After being closed for almost six months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Woman’s University’s Fitness and Recreation Center has opened back up, but with some major modifications in place to keep students safe.
Fit & Rec staff opened the center this fall semester with multiple precautions in place. Building capacity and seating are now limited to keep users at least six feet apart, and visitors will be asked to thoroughly wipe down equipment after every use, as usual, to maintain cleanliness.
For the center’s more social activities, all programs and events are still in session as of right now. The Director of Health and Wellbeing, Michelle Reeves, said that the fall activity schedule is being finalized, but TWU students, staff and faculty can anticipate outdoor adventure programs, non-contact intramural sports and even E-sports that are to come later in the semester. Yoga, kickboxing, Zumba and other regular programs are also still available for those who would like to participate.
Serving also as the interim Director of Fitness and Recreation for the fall semester, Reeves said she has been spending half of her time organizing and making executive decisions for the Fit & Rec alongside her role as the associate director of Health and Wellbeing and with interim associate director of Fitness and Recreation, Allison Meguro. It has been difficult managing two programs at once especially during a pandemic, but Reeves said that she and Meguro have been managing well.
Due to the constant changes necessitated by COVID-19, the directors have planned for the building’s activity schedule to be distributed monthly as opposed to per semester like in the past years.
Reeves said staff are trying to offer as many services as they can, resulting in programs and activities being altered instead of cancelled. She encourages students to follow the center on social media where regular schedule updates will be posted.
Despite the changes, there are some who say they feel safer working out elsewhere, like honors program administrative assistant, Jessica Walling.
Walling, along with her husband, was a frequent Fit & Rec visitor, going twice a day until the shutdown in March. Without access to a gym, she said she came up with her own alternatives for working out.
“I consider myself very fortunate because I did have some home equipment, so, I was able to transition fairly easily,” Walling said.
She has since found comfort and a steady routine in her home workouts and said that she does not plan on returning to the campus gym anytime soon.
“I’m a full supporter of the mask restriction, but I’m not personally ready to wear a mask while I’m working out,” Walling said. “I’m going to ride this out a little longer and not go back to the Fit and Rec right away.”
For more about the center’s schedules, protocols and updates, visit twu.edu/fitandrec/.
Gakenia Njenga can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image: The Fitness and Recreation Center at The Texas Woman’s University on August 21, 2020. The Fitness and Recreation Center will remain open for Fall 2020, excluding holidays. Photo by Sarah Pham.