Too many teams lifting at once


by Kinsey Bak

Congested. There’s no other word to fully describe the weight room on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. And did I mention that’s at 6 a.m.?

Simpson College has had success among all of our sports teams at one time or another. Everyone has their practices, their seasons and their time off, but something important goes on between them: strength and conditioning.

Simpson takes its strength and conditioning programs very seriously, which is one thing that I love about this place. Not only do we have enough coaches for each team this year, but part of why they’re here is because they have a passion for sports and strength programs.

After almost four years here I can honestly say that the strength and conditioning programs are the best that I’ve seen. So everything is fine and dandy, right? Not so much.

Being in track these past years, I’ve had the privilege of conditioning throughout different times of the day. For me, there have been two different time slots that we could lift as a team: at 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Both times are feasible because classes start at 8 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.

Personally, I don’t have a preference. The morning session is nice because I can get my workout done and move on with my day. The afternoon is also nice, because frankly, I hate waking up early.

This season is different. We are going every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. I really like this session time except for one thing: EVERY team goes at that time. Well, not every team, but it sure seems like it.

There are a total of six teams in our little weight room every other morning trying to improve. We have men and women’s track, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, men and women’s swimming, dance and cheer (who lift together) and wrestling.

Granted, there are some days when not every team is there. Soccer doesn’t lift when they have a game; dance, cheer and swimming are also not in there every morning. But most of the time they’re all there.

Every team has their usual warm up, and as soon as we walk in that weight room it’s like lions fighting over prey. We literally have to fight over weight stations with the other teams or kick some people off and make them join others. The dumbbells are always missing, there is no room to walk, and athletes aren’t allowed to work to their full potential.

Why can’t some teams go in the afternoon? The only teams that lift in the afternoon are softball and men’s basketball, with volleyball having practice in Cowles. Yes, I know track can lift in the afternoon, but I didn’t make that decision. Basketball is different because they have the same strength coach, so one has to go in the morning while the other goes in the afternoon. The other teams, however, could go in the afternoon, including the track team.

Even though a crowded weight room is not enjoyable, there are definitely some positives. While lifting at 90 percent one Monday I had some basketball players cheer me on. It’s very encouraging and I see that kind of support with all the teams all the time. Even though we’re all separate teams, we all play for Simpson College.

Being an athlete at Simpson is a privilege and strength and conditioning is something to look forward to. Even with our current arrangement, we still make it work. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings are a lesson to the athletes that we might be separate teams, but are ultimately one.