Exercising at Carnegie Mellon

In high school, I woke up at 6 AM everyday to run before school. I felt naturally averse to running, so I had to lure myself to the treadmill with TV shows or intense music. Even then, I found it a chore to workout. I tried to bring my habit of running to college, but the mixture of sleeping late and the lack of entertainment in front of the treadmill made it difficult to adjust. Also, the door on my dorm is super squeaky— I feet guilty waking up my friends as I went out for an early run. So, I began to sleep in.

I started to feel that college was limiting my capability to exercise. With the load of work and the constant press for time, it seemed like a luxury to exercise and still have enough energy to go through the day. But, looking back, I was looking at exercising the wrong way: I always thought of it as a part of my work. I always thought a workout was an assignment or a task I just needed to get out of the way. Of course, I came to change my mind.

It started when I saw the squash, racquetball, and tennis courts. I had thought I couldn’t play these sports because 1) I didn’t have a racket or a ball 2)  I didn’t know how to play 3) I didn’t have anyone to play with. As you would have expected, I eventually found that many other students were in the same position as me. People were looking for others to play with — and that person for me was a friend in math class (who apparently went to the same middle school as me, and I had no idea? But that’s for another time). He introduced me to the racquet service at the activities desk and taught me how to play the different sports. For once, I actually felt that I was having fun while exercising.

Now, I keep discovering new activities at Carnegie Mellon. Last week, as I waited for my sandwich at Au Bon Pain, I noticed that there was hallway behind the couches. I peeped down the corridor and saw a room of people cycling in front of a large screen. The screen displayed their digital characters biking on a road. Another time, I was waiting for a package down in the basement of the Cohon Center, and I overheard people talking about their upcoming Kickboxing and Pilates classes. I was confused as to how I never heard about these programs, so I looked them up online. I stumbled upon this website: http://athletics.cmu.edu/fitness/groupxdescriptions. There are dozens of different activities offered by the school, ranging from “Beginning Ballroom Dance” to “HIIT” to “Yoga” to “Zumba.”

I share my experiences to help people who are struggling to stay healthy find something enjoyable. At lot of students may find it difficult to schedule a workout during their busy days. But with a little bit of searching, you are sure to find an activity that you enjoy.

Kamyar Ghiam | Undergrad BA 2021
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