The early bird feels the burn

By Colm Keane
September 20, 2007

This is a photo showing how empty the SRC gym is during morning hours.

The Student Recreation Center basketball court remains largely
unused in the morning hours.

View Slideshow.

Feeling well. Obtaining "the pump." Releasing stress. Looking good. All of these are reasons people are flocking to the gym in ever-increasing numbers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, an average of 76.6 percent of Americans — 50 states and two territories — reported engaging in physical activity in the last month.

This average is promising, but two Texas State students believe it could always increase. Ashly Thibodeaux, psychology senior, works out in a sparse weight room and concentrates on her purpose of being there. She thinks people who enjoy working out will continue to do so, and those who are sedentary will most likely stay that way.
“Hopefully (the fitness craze) will stick around. People need to stop eating fast food, get off their butts and exercise. At least walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator,” Thibodeaux said. She said she thinks the hardest thing for people is to find the time to work out.

Thibodeaux commutes to the Student Recreation Center (SRC) from Wimberley three times a week to stay in shape. Her biggest reason for working out is “to stay healthy,” she said.
“I leave at 8:15 (a.m.) from Wimberley, work out for two hours, shower and head to class,” Thibodeaux said. “The (SRC) is usually dead in the mornings.”

Although a visit to the SRC during the early morning hours quickly reveals an extreme contrast to evenings, Thibodeaux is not alone.

Josh Setterbo, exercise and sports science senior, works out at least five times a week. “I’m mainly rehabbing my knee. I tore my ACL playing football,” he said.

“I come to the rec every Tuesday and Thursday. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I go to rehab for my knee … so I can work out there,” Setterbo said.

Setterbo said he enjoys arriving at the SRC early, and frequently goes when he has a gap in his schedule. “I go between classes. Because of my knee, I have a handicap sticker and parking is not an issue for me,” Setterbo said.

He agrees with Thibodeaux’s thoughts about the general public and the seemingly-booming fitness craze in the U.S. “People who are really into (exercising) will continue to be really into it,” Setterbo said. He said he thinks people with health problems or those who are not into exercising won’t buy into the working out trend.

In a Sept. 13 article in The University Star, Donna Darilek, a front desk worker at the SRC said the complex is slow in the morning and (the number of exercisers) picks up in the evening.

By carefully planning out one’s day and rising early in the morning, it is possible to get a feeling Arnold Schwarzenegger described as “fantastic” in the documentary “Pumping Iron.”

“The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is ‘the pump.’ Your muscles get a really tight feeling, like your skin is going to explode any minute, and it’s really tight — it’s like somebody is blowing air into it, into your muscle. It just blows up, and it feels really different. It feels fantastic,” he said.