With the stress of midterms and hurrying to tie up loose ends before spring break, it’s tempting to cut back on my “me time” to dig into the papers and tests that await me. Regardless of the length of my to-do list, though, I quickly find that I can’t pour from an empty glass. We all have different styles of stress relief, and it’s important to prioritize what makes you healthiest and happiest. For some of us, that means sticking to a strict schedule and getting work done in larger chunks. Personally, I need lots of little breaks throughout my day to keep me focused and refreshed. It can be hard to stay motivated to use those breaks for something other than a quick nap or a walk downtown, but I’ve learned that making time for even a quick workout is vital to my mental health and is worth every bit of effort it takes to get myself started. Luckily, Whitman and Walla Walla are filled with fun opportunities to get out there and sweat out the stress!
This semester, I’m lucky enough to be taking two awesome sports/recreation classes: Pilates and beginning tennis. Getting credit for awesome workouts most people have to pay for? Sign me up! Twice a week, I head over to Sherwood Athletic Center for my mid-morning Pilates class. If I’m being honest, I’m a pretty big wimp when it comes to workouts. I have a tendency to lose focus and avoid pushing myself to full effort. With Pilates, though, the fast pace and the way it incorporates your whole body keeps me engaged and feeling really strong. There’s no better way to start off a Monday!
I also have beginning tennis twice a week, which is a blast. I’m still, well, pretty terrible roughly halfway through the semester, but the class is very nonjudgmental and all about improving at your own pace and having fun! It’s the perfect balance between practice and just playing, and it’s truly the highlight of my week. It’s also a great excuse to use some of the more specialized facilities on campus (we have a beautiful 4 court indoor tennis center AND 6 outdoor courts that are available for student, faculty/staff, and community use) and get the most out of our tuition.
On the tragic days when I don’t have tennis or Pilates, I like to pop in a podcast and run around Walla Walla. The neighborhoods around campus are my favorite places to run so I can switch up my route every day, but there are also great parks and trails nearby (Bennington Lake and other routes along Mill Creek are fan favorites). Most importantly, though, the Blue Mountain Humane Society is about a mile off campus and has lots of lovely dogs who would love to join you for a bit of your run! Running to the humane society, grabbing an excited pup to take with you, and dropping them off on your way back to campus is the height of luxury and has absolutely revolutionized my workout game.
These are the options I currently have in my workout rotation, but there are so many more I could list. The climbing gym is an incredible facility with a passionate community built around it, our gym is top-notch, there are more sports and recreation classes than I can count – and I haven’t even gotten to the student-led clubs and pick-up groups yet! No matter what you’re into, Walla Walla is a pretty great place to get outdoors, and Whitman offers so many ways to stay active that you’re bound to find something you love.
Good luck with all the joy and energy spring brings, and make sure to take some time for yourself in this midst of it all!