Rub Some Dirt On It: Teach me how to play

November 11, 2010

I’m not much of an explorer when it comes to slogging through the University’s course catalog during pre-registration. I know which classes I need to take, I know where to look for them, and I go and get them. For many semesters, this kept me from stumbling across a gem hidden among Georgetown’s more boring courses: the Leisure and Recreation Education classes. But last semester, after a friend mentioned she had pre-registered for a swimming class, I decided to test the waters, too. And before I knew it, I was signed up for a racquetball class.

It turned out to be a fantastic idea. For starters, Leisure and Recreation Education are those rare classes help relieve stress. They don’t show up on transcripts, and skipping class or dropping it entirely does not carry any consequences. Without worrying that you are shooting yourself in the foot, you can explore a long list of classes—including ballet, tennis, jazz dance, modern dance, yoga, golf, rock climbing, and ballroom dance.

Some Hoyas exercise at Yates religiously and don’t need extra encouragement, but many others have only been inside for a free flu shot. For those who can’t bear the tedium of 30 minutes on the elliptical every morning, these classes provide a more engaging alternative. And for students who simply struggle to find time to exercise or lack motivation, knowing that people are waiting for you, and that they expect you to be at Yates is a helpful motivator.

These free gym classes are also a great way to make friends, or spend time with old ones. Even if none of your classmates ever master ballet, sink a hole-in-one, or become racquetball gurus, the exercise and social engagement will keep your mental health in check and help you release excess energy, anger, or tension.

Seeing your weekly exercise class tucked neatly into your “Week at a Glance” page doesn’t hurt, either. Type-As may find it difficult to justify saving two hours each week to fool around. But it becomes much easier to justify when exercise, fun, and spending time with friends are on their “to-do” lists.

Finally, novice athletes can take comfort in the fact that none of these courses list experience or athletic ability as a pre-requisite. I had never been in a racquetball court before taking the class this semester, but now I wouldn’t hesitate to challenge you to a match or two. The rest of the class will likely be in the same boat as you—lacking in skill but looking for fun—so there is no need to worry about reliving that particularly humiliating game of kickball in seventh grade gym class. You know the one.

So as you shop for classes this week, venture into the often-unexplored Leisure and Recreation Education section of the course catalog. Squishing a squash class between Problem of God and International Political Economy might sound overly ambitious now, but come April, your sweaty session at the gym will be a welcome break from Kierkegaard.

Wanna get hot and sweaty with Sadaf? Challenge her to raquetball at squreshi@georgetownvoice.com


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