An ode to exercise

hu-lebau-wikimedia

Humor columnist Dorothea LeBeau breaks down workout culture at U.Va.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

First-year student Emily Parker had never been interested in exercise before. That was for common folk, who weren’t prestigious student athletes at [insert governor’s school here]. Practicing various sports three times a week and winning the genetic lottery meant that she had never even considered working out something she could do — until getting to the University, that is.

It all started on the day after move-in, when Emily’s perky roommate, Chaitlin — the “h” is silent — woke her up at 5 a.m. by upending her entire dresser looking for her $150 custom athleisure gear. Unbeknownst to Emily, Chaitlin had fallen victim to an often observed but never reported statistic — one in two first-years at the University will undertake a huge personality overhaul and turn into an avid gym-goers after only three days on Grounds. After four weeks of watching her entire hall spend a minimum of two hours per day at the gym, Emily felt obligated to start going as well, citing “good old-fashioned peer pressure” as the primary cause for her athletic reform. 

“I just wanted to fit in. I even pretended to love running at 6 a.m. and drinking those disgusting detox teas,” she said. “But now I go through withdrawal if I don’t smell that weird AFC sweat and anxiety mixture at least twice a day.” 

When asked about what her end goals are for her exercise routine, she said, “Short term, I just want to be pretty enough for sorority rush. so that they disregard my incredibly bland personality. Long term, if this goes well, I think I’ll be an Instagram influencer.” 

On the flip side, first-year Justin Throckmorton has been going to the gym since high school, and kept up his routine when he arrived at the University. He still attends religiously, citing his need for “sick gains” that he can post to his lifting account, @JustinTheGym, which has 69 followers and an average of 16 likes per post. 

Between exercising every day and attending football practice, Justin barely has time for anything else, including going to class. When asked about his work-life balance, he had this to say, “Oh, am I supposed to be going to class? I thought that was, like, optional in college. I just post up in the gym all day every day, #nopainnogain.” Given that this was an in-person interview, the reporter is unsure as to why he said the hashtag out loud.

After being informed that mandatory attendance for a class was actually at the discretion of the professor, Justin seemed remarkably unfazed. “It’s like, whatever. I’ll just go to tests. It’s no big deal. I don’t really know how to work SIS, but I’m probably passing, right? Right?” The silence after this question was deafening, broken only by the quiet sound of Post Malone’s mumbling coming from Justin’s headphones.

After this incident, The Cavalier Daily reached out to one of Justin’s professors for a comment. “Oh, Mr. Throckmorton! I love to watch him play. He’s so talented. Did he actually mention me by name?” said English Professor Dr. Kohl, seeming extremely flattered at the possibility of being recognized by one of the approximately 100 football players at the University. “I know he never comes to class — he’s a student athlete. His schedule is so crowded, and I’m sure if he completed the work he’d absolutely earn the A that I am currently giving him.” Dr. Kohl did not decline to comment more, but most of what he said after the stated quotes was repetitive and unhelpful and so has not been reproduced in this article.

Dorothea LeBeau is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

related stories