Jonas Doerr – Opinion Columnist
The disappearances started a couple weeks ago. At first they started slow, and then they started vanishing in bunches.
I would walk into Lund Center and sense a certain emptiness, knowing somewhere another exercise machine was missing. The 3rd floor was hit first. I didn’t even get to say one last goodbye to the chest press and seated row machines. One day they were there, and the next they were not.
Soon the 2nd floor started to get patchy, too. No longer could our latissimus dorsis enjoy the pull-down machine nor our quadriceps the leg extender. Dumbbells started disappearing as well.
The cardio area didn’t last much longer. When the treadmills vanished, the empty spots where they had been made it seem like they had finally run off, tired of being run on.
Only the weight room was spared. Its iron squat racks imposingly remained, as if daring the culprit to pilfer them too.
My workouts were impacted. I had to cut out large portions of my routine, since I didn’t have the right equipment to do the exercises. I was also emotionally impacted, as I had grown attached to these machines over the years.
I wasn’t the only one impacted by these disappearances.
Distraught Gusties would stop by the Lund Information Desk asking about the machines. I could almost see tears in their eyes when I told them the machines were gone.
How were Gusties supposed to exercise? How could we stay in shape without our equipment? How can students carry their overloaded backpacks (and schedules) without being able to strengthen themselves?
I resolved to get to the root of this weighty problem. Was someone heaving the machines over their shoulder and toting them out the front door? And if they could do that, why would they even need the machine to get any stronger?
It didn’t take long to discover what was going on. New equipment was being acquired for the Lund expansion project, and the old stuff had to go. It was all being moved or sold. That was what had been happening to all the machines.
Although Gusties have been inconvenienced for a bit, the new expansion will hopefully make everything right. New squat racks, new weights, and new views from the treadmills all await eager students. Gusties will have over a week and a half to enjoy the new facilities before the semester ends.
The expansion is incredible. First of all, there is far more space in every area. Gusties no longer have to breathe down the neck of the neighbor while running on a treadmill or weave around the people doing lunges.
All of the equipment is new. The weight room is full of gold and black Gustavus-themed weights, and there is a wide variety of treadmills to run on. There is also a huge assortment of other machines to isolate certain muscle groups with.
On the third floor, there is an extremely comfortable seating area for students to relax in. Ergonomic yellow and black chairs are fantastic to sit in and provide a breathtaking view towards the west side of campus.
Best of all, there are plenty of mirrors. For all the people making huge gains, they can enjoy their progress thanks to the easy access to places to flex at themselves.
Perhaps some have thought thus far, “I don’t have that kind of relationship with the equipment at Lund. In fact, I have not even made the acquaintance of those machines you were so sad to see go. Why would I be sad about the old machines or excited about the new ones?” This is legitimate. However, these people are missing out.
Working out has lots of benefits. It helps people live longer and happier. It makes one’s heart healthier and makes everyday tasks easier. Working has been directly shown to improve one’s mood. And doing something difficult like working out makes people feel good about themselves.
With all this in mind, why not start a brand-new friendship with the brand-new equipment at Lund? Everything is fresh and shiny, making it the perfect time to start a new habit. Try running, lifting weights, or other activities to finish the semester strong.
While it was initially sad to see the old machines go, it prepared the way for this new chapter of the Gustavus Exercise Experience (GEE!). Students familiar with the old facilities will appreciate the upgrade, and perhaps others will begin a new routine. Either way, don’t sweat it – new machines are here to stay.