By Sarah Frick, Staff Writer
Beginning this semester at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) is hosting the Semester of Fitness, led by Community Assistant’s (CAs) Chelsea Lear-Ward and Christina Cook, who will combine education on fitness and nutrition with the backbone of a strong support system.
Those who participate in the Semester of Fitness have the option to be paired up with a Gym Buddy, or they may pair up with a friend. Even without a specified “buddy,” the regime promises to strengthen bonds between the members of the group. Lear-Ward, who is passionate about fitness, hopes that these bonds will help members’ fitness last longer than a split second, “It will keep students motivated to have this outlet,” said Lear-Ward.
The informative piece of the program will consist of five meetings, all aimed to help members develop and maintain a personal fitness and health regime. The four main sessions will collaborate with a range of health conscious UMF community members. The themes of the sessions start with goal making, then move to fitness. The third session will be led by the Health Center and focus on nutrition. The fourth will focus on how overall health can affect sexual wellness through collaboration with the Sexual Wellness Club. The final meeting will be a sort of celebration of the group’s accomplishments. Those who attend at least three of the sessions will receive a tee shirt in recognition.
At the kickoff meeting last Tuesday, the sense of community could be felt. People from all walks of life on campus made appearances. Among them was President Kathryn Foster who shared her own personal struggles with body image and athletic judgment. Allison Thayer, gym coordinator for all first year students, shared that her own journey to fitness and a healthier lifestyle led her to realize her true passion for health. “You need to add balance to your life, it’s a process and a journey, nothing happens fast,” said Thayer.
The group is open to anyone looking for a boost to their health. “You don’t have to be skinny to be fit,” said Lear-Ward.
The next meeting will be February 26th in the Landing at 6:30 P.M. Also for more information check out the Facebook group called “Semester of Fitness”.