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Spring Into Shape: Beach body motivation dies out at end of year

Every spring starts out the same. As the quarter begins, students buzz about the anticipation of sunshine and heat, the exciting transition from UGG boots to flip-flops and getting fit.

You know what I’m talking about; spring means that summer is approaching, and summer means bathing suit season.

“I’m going to Ping every day this quarter because I’ve GOT to look like Miranda Kerr in my bikini this year,” some girls would gush.

“Dude, I need to lift more before we go on spring break. It was way too cold for me to walk all the way from Adams to Ping this winter. I just couldn’t do it,” some guys would admit.

Whether or not I’ve pegged what you would say in a statement above, the inevitable warm weather will, at first, be responsible for motivating students to work out more this quarter.

But I’ve noticed that that interest seems to significantly wane as the quarter continues. Ping starts out packed with few machines open to use and the HockHocking bike path is bustling with students jogging or riding along, but ultimately, these goals fade.

It’s a beautiful day outside, but students will sunbathe instead of bask in their own sweat. Fest season comes around, and instead of hitting the gym students will day drink. It’s just how spring in Athens seems to work.

To many college students, staying healthy and in shape is just more hassle to add to our list of things to keep in check. We’re stressed out from taking too many credit hours. We’re hungover from partying last night. And we’re just generally too lazy to be motivated.

I’d like to think that I am a fitness enthusiast. I work out, on average, five days a week for two hours at a time. I don’t drink pop or eat candy, but I also don’t diet. I’ve found that it only hinders the progress I’m trying to make.

If I’m craving Chipotle, you’d better believe I’m going to walk up to Court Street and get myself a steak burrito bowl, chips and guacamole, and I have no shame in admitting to that. I can never deny a slice of cheesecake and I absolutely can’t stand the texture or the taste of broccoli. Nothing too unusual here.

To some, being healthy may seem like a lot of work. It’s expensive, time-consuming and difficult to resist your cravings. However, I’m a firm believer in cutting back and exercising more frequently, not counting calories and working out multiple times per day. Let’s be realistic here: we’re not going to give up drinking beer or Fluff’s homemade pastries this quarter. But that’s okay; we can still make progress.

We can still get into shape without making too many sacrifices.

As I write this, I realize that I need motivation, too. I just returned from spending a quarter studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, where I ate half a loaf of bread per day. Of course, this is just a part of their culture, but I was constantly worried about my eating habits and the lack of time I spent there doing cardio.

But I digress.

This column will not make you resemble a Victoria’s Secret model, nor will it increase your muscle mass.

It is purely for fitness information and motivation. However, I believe that ultimately, you are be your own motivation — you are the only thing standing in the way of getting what you want. But if you want to start working out more, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

That’s where I come in.

Kaitlyn Richert is a sophomore studying journalism and information graphics and is a columnist for The Post. Don’t know who Miranda Kerr is? Email her at

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