New fitness program options this semester

By J_Howard

The groups of students you see running down the street are not trying to get away from the math exam they didn’t study for. Instead, they have likely joined one of the new programs offered by the Fitness Center, 731 S. Plymouth Court, this semester to Columbia students.

The new fitness programs require no additional fees. They include a Back to Nature Boot Camp, intermediate and advanced running groups, flag football and Bike the Drive, all held on different days throughout the week.

“We are trying to give students more opportunities to move their body,” said Mark Brticevich, coordinator of Fitness and Recreation. “Our whole goal is to get this campus moving in any way, shape or form that we can.”

Classes range from beginner level, like the 5K Fun Run and Bike the Drive, a leisurely bike ride along the lake front offered Saturday mornings, to more advanced classes, like Back to Nature Boot Camp or the Advanced Fun Run Club.

“A good pair of shoes and a trail, or a little bit of turf and you can do all the running that you want,” Brticevich said.

Other fitness activities offered include various recreation events that rotate each semester.

“Not everybody likes to go to a gym, so we are trying to do things to give kids a variety,” Brticevich said. “If we have to do it as non-gym type exercises, we’ll do whatever it takes.”

There are six programs offered through the Fitness Center this semester, and Brticevich said he wants to add more fitness spaces, which has been

a challenge.

Currently, these programs meet at the  Fitness Center and then go elsewhere, depending on what spaces on or around campus are available.

A padded floor, a wide space for many participants and a locker room are three criteria when looking for a room to host events. Brticevich said most of the students who use the fitness facilities are commuters and need certain amenities like showers and lockers.

“There are all of these classrooms [available], but our space needs are not conducive to where we can just use a classroom,” Brticevich said.

Brticevich said the Back to Nature Boot Camp is his favorite new program. He explained it pushes participants to their physical fitness limit. The class is recommended for students who already have an active lifestyle.

“What you do in that class is what you do in life. You get to a point where you say I can’t do this, it’s almost too much,” Brticevich said. “You get the energy to go that little extra, and all of a sudden, you beat something that was insurmountable, and that translates into life.”

Back to Nature Boot Camp is a program designed by senior film and video major Melody Ruetsche. After combining different workouts, she created a routine she now teaches to class participants Mondays and Wednesdays in the Fitness Center.

Ruetsche leads the Back to Nature Boot Camp along with the Advanced Fun Run Club on Fridays.

“If you are just into having a good time and you want to push yourself, then come out because it’s fun and challenging,”

Ruetsche said.

Loren Holloway, freshman advertising art direction major, said she joined the Fun Run Club to stay fit during college.

“Its been really good going to the fun run, it is a good workout,” Holloway said. “I think its important for everyone to have good fitness.”

Brticevich explained by providing these new programs, students will get moving, realize the value of being healthy and make the effort to do so.

“There is no reason why you can’t be an artist, be healthy,  be vibrant and enjoy life,” Brticevich said. “If you don’t like coming to the gym we’re still going to find a way to get you moving.”

Brticevich said he hopes new spaces may accommodate more classes, like yoga and Pilates.

“The more attendance we get at these programs and the more we show students are interested, the more resources we are able to get our hands on,”

Brticevich said.