Community and Recreation for Employees brings LC together

Photo Courtesy of Staff Photographer Morgan Fries

In addition to supporting undergraduates, the fitness facilities at Lewis & Clark serve a much larger community. The Community & Recreation for Employees (CARE) program has worked with the athletics department to offer lunchtime sports and workout opportunities for the employees who help the college run smoothly.

“I have tried almost all the classes,” said participant and Law School Bookstore Director Stefanie Pickard. “Classes have included core & stretch, weight room circuit, spinning, cardio soccer, and cross training,” adding that core & stretch has been a favorite so far.

Each weekday at noon, the group meets up with an instructor to spin on Pamplin’s stationary bikes, play some tennis or lift weights depending on the day of the week.

“‘Promoting fitness and community is our mission,” noted Suzanne Brauer, who works as the Employee Fitness Program Liaison & Coach among other roles on campus. “And, we do just that. [The program is] a place to work-out and connect with others, from all three campuses,” Brauer said.

Undergraduate students have even helped shape the classes. Taylor Hudson ’17, a senior on the women’s soccer team, runs twice-weekly cardio soccer sessions. “Having the soccer aspect really disguises the physical work that they put in,” Hudson said. “It’s easier when we can work outside (when it isn’t raining) so that I can run fun soccer drills, but sometimes we have to work inside and do more circuit-type training. Generally I pull all of our workouts from either actual drills I do at practice on the soccer team, and others from strengthening and conditioning work that my team does with Angela [Dendas-Pleasant, the program coordinator].”

Positive feedback and good vibes have dominated the program so far, along with notes for ways to be even more successful in the future. “I would always be open to trying different, new classes,” Pickard said, while acknowledging that sometimes limited facilities at LC mean that not all kinds of classes could happen all the time without conflicting with athletes and undergrads for gym or field space and time.

Hudson encourages weaving those staff and student interests closer together. “I think it would be cool if a student-athlete from various sports could run more ‘themed’ fitness classes. I’ve noticed that my class has helped me create a bond with the faculty that attend, and that alone makes it worthwhile. I love meeting new people and creating new bonds, and I’m sure that the people who come enjoy that as well, and not to mention widens the opportunities that they have to achieve various type of fitness training,” said Hudson.

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