Freshman Fitness- My Adventure

College is a defining time in the life of all those who choose to attend. There is no say in the matter. The life that you had before you arrived is gone in the wind and you become an entirely new person. Freshman year is a time of major transformation. Many people enter freshman year with goals. Some of the goals include fitness. People say, “I will never get the ‘freshman 15’.” Others say, “It’s time for me to get in the best shape of my life.” To be honest, when I entered college, I had no idea what I wanted. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t have any major fitness goals, I only knew I wanted to keep working out. If I were to gain the freshman 15, I wanted it to be entirely in muscle.

The first week of my freshman year, I purchased a membership to the campus gym. The second week of the year, I joined the Powerlifting team. I saw myself on a great path. I went to the powerlifting workouts and I loved the team. There were a few guys on the team who were intimidatingly big, and I saw them as role models in the gym. I went to the workouts every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. For a time, I was doing very well. I started squatting and deadlifting again, something I had not done since football workouts. I improved my form and gained a bit of muscle, but not as much as I would have liked.

Admittedly, I got a little bored of the powerlifting workouts. In the two hours that we would work out, we would only do three exercises: bench, squat, and deadlift. To me, I felt like we were moving insanely slow. When I typically go to the gym, I can knock out at least seven exercises followed by an abs workout in less than two hours. After a while, I started making excuses to myself that seemed valid as to why I couldn’t go. I was pledging a fraternity, so they already had us doing tons of push ups, wall-sits, planks, and flutter kicks. I told myself that I couldn’t workout the day before a line-up because I couldn’t be so sore that I couldn’t keep up with my pledge brothers, and I told myself I couldn’t go the day after because I had already worked out the day before. After a few short weeks, I stopped going to Powerlifting workouts entirely. I told myself I was getting a good enough workout regardless, but I knew that was a lie.

Once pledging was over, I told myself I would get back to the gym. The problem, though, was that once I got back to the gym, I couldn’t lift what I used to be able to. When I saw that, I lost my motivation to go back to the gym, because I no longer felt confident. When winter break came, I was too busy getting drunk and hanging out with my girlfriend to make time to go to the gym. I was lazy. 

When the next semester began, I was no better. In the heart of the frigid and dreary Penn State winter, I found it hard to find motivation to do anything other than finish a season of my favorite show on Netflix every other day. I used the excuse of the gym being too crowded with all of the “New Years Resolutioners” for it to be worth going. It wasn’t until I planned my spring break that I finally got back the motivation to get back to the gym. I was going to the gym at least three times a week, every week for a month, and I felt good. I got myself all the way back up to the point I was at when I first got to college.

Once spring break was over, I didn’t go back to the gym for a month. I didn’t have any good excuses, and I didn’t have any motivation. In the past few weeks, I’ve managed to get my lazy ass to the gym once or twice a week, but I know I’m not doing enough to make any real progress. Once you fall off the horse, it feels so hard to get back on. I can’t say that I’m unhappy with my body today, but neither can I say that I am happy with it.

As Bro Science Life said,

My only hope is that this summer I will regain the determination I once had.

3 thoughts on “Freshman Fitness- My Adventure

  1. Spencer A Coolidge

    I love this post and I especially love the quote at the end because I can absolutely relate to your experience. The summer leading up to Freshman year of college I joined a gym for the first time and decided to get serious about working out. I was doing well and starting to see some serious improvements in my physique. Unfortunately, when pledging started I did not have enough energy to go to the gym on a constant basis. I had lost almost everything that I gained over the summer. This spring I was able to get back to the gym and I am doing better than every physically. My lifts have all improved drastically and I am starting to monitor my eating habits more and more closely. Working out is such a wonderful stress release for me. Keep on keepin’ on brother.

  2. Sumit Pareek

    I think this is unique because it shares a story that is personal and real. I say real because the idea of gaining motivation is really difficult, especially because of outside factors like pledging or the weather. The idea of sustaining one’s willingness to go further and push harder is concerning because there are so many reasons to say no. I have noticed from my time at Penn State that there are also so many reasons to say yes! Like Amy mentioned, going with a friend is great or even getting a nice playlist only for the gym is motivation. This was really introspective and a great way to both relay your transformation in a realistic way but also end your blog.

  3. Amy Major

    You definitely started your freshman year off to a positive and healthy start with a gym membership and by joining the powerlifting team. I remember walking into the gym at the white building for the first time, and while I was intimidated, I thought to myself wow I’m going to get so toned—but that didn’t necessarily happen thanks to all the unhealthy eating options on campus. While you were making excuses for yourself, sometimes it can be really hard to get the motivation to go to the gym. That’s why going with a friend can help sometimes, and once you get back in the swing of things you feel really confident about yourself. I completely agree with the feelings you went through, I too come up with reasons not to go.

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