Olin and Exercise

Now, Olin is not a big college. Heck, one could even say that we’re a small college. And with a total enrollment under 400, I wouldn’t contest them either.

However, what we lack in student body size, we make up for in culture. We may be a college of geeks and nerds, but even we have an active side. Our Ultimate disc team [since “Frisbee” is a trademarked word] is one of the easiest ways to stay active if you’re looking for an organized, inclusive, and low-commitment sport. As of this writing, meetings are three times a week, and there’s a mail list that you can join to get reminders for practice or notification of upcoming tournaments.

When you come to practice, be it your first or thirty-first time, you are not expected to know everything about Ultimate or the plays that we run. If you can’t throw a disc, that’s alright too. The more people at practice, the more fun it is.  And, just because you come to practice, that doesn’t mean that you have to play in any of the tournaments. It’s recommended because it’s fun, but there’s absolutely no pressure. You could come along to the tournaments as sideline support and be equally as appreciated as even the best player.

So far, the Olin Disc Club has participated in 3 tournaments this academic year. The first was a women’s tournament on October 7th and then a mixed tournament the week after. One recent weekend, though, we didn’t have a tournament scheduled, so all 20-odd of us decided to hold an internal tournament.

Like any normal tournament, we got up early on a Saturday and ate our bagel breakfast together. However, instead of carpooling to some faraway University [like Brandeis, the location of our second tournament] we went to the fields that were about 50 yards from our East Hall dorms. The teams were decided that morning, and we played one really intense game to 15 points. There was a winning team as well as a losing team, but I think we all enjoyed the intensity with which we approached the game. No one slacked, and we all played hard.

Walker catching disc.

Here's Walker making an excellent catch.

Disc team hanging out

The end of the game, but we're all still full of energy. Especially Anil.

But, maybe Frisbee isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re more of a soccer or powerlifting kind of person. Fear not, we’ve got sports other than Ultimate and many ways to stay active outside of sports.

Outing Club: Towards the beginning of the academic year, the outing club hosts an overnight camp accompanied by a mountain hike the next day. If you’re not much of a hiker but want to go on the trip, fear not. They have three hikes of varying difficulty, and you choose which one you want to go on. They’ve also got a lot of camping supplies that can be borrowed if you want to go camping but don’t have supplies of your own.

Soccer: Olin has both a men’s and women’s soccer team. Practices are twice a week and games are on the weekends. As with all Olin sports, you don’t need to have lots of experience to join, just a desire to learn.

Walking/Running: Walk with friends. Walk to Needham. Walk wherever you’d like. In addition to walking to classes, dorm rooms, and the cafeteria, you can also walk/jog/run on any of the nearby trails. I’m not well versed on the trails, but we’ve got a big map of them in the Mailroom that you can check out. Most early classes start at 9:50am, which is relatively late, so if you wake up early enough you can get a good jog in before class.   

Biking: If you’re trying to get off campus and don’t own a car, your best bet may be a bike. Olin’s bikeshare program allows you to rent a bike [for free!] to use to go wherever. There are some rules to using the bike that you’ll learn about/have learned about during orientation which include things like not leaving it unattended at a train station or always wearing a helmet. If used correctly, the bikeshare program is a great way to get into town and get exercise.

Unicycling: Yep, at Olin we have our own unicycling club. It takes a while to learn, but once you’ve got the skill down it’s incredibly impressive. You can practice practically whenever since the unicycles are located in the Ball Room [where we store the sports equipment]. Just remember to wear a helmet.

Stairs: The stairs here are killer. There are, of course, elevators, but if you’d like a challenge then use the stairs all the time. It might be easy for a while, but if you’re in any other sports you’ll realize that you’ll be climbing flights of stairs with sore legs on a daily basis.

Rock Climbing: We’ve also got a Rock Climbing club. I believe they meet weekly or every other week. The people I know that are in this club say that rock climbing is an excellent experience. It’s certainly something to add to your Olin bucket list.

Badminton: This Olin club meets twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Since we don’t have any courts of our own, we end up walking to Babson and using their courts [‘cause that’s a thing we can do!]. I haven’t played many racket sports, but what I do remember about them is that they take a lot of hand-eye coordination and running back and forth.

OFAC: Putting the Olin Fire Arts Club here as an exercise activity might seem odd at first, but when you consider the number of hours that they practice and what their routines entail then it’s clear to see that this activity will burn some serious calories [no pun intended]. There are scheduled practices, but you can practice whenever since the instruments are easily available.

Exercise Rooms: Both of Olin’s dorm buildings have an exercise room on their bottom floor. The East Hall one is larger with more weights, more machines, and a larger room. The West Hall one is smaller in every way, but still serviceable. Once it gets cold enough that the trek to East Hall is a burden, I bet a lot more underclassmen will be using the WH exercise room.

You’re not limited to the Olin campus when looking for clubs to join or places to exercise. Babson and Wellesley, our excellent neighbors, have some outstanding clubs and trails that we invite you to explore. We’re very proud of people like Flynn and Jillian, both of the class of 2021, who are in Babson’s Rugby team and Wellesley’s Sailing team, respectively, for showing that we are not limited in our activities by our campus.   

Transportation might seem like a problem for Babson/Wellesley clubs, but Babson is right next door and we’ve got a shuttle from Olin to Wellesley that you can use to commute. The shuttle runs rather late into the night, so it can be used to return to Olin once you’ve finished at Wellesley.

In short, there are a lot of ways to be physically active on and off the Olin campus. Babson and Wellesley clubs are great ways to have fun and meet different people. Even if you can’t fit an activity into your busy schedule, you’ll be getting exercise climbing stairs.

Exercise and your health are as important a part of Olin culture as project-based learning and academics. We encourage you to never neglect one for the other.

Thanks for reading, and until next post!


Got a question about Olin classes or Olin culture? Send me an email at Luis.zuniga@students.olin.edu

Posted in: Luis '21, Class of 2021