Photographing Crimson Tide football reminder of excitement in exercising

CLICK. Eddie Lacy just caught a perfect pass. CLICK. AJ McCarron smiles as he collaborates and cheers on his teammates. CLICK. Harrison Jones completes the running drills with perfect agility and strength. The sun beats down hard on the Mal Moore practice field. Sweat beads down every hard-working player’s face, intensity and focus never absent from their frame of mind. As I take photographs for The Crimson White’s sports section, I start to gain a better understanding of what exercising and being healthy is all about. The Alabama football team finds joy in working out because they are truly passionate about their sport.

College students have always struggled with balancing school, social life and exercise. Since we are so preoccupied and distracted by everything around us, the “fun” in working out has disappeared. I often find myself forcing a one-or two-hour workout in every other day just because I should, doing my regular, mundane routine to keep my body fit and not get too lazy. But, quite frankly, it’s really boring. I have lost the passion for exercising.

Remember the good ole days when we had recess in elementary school? The playground was our escape. The bell would ring, and I would sigh in relief, so happy I could let my mind rest and my body move after slouching in a cold plastic chair all day. Remember kicking the red, rubber ball and sprinting to all the bases in kickball? Remember ballerina serves, no strings, bubbles and double hits in tetherball? Remember the simple joys of four square? Wall ball? Basketball? Football? The list goes on and on.

Now it’s all about isolating ourselves on the treadmills maybe twice a week, zoning out to our iPods. Sometimes, just walking from class to class on campus has to count as a workout. I am definitely guilty of this routine, which is why I am so keen to address the problem and find a solution not only for students in general, but for myself as well. Instead of forcing our groggy selves to make time to go to the gym, we should discover a more meaningful motivation to stay fit and be healthy. I don’t know about you, but I miss the fun of recess and running around being free to play with my friends outside and have a good time.

Therefore, I encourage all of you to find that energy-bound little kid within you and have fun exercising. Don’t let it be a chore or just another check box on your to-do list. Make working out an outlet, something to look forward to. We need mental breaks, or we will go absolutely insane. It’s a win-win situation if we play our cards right. If you find a sport or activity you love to do, time will fly, and you will naturally have an enriching, feel-good workout no 20-minute treadmill run could offer.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the treadmills at the gym are fantastic. We have a state-of-the-art facility of which I hope everyone is taking advantage. I am suggesting switching up your routine every once and a while, trying something new and refreshing to keep you on your toes. So today, why don’t you round up your dorm floor and set up a game of baseball at the rec fields? Gather up your freshman English class and play Frisbee on the Quad? Start an intramural team with your church or club? Working out is key to success in every aspect of your life. Never cut exercising out of your routine, especially during your college years. You need those extra endorphins to keep you happy and healthy.

Look at the success of our Alabama football team – all of our collegiate sports teams for that matter. Fourteen national championships? Soon to be 15? The only way for our players to have such great success is passion for their sport and working out. They add a whole new element to exercising; they put their hearts into it. They have a goal; they have fun. I am inspired by my football team every day. Every time I go to practice to shoot photographs for The Crimson White, I am encouraged to work hard and stay healthy. Roll Tide.

Cora Lindholm is a photographer for The Crimson White.