could have made for myself. Not only am I attending this Boot Camp class twice a week, I'm signing up for group fitness classes more than ever before and playing sports like volleyball and racquetball in the indoor courts at the Recreational Center. I feel like I am reclaiming a part of myself that used to come more naturally to me as a kid. In a way, I feel even more confident in my abilities than I did as a child that struggled with self-image issues.

This year, I finally realized how important it is for my body to consistently make time to exercise. This is the only body I have, and I can't let the stress of school and responsibilities interfere with the only thing I truly own and therefore must take good care of: myself. I even find that I am more focused in my classes because our brains benefit from necessary exercise. I hope to see some real physical progress by the end of the semester, but I know that mentally, I have already progressed greatly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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