By Carly Hopper and Sam Steiger
Remember how crazy it was to manage your day-to-day schedule back when you were in school? You may have been juggling a part-time job with the demands of your classes. You may have been trying to design your class schedule so that you could have a few ‘sleep in’ days each week. You may have been trying to mix in social or fitness-related activities as well. Imagine re-living the days when a trip to Otto Recreation Center was the only thing on your plate!
As an alum, your schedule has likely grown even more hectic, with increased work and family obligations. Often, when people dive into their careers and find other demands on their time, healthy habits, such as exercise, fall to the wayside. That might explain why so many people make New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and eat healthier. But life tends to get in the way quickly, and many of us return to the unhealthy habits that lead to our resolution in the first place.
But for alumni who live near enough to make it to campus a few times a week, Campus Recreation can help jumpstart healthy lifestyle changes that will last all year. We host many free or low cost fitness-related events throughout that year that are open to alumni and others in the community. We also welcome alumni to take advantage of a membership to our facilities.
Otto Rec Center Memberships
Alumni can purchase memberships to the Otto Recreation Center, which includes access to the pool, group fitness classes, Myers Field House, and racquetball courts for $100/semester or $200/year. Passes to Myers Field House only, which include access to the field house during open recreation times for walking, jogging and use of the infield courts are also available for $50/semester. Lockers and locker rooms are available for use; ask at the Otto Recreation Center Equipment desk or stop by Myers Field House 118 to rent one. Find facility schedules and operation hours here.
Campus Recreation hosts many events throughout the year for alumni and other community members to participate in that don’t require a membership; many are either free or are quite reasonably priced. We are hosting a Duathlon on Sunday, February 3, in the Otto Recreation Center; our Bull Run, an outdoor adventure race, will take place by our Fitness Trail (behind Gage Hall) on Saturday, April 27; and our Triathlon will take place on Sunday, May 5. Look for some of our other events, like the Treadmill-a-Thon against St. Cloud State University that happens every fall and the Kato Krusher Rock Climbing Competition in the spring. More information about these events will be available on our website closer to the dates, including registration information.
Fitness Assessments and Personal Training
If you have an Otto Recreation Center membership, you have the opportunity to purchase personal training packages, to have a fitness assessment and to have a customized exercise plan developed for you. Completing a fitness assessment is a great way to monitor your personal progress and stay motivated, and working with a personal trainer is an effective way to safely attain your fitness goals. Costs for these services can be found here.
Two new climbing facilities went up in 2012 on campus: an outdoor rock climbing pinnacle and a 2,000 sq. ft. indoor climbing wall within Myers Field House. The indoor climbing wall opened in August; by the end of the year, more than 8,500 climbers had already given it a try. Routes are available for climbers of all ages and abilities, and all necessary equipment is provided. Rock climbing passes, which include access to both the indoor and outdoor walls, are available for $12 per day; we also offer monthly passes for individuals and families (it is not included in the general Otto Recreation Center membership). More information on the climbing walls is available here.
Teambuilding and Ropes Course Events
The Adventure Education Program, which is now located in the Office of Campus Recreation, has been providing Teambuilding and Leadership Development programming for the University and surrounding community for more than three decades. The program works year-round with groups interested in learning how to increase team cohesion, communication, trust and collaboration. Planned events occur on campus, as well as across southern Minnesota at business locations, schools and youth centers. During the warmer months, groups come to campus to experience our High Ropes and Challenge Course, where teams face group and individual challenges that result in some pretty amazing learning opportunities while 40 feet off the ground! Anyone interested in working with the Adventure Education Program can find more details at the program’s website.
The path to a regular exercise routine can be a bumpy one, and it often includes detours along the way. A few things to remember: make a measurable and specific goal, so you can recognize your progress; stay positive if you veer off your routine—just start over with a smile on your face; recruit friends and family to embrace healthy lifestyle changes with you; and remember that any safe movement is better than no movement.
Good luck—and remember that Campus Recreation is here to assist you with your goals of healthy living!