Rachel Richardson Photograph


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315-859-4457 (fax)


November 12, 2006   

There’s a point I reach about eleven minutes into my half-hour, six-mile stationary bike ride when I’m pretty sure I could win the Tour de France. There’s another point about twenty-eight minutes into my half-hour, six-mile bike ride when I decide I really need to buy a second pair of sweatpants, since I’ll have to wash the pair I own for the eighth time in as many days.

When the Blood Fitness & Dance Center opened in October, I’ll admit, I didn’t see what the big deal was. While I wouldn’t say I frequented our old fitness center, I had been there a few times, and the equipment and resources seemed fine enough to me. I entered a weight-loss bet with my father a few weeks back; like all good college sophomores, I’d resolved to lose that freshman fifteen at some point, but the minute I was challenged, I decided that time was now. So I bought the fated Hamilton sweatpants (whose comfort had been touted by some of my friends), filled up an Aquafina, and wandered into the fitness center one morning.

The place is enormous — huge, two-story windows take up an entire wall, facing the football field (where, fortunately, few can see you in compromised positions, i.e. red in the face and sweating miserably, plagued with visions of cycling grandeur). Another wall is devoted to rock-climbing, though I haven’t been brave enough to try it out just yet. There are two floors of equipment, most with individual televisions (yes! Individual televisions!), and if you aren’t so blessed to have your own little TV, there are four giant flat-screens suspended from the ceiling. Simply leave your ID at the front desk, and you’re given a set of headphones.

I am not an avid exerciser, but the fitness center suits my casual workout needs perfectly. I never suspected I’d decline invitations because I had to go work out, but this seems now to be the case. It’s not even that I have to go — I want to.