Being born and raised in Alaska, our family used to have to travel a long way to visit relatives. Every other summer we would drive the Alaska Canadian highway, the AlCan, to see friends and family in Oregon and even Mississippi. At the start of the AlCan, when it used to be all gravel, there used to be a sign we would read before setting off. It said something like this, “Choose your ruts, for you are going to be in one for the next 2,000 miles.”
As you finish those summer projects, as you complete the much needed planning, as you prepare to begin another year, I challenge you to ask yourself a couple questions. Is my life routine going to involve the same old rut that I’ve travelled in for years now? Or, will this year be different?
With the Sept. 5 launch of the new eight-pronged campuswide approach to wellbeing called Thrive, I challenge you to break out of the old rut and try something new.
As the director of campus recreation, our daily charge is to encourage students, faculty and staff to find time to stimulate the physical dimension of life. With six major program areas under the roof of Campus Recreation (intramural sports, group fitness, the fitness center/facilities, outdoor pursuits, aquatics and club sports) our primary purpose is to provide something for everyone. Through multiple play mediums, we encourage all to choose an activity which best fits their schedule, their interests and their goals.
If you need a place to start, our facilities are available. If you need some partners to play alongside, we can help. If you need some real one-on-one encouragement, we can assist you. As authors of fun and artists of play, we consider it a privilege to be a bridge builder on your road to a better you.
If I have heard it once, I have heard it a hundred times. “You know Max, I need to start exercising more.” Or, “I would really would like to start taking that spin class that you’ve been offering, but I just don’t have the time.” Or, “I do enjoy swimming, basketball, volleyball and tennis but I just don’t think I can do it anymore.”
The opportunities are there. You just have to turn the wheel to the right slightly and move out of the rut. I have been there. I know how hard it is to make a change. However, I also know how satisfying it is to finally give some attention to a long-ignored dimension in life.
If you are a long-time activity buff, keep it going, but next time bring along a friend. However, if, like the Floyd family all those years ago, you are staring at a 2,000-mile rut, I encourage you to pick another one. Pick one that will involve some fun, some play and get that heart rate accelerated slightly. I’m confident you’ll be glad you did.
If you’re looking for support and inspiration, you might also consider signing up for the free HELPS TLC program, designed to help with lifestyle changes. With the changing of the seasons and the start of the school year comes a renewed mindset. The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change program can help you meet your health goals, whether quitting smoking, fitting exercise into your day or eating healthier.
Max Dupre once said, “ We cannot become who we were meant to be by remaining what we are.” May you all have a great 2014-2015 academic year, as you become the person you were meant to be in all dimensions of life.