Faculty get fit

Faculty get fit

by Ashley Pitkin

Whether they’re hard-core weight lifters or leisurely bicyclists, the Simpson faculty are proving they too know what it means to be physically fit and on top of their game.

“I try to exercise four to five times a week,” said Todd Lieber, professor of English and department chair. “I alternate between strength and aerobics.”

For more than 20 years, Lieber has been working out. He blames the strict regime on habit – it usually consists of a 15-minute stretching session and then either an hour of lifting or a 45-minute aerobic routine.

“From the time I was in high school, I grew into the habit of doing it,” Lieber said. “It makes me feel good and I feel bad when I don’t do it.”

Lieber usually exercises with a group of fellow professors who he claims just sort of found themselves together and who continue to stay together if semester schedules allow. The group includes Professor of Philosophy John Pauley, Professor of Education Steve Rose and Professor of Mathematics Richard Spellerberg. The four have enjoyed working out together for quite some time and prefer to work out in Cowles Center – after all, it’s free.

“Next to our kids getting a free education, the workout facilities are the next-best perk of being a professor,” Lieber said.

Not all faculty members work out as intensely as Lieber. In fact, some believe when physical activity becomes overly exhausting it’s going too far.

“I like riding my bike in the fashion of transportation – it’s fun,” Dave Richmond, associate professor of art said. “When it’s strenuous it doesn’t interest me anymore.”

Richmond has been bicycling off and on for three years but it was just recently that he decided to make it part of his daily routine.

“A while ago I was worried – I stopped riding because I didn’t think I had time to do it,” Richmond said. “Which is just silly, it doesn’t make sense.”

Richmond upped the amount of cycling he does. He said the benefits are already apparent, both physically and in his pocketbook.

“Gas prices are through the roof which is motivation to keep riding to work,” Richmond said. “I’ve noticed I’ve gone down a notch or two on my belt since I started doing it every day.”

Erin Reser, assistant professor of rhetoric and speech, is yet another example of faculty members engaged in a healthy lifestyle. Since she moved to Iowa a couple of years ago she’s made an effort to exercise regularly.

“When I came to Iowa it was like a fresh start kind of thing,” said Reser. “I wanted to be healthier – eat better, do good things and stop doing the things one I shouldn’t be doing like drinking and smoking.”

Unlike Lieber, Reser chooses to work out at a private gym and does so five to six times a week. Exercising with other professors is not an option for Reser, partly because she wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

“We never lift together – the crowd I run with doesn’t really work out,” Reser said. “We’d be yacking the whole time, you know us.”