Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Giving Baby Weight the Boot

Jenni Luckett

I’m sore.

It’s kind of sad, really. I didn’t actually exercise on Friday. I just completed a baseline fitness test that involved repeatedly stepping up and down on a stool about the height of my knees for five minutes.That act alone, however, led to a weekend of achy…um…let’s say gluts and hamstrings.

I guess that’s just more evidence for why I need to do a better job of consistently getting exercise.

Luckily, Pacific offers a pretty cool perk each spring for its employees, in the form of a learning experience for students majoring in exercise science. As part of their course work, exercise science students sign on to act as “personal trainers” to employees in an annual event called Boxer Boot Camp. The students get the real-life learning experience of meeting one-on-one with clients, conducting fitness tests and monitoring progress, and designing personalized workouts. Employees like me get 10 weeks of personal coaching to help establish better exercise habits. Win-win!

My trainer is Trevor Schongalla, a senior hoping to start working toward a doctorate in physical therapy next fall. He’s pro-water consumption, anti-fad diet and much nicer than the scary boot camp, yell-in-your-face trainers you might see in some movies. (At least, I think so…our first full session is this afternoon.)

On Friday, Trevor spent about an hour talking about my goals and health—I think my son’s second birthday in November probably was the limit for blaming my extra pounds on “baby weight”—then putting me through a few baseline fitness tests, like the 5-minute stair steps, which, to be fair, didn’t seem that hard at the time.

I don’t really know how I did. Between the body measurements in centimeters and the strength tests in newtons, I mostly learned that exercise science isn’t about hanging out in the gym; it’s a scientific field that requires a deep understanding of biology, the human body, and even math. Trevor also assures me that exercise science students are skilled in Microsoft Excel, and he’ll be charting my progress for me.

Jenni Luckett, Senior Writer
In turn, I’ll be sharing my progress with you. Maybe not all the charts and measurements, as a girl needs a little privacy, but definitely my experiences with one of the most popular undergraduate degree programs here at Pacific.

Luckett is the editor of the PACIFIC Magazine. Follow her editor's blog at  http://www.pacificu.edu/magazine/category/section/editors-blog

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