Tag Archives: Physical Education

The power of a tower.

12 Dec

The new Alpine Tower on W&L’s back campus.

How cool is our new Alpine Tower? Click here to read the article and find out more about how the tower is adding to our Campus Recreation, Outing Club, and Leadership Development programs.

Just keep swimming.

30 Nov

The Swim Test in action at W&L!

The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday on colleges that still require a swim test to graduate. W&L is one of the few, or should I say select, universities to still require a swim test as part of our curriculum. Every orientation week, the first year class is sent to the pool to swim 50 yards and tread water for 5 minutes. Those who pass are one step closer to graduation before they even have their first class, and those who don’t, fret not, will learn to swim in their first P.E. class, Fundamental Swimming. It is a unique tradition to say the least but W&L wouldn’t be the same without it. Thanks to the WSJ  for the above picture that they featured in the article!

SCUBA Diving

14 Nov

Peering over the edge of the pool, my mind was racing. “Why are you doing this? You’re not a strong swimmer. You’re not even that comfortable around water. Why are you doing this?” I was perched on the edge of our W&L pool, getting used to the feel of a mask and flippers, not to mention a giant oxygen tank hanging on my back. Spring term of my freshman year I had lucked into enrolling in the popular PE Scuba Diving class, and was about to take the plunge.

The two week class turned out to be one of my favorites I’ve taken at Washington & Lee. Our first weekend was spent in the W&L pool, adjusting to the awkward tanks and flippers as we practiced rescue breaths and gradual ascents, surrounded by stark white tile. Although the days in the pool left me feeling a bit nervous and uneasy, that disappeared the next weekend as soon as we splashed into Lake Rawlings, a man-made lake only a few hours away. Almost as soon as we reached the platforms at 20 and 30 feet we were surrounded by schools of curious fish, so close we could almost touch them before they darted away. Fascinated I watched the swarm of bubbles streaming out as I cleared my mask and felt my ears pop with the increased pressure. I was too entranced to worry about being underwater; the same skills we’d practiced in the pool a week before seemed like second nature. With our certifications complete we explored the lake’s cars, “computer garden,” basketball court, and myriad of other sunken sights. The experience was unbelievable, and I can’t wait for my next opportunity to dive! Just one more reason to love the PE programs here at W&L.

Aerobic running

8 Apr

For my P.E. course this semester, I have been taking aerobic running (which is basically just running). It’s a small class of  6 students representing all four classes, so it’s a really great way to get to know members of other classes with whom you may not normally interact. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we run outside for about an hour, and it has been the most amazing way to experience both the campus and Lexington. Some days we run on nature trails alongside Woods Creek or high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains; other days we are given scavenger hunts or tasks that require us to run through town. This past Tuesday, we ran through town to one of the middle schools. We stopped at the school, played on the play ground for a little bit (yes, even 20-year-olds are children at heart), and continued through town, ascending hills all the while. At one point, as we were running down a street of houses, we were greeted by a couple sitting on their porch. As it turned out, both the husband and the wife help coach the women’s track and field hockey teams at W&L. The nice couple talked with us and shared the incredible view of the mountain ridge from their front porch. As we ran back to campus afterwards, it struck me how fortunate I am to live and go to school in such a tight-knit, safe community. Because everyone is so open and welcoming, students have endless opportunities to explore their interests, both on and off campus. One truly does feel at home here.

Golf PE

5 Apr

That’s right – you can play golf to count as one of your four physical education requirements here at Washington and Lee. The best part is that no experience is required! Whether you are a novice or an expert, all levels of experience are welcome. And during this last week of school, I tell my friends that I’m “busy” playing several rounds of golf as part of a tournament that my class has put together. This afternoon, I was able to shoot 47 though 9 holes, so hopefully I can pull out a 40 on the back nine tomorrow at Lexington Country Club to stay in the running. The weather up here is beautiful this week, and I’m so fortunate to take advantage of it to go hit a few balls and to relieve the stress of upcoming exams!