One of the best things you can do for yourself while you’re at McDaniel is go to the gym. College in general is not that healthy. In general it entails staying up late working on assignments, eating while you’re doing it, spending copious amounts of time sitting doing work, and let’s face it–glar isn’t all that healthy either. So with the help of donations from the Merritt family, the same Merritt family whose name appears on many fitness centers in the area and most recently on what used to be Academic Hall after yet another generous donation to the school, the school has provided a fantastic fitness center.
I find it best to use the gym between 2 and 4pm on most days. Sports teams usually take over the gym from about 4 to 5:30 on weekdays, so for a nice uninterrupted workout I prefer the earlier hours. Plenty of people choose to use the gym around 8 or 9 though and since the gym stays open until 11 most nights pretty much anyone can find their perfect time to exercise using state-of-the-art equipment that was almost entirely donated to the school by the Ravens when they used to hold their summer practices here.
What I like most about the gym is its relaxed atmosphere, which is aided by the way it’s set up. The cardio and body weight based workout equipment, like medicine balls and yoga mats, are located on the second floor above the weight machines and free weights, so those less inclined to “pump iron” and simply do push ups or crunches are free to do so without feeling intimidated by the muscle meat heads. Oh, and the muscle meat heads are anything but; they actually are probably the least intimidating people in the world. Just the other day I was struggling to finish my last set and one random soccer player came up behind me and coached me through it, helping on the last few inches. I was struggling with a 150 pound bench but he didn’t judge me, so that speaks nicely to the community established at the gym.
Though it may not be the best part of the day, or even a huge part of your life at McDaniel, the gym is absolutely a wonderful part of the many things that McDaniel has to offer. Whether you’re training for a marathon, getting in shape for your sport, or just purely trying to stay healthy and keep your body in peak shape for summer, the gym has what you need. Plus there’s no sense in passing up a free workout!
One of the best things available to students at McDaniel? Gill. Gill is our lovely gym on campus (we probably have the Ravens to thank for that when they trained here), beautifully new and up-to-date. Best of all: it’s free!!
Now that I’m a senior, I’ve been realizing that this whole having a gym twenty feet out my door that is free will not last in life…time to actually take advantage of it! Our gym is divided into a few main parts: Old Gill, which is essentially a large gymnasium that is a basketball court, used for indoor soccer matches (groups of friends) and anything else we feel like. It can be reserved for something in particular, such as Ultimate Frisbee practice, or you can just walk it and hope it’s free. Then there is New Gill, the nice shiny wood-floored gymnasium where all the actually basketball games, volleyball games and such take place with the bleachers- you can also reserve certain courts in New Gill to play at.
And last, but certainly not least, is the actual I’m-going-to-go-workout gym. Enter through the glass doors and get your student ID card swiped and it’s all yours. The ground floor is the weight room area with all the machines you could possibly want to lift weights with and you typical dumbbells, barbells and free weights in the following room. Up the modern glass stair case and you come to the cardio floor full of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and these intense stair-stepping things (I genuinely have no idea what they’re called but it’s kind of like running bleachers and being able to control the height of the steps and their resistance). There are also several TVs that you can change the channel on to watch a show or a game while working out which is really nice, as well as lockers to put your stuff in. On the second floor is also a nice area for stretching, as well as mats to do floor exercises like crunches on, exercise and medicine balls and more free weights. All in all, pretty much everything you could ask for in a gym!
This being my last semester, I have really been taking advantage of the gym for once, and can now appreciate it a lot more for being able to do whatever sort of combined workout you want- cardio plus abs and lifting, why not? The gym is also a great space to meet up with friends to work out together and spur each other on, just watch out for the busy waves of people that tend to come between 3pm and 4:30pm!
Enjoy your workout! If you’re looking for some swimming to exercise though, don’t be confused… the pool is quite naturally not in the gym but under the dinning hall.