As a student at Front Range Community College, I pass the gymnasium every time I descend the stairs to the B-level. It’s rarely empty, often filled with the muffled noises of volleyball shoes squeaking on the court floor and basketballs hitting the backboards. The sounds of the gym are one with the college, and I have grown so accustomed to seeing the gym and hearing the noises that I overlooked just how those gym members got inside.
As writer and editor of The Front Page, my mind operates with a constant sense of wonder. I wondered how I could join the fitness center, and my job gave me the perfect excuse to satisfy my curiosity.
I walked into the High Plains Fitness Center and the attendant at the front desk greeted me with a smile. I answered her, “How can I help you?” by explaining that I wanted a membership. She handed me a clipboard with registration papers. I flipped through the papers expecting to find an outrageous price. After all, gym memberships cost money …
Fortunately, and unexpectedly, the High Plains Fitness Center is free for students to use. I was overjoyed! I filled out the papers and handed the completed packet back to the attendant. She explained that from then on, I simply had to scan my Wolf Card upon entering the fitness center to have free access to top-of-the-line fitness equipment and on-demand fitness help from friendly staff members.
Less then five minutes after handing in my packet, Amber Kavehkar, the fitness center coordinator, emerged from her office to give me tour of the facility. Amber has her master’s degree in kinesiology, the study of human movement, and is more than happy to answer students’ health and fitness questions.
Amber explained that she and her staff perform equipment orientations and physical assessments to educate students and insure that they attain their fitness goals. Moreover, I collected a handful of flyers advertising fitness center events, including intramural seasons, classes, and bi-weekly fitness talks.
“We do all that we can to encourage health among the students,” Amber said.
Adjacent to the front desk sits a row of cubbies where students can store their belongings for free. Alternatively, students may choose to purchase a locker – recommended for frequent visitors.
The inside of the (ladies’) locker room was spotless. I was surprised to find both restrooms and showers. These amenities are especially handy for students who workout before class.
Afterwards, we continued down the hall to the weight room. Rife with machines and free weights, students of various fitness levels can customize weights workouts to achieve their personal fitness goals.
Inside the weight room is a separate dance and yoga studio. Its aesthetic wooden floors and mirrored walls compliment the picturesque view of the mountains from the floor-length windows. I could imagine myself finding serenity during a yoga session or peacefully cooling down after a workout.
Next, Amber showed me the cardio room. It has enough equipment to hold up to any recreation center gym: treadmills, elliptical trainers, rowing machines, and fitness bikes, just to name a few. According to the fitness center guidelines, a student may use a machine for up to 30 minutes. If there are no names on the waitlist for their machine, the student can continue using it.
Finally, I found myself standing in the very gym that I passively stared down upon from the staircase. In a strange turn of events, I saw students on the stairs and I wondered if they wondered how I got into the gym. The sounds of squeaky shoes and bouncing balls were no longer muffled by thick glass, but were instead strident and clear.
As Amber led me back to the front desk, I felt more like a FRCC student than I ever had before. I was a part of one of the college’s newest and most esteemed facilities. I was a gym member instead of a gym viewer.
Students interested in fitness, healthy living, and wellbeing should join the High Plains Fitness Center. It’s a modern and cost effective way for students to maximize their fitness potential.
Written by Kayla Klein
Photos by Kayla Klein