A marvelous combination of laziness and motivation that stirred in me my freshman yearoften found me in the dorm gym, pedaling away on the elliptical. My friend and I would go almost nightly, then race back to our rooms to shower before the dining hall closed. We had to sign in, and would laugh each consecutive night when our names were the only ones on the list. The room was the size of an average kitchen perhaps, dingy and a tad smelly, but who I am to complain, it had working (mostly, at least) machines.
As though Boston University had heard of my increasingly fit freshman ways, they decided to nix it ASAP by taking out the gym in my dorm that I had opted to stay in for my sophomore year. Devastated and whining to my friends, I tried to think up other ways to be active on campus. My freshman year I had become obsessed with yoga, and woke up early to start my day in a downward dog and finish it off whispering ‘namaste’ to my roommate-less room. So, I had that going for me, but that was max 40 minutes a day, and not so much cardio per say.
I had three options to supplement the budding athlete in me: option a) trek down to FitRec (Fitness and Recreation Center) b) Start running on my own c) Do nothing. Now, let’s get a visual of BU going so that the campus map can be understood. Me in my dorm – very, very east campus. Machines and super athletes in the gym at FitRec – very, very west campus. It takes about half an hour to walk from my dorm to the gym – a workout in itself I may add – and something I was totally not game for. Running? Well, you can’t just wake up one day and run a marathon, much to my disapproval, but nevertheless running is like any sport that requires hard work and practice. Mix in my asthmatic tendencies, not the greatest solution. But my third option was no better – doing nothing. So I settled for jogging – okay, not a primary option, but one that developed out of my failures.
If I could sum up my activities with my friends, it would go as follows: eat, eat, eat. So for our junior year, we set a fitness goal of being more active as a group. And now that I am back at home in Canada, missing America, Boston, my friends, and even complaining about the schlep to FitRec, I have decided that I am going to run a marathon.
Well, marathon may be a loose term to throw around. Not the Boston Marathon, and possibly not even a marathon, but a 5K – it’s a race, right? After getting insanely excited and Facebooking my friends to bribe them to walk/jog/limp with me, I traipsed to the local library to get some running books. I have leafed through my marathon training books, and here is the biggest thing I’ve learned: there are three kinds of runners (and perhaps people) – cruisers, pacers, and racers. Cruisers are the ones along for the ride, not concerned with the time (unless the track closes), the ones who take in the scenery. Pacers are the ones who set personal bests, try to keep up with the pack. And racers, well, racers are the ones who are in it to win it. And what, may you ask, am I? A cruiser, without hesitation. I may be the last one to cross the finish line, but as long as I get there, I could care less about my time.
Maybe everyone can be divided up into a cruiser, pacer, or racer. Cruisers are the kids who don’t study, show up to class when they want and enjoy life with little stress. Pacers are the kids who study before the exam, write an outline for their papers and attend discussion sections. Racers are the kids who are ALWAYS studying in the library, despite the time of day or year, always have their hands up and are on a first name basis with the TF. I think that it’s important to be every personality in different parts of your life – I must admit, I’m a bit of a racer when it comes to schoolwork and college, but an undeniable cruiser when it comes to jogging.
I guess at the end of the day, it isn’t about how fast we get there – cruising, pacing, or racing – as long as we’re on the track and going where we want to go.
Jennie David is a 19 year old sophomore at Boston University majoring in Psychology and minoring in English. She is a member of NSCS and Psi Chi and is a dual citizen of both Canada and the US. She has Chrohn’s Disease and is the chair of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada’s Youth Advisory Council. Her career goal is to be a pediatric psychologist for chronically ill children.