Mar 082005
Authors: Ryan Chapman

We are now only three days away from Spring Break 2005. In light of this fact, many local businesses have been experiencing an influx of customers recently.

Among these businesses are undoubtedly tanning salons and health clubs, full of patrons looking for that miracle one-week transformation from soft and pale to hard and dark. As a matter of fact, these symptoms have just recently been categorized as a full-fledged disease called "ohmyGodihavetowearaswimsuitinpublicitus," which can be very serious.

As an employee and regular user of the Student Recreation Center here on campus, I have become excruciatingly familiar with this disease in the past few weeks. I have also developed a list of rules or suggestions for the health club "newbies" to remember. A standard of etiquette, if you will, like you would see in a golf course clubhouse. I have done all of this in the hopes of keeping the recreation center fun and orderly as well as to protect the spring breakers from the wrath of those who make being fit a year-round hobby.

1. Do not starve yourself: Not eating for one week before your flight to Cancun will do nothing for you. It is also really annoying to other patrons when you pass-out from malnutrition in the middle of the cardio room.

2. Do not make up your own exercises: There are thousands of pre-made lifting and cardio options out there for you to use, so stop swinging that dumbbell around like an epileptic lumberjack and stop walking backward on the treadmill.

3. Do not stand between a meathead and his portion of the mirror: The mirrors are used to check form while lifting. We won't get into the serious analysis, however; just remember that it makes meatheads angry.

4. Rack your weights: Nothing makes the recreation center staff angrier than spending an hour every night putting plates back on the racks where they belong.

5. Lay off the Underarmor: This is perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give to anyone who plans on ever working out again, so I will have several sub-sections under this rule.

a. If your gut sticks out farther than your chest, get a T-shirt.

b. If your arms are the same thickness at the wrist and shoulder, get a T-shirt.

c. We know you didn't just come from football practice to the recreation center, so give it up. If you did just come from football practice then go back to your own gym.

6. Do not break the equipment: This final rule is for the "Tough Guy McGee" types who are so into looking macho that they break the mirrors and dumbbells while throwing them around in fits of rage. No one thinks you are cool so act like less like of an idiot and just set the weights down.

I hope this helps. I know how hard it can be to get that "Spring Break bod" in 10 days, so I wish everyone luck. Follow these guidelines, have a great Spring Break and try not to come back with any tattoos you can't remember getting.

Ryan Chapman is a junior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.

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