Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strengthening body, mind and spirit

Andy Chaffee and Brandon Fullenkamp
Guest post by Brandon Fullenkamp ‘11

I’ve always been a competitive person. Whether it’s been inter- or intra-personal, the drive to meet a challenge almost never escapes me. I’ve also always been there for my friends, and try to support them in everything they do, especially when it’s for a good cause or it could better them somehow.

Amusingly enough, being a part of the Team Andy project allows me to combine both of those parts of my life into something great! As soon as I read what the premise of the project was, I knew I was going to have to push myself harder than I had before, not only to strengthen my own body, but also my mind and spirit as well.

Ever since I started here at Ohio University (as a grad student), and had a giant fitness complex and pool at my daily disposal, I’ve realized the phenomenal advantage having those things is on one’s life. Not only does the fitness building offer beautiful views from the treadmills and elliptical machines out the gigantic windows, but there is also an indoor track, group fitness classes, personal trainers and a weight room, as well as racquetball and basketball courts and a rock climbing wall.

Having all those resources available can be a little daunting at first, but soon one can find their niche and start their workout regimen. I, for example like to wake up early (6:30 a.m.) and be in the pool around 7 a.m. doing laps. It’s a great way to start the day and gives my metabolism a great boost. Then, in the evening, I love doing a group fitness class like Zumba (Latin dance class), boot camp (combination of cardio, strength training and plyometrics), or even yoga (great way to center the mind and de-stress after a difficult week of classes).

The things I’ve gained already from this experience are far greater than I could’ve ever hoped for in the beginning. I am not only physically stronger, but more importantly, I have gained mental discipline. That discipline that I use to wake up every morning much earlier than other students has started to present itself in other facets of life. I can now harness that discipline into my academics (can you say procrastination?).

Another great benefit I’ve noticed is that my energy levels are much higher and more consistent throughout the day. And, anybody that knows me will probably get a chuckle out of that, because they know that my energy levels before were already pretty ridiculous at times.

All in all, this has been such a beneficial experience for me, but also I think for the Bluffton community. It really shows how we can all band together, and though we may not be able to see each other, we will always feel the support from each other and be able to accomplish great things, through each other.

Grace and peace,
Brandon Fullenkamp
Class of ‘11

Bluffton's own Ironman-in-Training Andy Chaffee and his dad will present "Couch to May Day: Where Running Can Take You" on Feb. 24. Marty Chaffee, a leadership consultant, will present an eight-step program for positive change from personal expeience. Andy will debut a Couch to May Day Run 10-week training program. This presentation is free and open to the public.

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