My Butt Hurts from Spin
Can you believe that you can sail with John Faranda, fly fish on Parents Field, or rock climb at the local hangar, all the while knocking out an elusive general education requirement and toning that bum? While I’d like to think that CMC makes us all complete three PE credits for the mutual satisfaction of the sexes at TNC, I know that the requirement serves a deeper purpose that helps make us, as always, unique.
As legend and Wikipedia tell it, the lasting tradition of inspiring mental and physical wellbeing in students stems from the lifestyles of war veterans, who were the first to make their way at CMC. Our strength in academics and athletic prowess have been on the rise since then. In 2007, we placed first in Golf Digest’s “Balanced” ranking of Division III schools, for schools that place equal emphasis on academics and sports. We have it from the authority; CMC, in 2007, was the best.
However, most other liberal arts colleges ranked above us on our beloved U.S. News and World Report, such as Williams, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Wellesley, and Carleton, also require physical education courses of students. So, what makes us different from these high-ranking institutions? Other than the obvious factor of being way cooler than them.
The Swarthmore College webpage states that “all students must pass a survival swimming test or complete a unit of swimming instruction” in a rather frightening shove for new students to develop healthy lifestyles. Carleton College, on the other hand, writes a more poetic description of how “the myriad ways that intentional human movement, individually or as a member of a team, non-competitively or competitively, contributes to health and well-being—are a critical part of the human condition.” Ah, the human condition.
CMC shows no such spiritual enthusiasm for the development of healthy bodies and healthy minds on the Registrar’s webpage. Instead, the enthusiasm for getting involved is exhibited in the myriad selection of courses we have before us. The 5C course schedule has a pretty overwhelming list of PE options, including run-of-the-mill classes like jogging and meditation and some intense choices for those girls that make you regret eating two boxes of Domino’s, like CATZ, turbo kickboxing, and power yoga.
Where we excel in our encouragement of fitness is in allowing “Playground Games” to be called a form of physical education. We also have things you’ve never heard of, including Capoeira, the semi-martial art of being awesome and looking like this. Williams and Swarthmore don’t offer courses in Thai sword fighting, aerial circus, or fly fishing, so take that U.S. News. Our course schedule alone shows perusing prospective students that we like to be active, and we like to do it by whipping fishing poles around on Parents Field.
The fitness culture at CMC goes hand in hand with the “rule the world and make a healthy donation” type graduates we aspire to be. We hope to be well-rounded leaders in our respective future fields. Our professors help develop our minds, making us sacrifice Pub for Poppa with the promise of corporate happy hours to come. Rounding out that wholesome lifestyle, CMC proves that molding good habits in “intentional human movement” can be outlandishly, cleverly fun.
The point is not that the PE classes are good because they’ll make Stags’ chests look super hot in pricey Italian suits (that we know they’ll all one day own); they’re good because they encourage you to get off of Green Beach and do something—anything—to use that bod. Our school is looking out for us. It’s saying, “Have your No Regrets, but make sure you survive ‘til your first job.” Don’t be jealous of old friends who can keep their toned donks without spending seven hours a week in Ducey; they don’t have fresh golden tans from playing Frisbee in the California sun.
I’m an advocate for these tedious GEs. I say get out there and embarrass yourself today. Make a fool of yourself in your hip hop class. By the end, you’ll be singing Countdown and bangin’ Jay-Z (That’s how it works right?). Just be careful and wear those diaper shorts when you go to spin in the Village because heaven knows that the seats are not built for humans booties.
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Katya is pursuing a dual major in Economics and Math and is a research assistant at the Rose Institute. If you're looking for a good time, ask her what she thinks about Mark Twain, glass ceilings, Russia, the word "indie", or Sarah Palin.