The Torrington Telegram | Community health and fitness priority for EWC

The Torrington Telegram | Community health and fitness priority for EWC

The Torrington Telegram | Community health and fitness priority for EWC

Eastern Wyoming College Fitness Director, Tim Larsen, strongly encourages not only EWC students to make full use of the Fitness Center, but also staff and community members. Rhett Breedlove/Torrington Telegram

TORRINGTON – The new school year has just finished it first week at Eastern Wyoming College (EWC), and students and staff alike are most likely getting back into the full swing of things.

Classes, practices, endless hours of study and preparation will now be the daily norm for all at EWC. This of course can be a tall order, as well as a cause for a bit of stress here and there.

The EWC Fitness Center Director and basketball coach, Tim Larsen, would like to strongly encourage students, staff and community members to not shy away from a physical de-load once in a while to manage stress and stay physically active.

According to Larsen, all are more than welcome to take full advantage of the facility and it’s amenities. Larsen was also remindful that taking just a small amount of time each day can greatly increase the quality of day to day life, especially at the beginning of a new school year.

“Being active tends to be pushed to the side, and it always comes as a secondary thought,” Larsen began. “But what I would say is whether being a student or community member, staying physically active is incredibly important. Physical activity is the most important thing you can do in your life. It helps with mental health. If you are stressing about school or your job it’s a great way to come and let it out. Whether it’s walking or lifting weights, those are what can help with the mental side of it as well as the physical side of it.”

With a solid number of new freshmen this year, realistically speaking most if not all of them have a lot to stay on top of with academics, classes and extracurricular requirements.

Larsen was enthusiastic and convincing that with just harmless, physical activity even for non-athletes, this can greatly increase the mental capability it takes for students to study and stay on top of class material.

In regard to the student mindset, Larsen stated, “Being in better shape will give more energy to do these things. We can push it to the side sometimes, but we should emphasize that this should be a necessary place to carve out fifteen minutes and just get the blood flowing. Then hit the books and get back to the job duties. It works the mind, body, spirit and just strengthens everything.”

The fitness center has been a mainstay for both the college and Torrington over the course of many years now. Larsen believes that as beneficial as the facility is, there is always room for new ideas and growth, not to mention the inclusion of those who may not be entirely familiar with it.

“We are working on potential restructuring and making it more streamline,” Larsen continued. “We want to make it easier for community members to come in, get a membership and start that process. I took over a really good foundation in this and how it was set up. We want to continue to make it usable for not only the student body, but to serve our community as a whole. I want to get us back to having electronic check-ins, whether it be ID cards or potentially upgrading to a more modern system with iPads. I know when the college was hit with the cyber-attack, it leveled everything. The college did a phenomenal job staying afloat from an academic perspective. We would like to get to where we type in our names on an iPad or computer, you check in or out and you are good to go. I think the bigger thing is to continue building the foundation and bringing it more into a modern sense.”

One particular aspect Larsen brought up was creating a particular area for patrons that may not necessarily involve intense physical activity, but would be more about strengthening and healing the foundational aspects of fitness; one in which is often overlooked by even the most avid gym-goers.

“I’d would love to create a place, or an area for low impact with band work, foam rollers and stretching. The directors before me have done phenomenal of loading this place with cardio machines and ellipticals that not only meet the college’s needs, but the community’s needs. It’s here for them and as you can see, and it’s very available. We want to create a place that people can do some core, flexibility and mobility work without having to grab a mat and be in a walkway. We want to just keep building on what we are doing here.”

Moving to Torrington just over a year ago last summer with his family, Larsen noted the incredible generosity and courtesy demonstrated by the college faculty and staff, as well as the community members throughout all of Goshen County. Due to that particular notion, it has only fueled Larsen’s willingness to continue to build and grow the fitness center.

“You see a lot of people that grew up here and moved away. There’s something about Torrington that draws them back,” Larsen said. “It’s cool being the outsider with how many people take pride in Torrington, and want to be here at EWC. Everybody is so welcoming and it’s been an unbelievable transition for me and my family. The school system with my daughter has given so much more support out here than in Arizona. Moving out here has been fantastic for our family.

“Everyone loves EWC. You hear that at every school, but having now been at EWC for a year, you can tell that the faculty care about the students and they care about each other. There’s just a great atmosphere and vibe here at the school. Being a small community college atmosphere, you really can feel that one-on-one relationship with students. I’m the fitness director and basketball coach, but I’ve also gotten to know all the athletic programs and meeting students that I wouldn’t normally get to interact with. It’s just really cool.”

As with any leadership role, positivity is crucial even when faced with certain setbacks that naturally come up on occasion. When asked about facing certain problems that are bound to come up during the course of the year, Larsen answered with an optimistic confidence.

“You’ll never know what it will be until it comes up. You always try to plan, prepare, and put your best foot forward every day but you won’t know until it comes up. If a piece of equipment breaks down, do we repair it or replace it? I don’t think there will be that one big challenge, you just deal with them on a day-to-day as they come up.”

For further questions or information regarding the EWCFC, feel free to call 307-532-8200, or visit www.wy.edu.org.