Tag Archives: recreation


Tanner Wick

Tanner Wick,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2019

To get my mind off of my senior design this spring, I enrolled in kayaking! Though I have canoed and kayaked a few times in the past, I never formally learned any techniques. I thought this course would be a perfect way to learn the fundamentals and have a chance to spend some time outdoors.

The first couple of classes were taught in the aquatics center to practice basic paddling strokes and maneuverability. The best exercise was the wet exits where students had to exit the kayak after flipping over.

During the weekend skills portion of the class, the class went to Dow Lake, Burr Oak Lake, and the Hocking River. Some light rain and high winds on Burr Oak made for excitingly rough conditions to tackle.


At the end of the second day, the students played a game similar to ultimate Frisbee but in kayaks. Unfortunately, I flipped over during the game. But I performed a wet exit and drained my kayak of water, then jumped right back into the game.

The weekend ended with a trip down the Hocking River and into the Ohio River. This was much less energy intensive than open water kayaking, as the river current helped push the kayaks downstream.

I am very glad with my decision to enroll in the course this semester. I made new friends, learned new skills, and had an awesome trip.

Rock Climbing

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 March 2019

There is a large rock-climbing community in Athens/Ohio University. Since my freshman year, I have been a casual member of said community but this past semester I have greatly increased the frequency of my climbing.

To do this, I joined Climb Athens, a local non-profit that runs two climbing gyms in the vicinity of campus. Although technically accurate, the previous sentence makes this organization seem slightly more official than it actually is; one gym is housed in a garage while the other is in an attic. BetaFish, the garage-gym, is shown in the picture below.


Despite, or possibly due to, the homemade feel, these gyms are wonderful and chock full of challenging routes.

Joining Climb Athens has been a wonderful experience that has helped me greatly improve as a climber. This is improvement is mostly due to the fact that both gyms are full of many excellent climbers willing to offer advice and encouragement. Some of these climbers are OHIO students while other are Athens community members.

I highly recommend that other OHIO students get involved in a hobby, especially one that introduces you to the Athens community. It is extremely beneficial to take a break from school and clear your head; it is also nice to see that there is more to Athens than the OHIO campus.

As a bonus, I included a picture of myself after winning a free bag of climbing chalk at BetaFish!

Free Chalk

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Lydia Seiter

Lydia Seiter,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 23 March 2019

My favorite part about living in a college town is all the opportunities there are here to try new things. The Ohio University community and the surrounding Athens community have so many possibilities to join, from service groups to international conversation clubs to undergraduate research to outdoor recreation.

This semester, I decided to try a new thing: Brazilian jiu-jitsu! It is a grappling-based martial art which is centered around the skill of controlling a resisting opponent in ways that force them to give up. Most of the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is focused on taking an opponent down to the ground and wrestling them in order to subdue the opponent.


I have been training in fundamentals and women’s self-defense at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy—Athens since January. Self-defense is a crucial skill to learn, and I also enjoy the atmosphere of the classes—the students are of all ages, from all over Southeastern Ohio. The women’s self-defense class is a supportive, inspiring group of strong women who are all talented teachers; it’s truly empowering.

One of my favorite things about jiu-jitsu is improving myself. With any new move or skill that I learn, it’s guaranteed that I won’t master it on the first try—but that’s okay! In jiu-jitsu, I have learned to be comfortable with failing at first, and the feeling of satisfaction and confidence that comes from personal growth is unparalleled. Going to jiu-jitsu class is a fun break from my engineering classes, because it’s a different type of challenge.

Taking a “Victory Lap”

Julia Nebbia

Julia Nebbia,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 18 February 2019

With this being my final semester, I am only enrolled in four classes and only two of them are required for Industrial and Systems Engineering. The other two classes are Yoga and Circuit Training offered through our university’s PAW recreational classes at Ping.

I am so happy that I have been able to practice yoga every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the past five weeks of the semester. I was a self-taught yogi for about two years in the past, but I fell out of practice as school became more challenging and my time here became more stressful. I saw this semester as the perfect opportunity to pick it back up and reshape my mind.

Yoga is an amazing way to connect one’s mind and body. It requires patience, control, silence, and mindfulness. The practice helps to settle the mind and body and to connect with your breath. It also has a very humbling spirit to it…especially when you find yourself falling out of a pose and merely laughing at your inability to balance while your neighbor holds perfectly still.

I have grown strong in my practice and am more confident now than ever, both outside and inside of the gym. Having a healthy mindset translates directly to having a healthy lifestyle. This is something so critical and reassuring to bring into the “real world”.

Being also enrolled in a circuit training class, I am constantly pushed to my physical limits and building strength. This semester has taught me that yes, I am here to study and shape my engineering future, but I am most importantly here to utilize Ohio University’s resources to the fullest.

Practicing Meditation

Lydia Seiter

Lydia Seiter,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 February 2019

This semester, I returned from a year away from Ohio University which I spent interning and studying abroad. During that year away, I learned so many things about myself and the world around me, and I have been attempting to incorporate some of those learnings into my daily life here in Athens.

One of these learnings is meditation. While studying abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I had the remarkable opportunity to participate in a 4-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat at Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, a 700-year old Buddhist temple.

Vipassana, or insight meditation, is the practice of continued close attention to sensation, through which one ultimately sees the true nature of existence. It is believed to be the form of meditation practice taught by the Buddha himself.

The daily schedule was as follows:

  • 5 am: Wake up

  • 5:30 am: Dharma Talk, which was an inspirational speech from our teacher monk

  • 7 am: breakfast

  • 8 am: morning meditation

  • 11 am: lunch

  • 12 pm: afternoon meditation

  • 1:30 pm: meditation report to teacher. I would report on my progress to the teacher monk, and he gave me new challenges and assignments, such as increasing the duration of each meditation session

  • 2 pm: more afternoon meditation

  • 6 pm: evening chanting. This practice involved reading devotions to Buddha in the ancient language of Pali

  • 7 pm: evening meditation

  • 9 pm: bedtime

Along with the strict schedule, there were many rules: wear all white, no speaking, no eating after 12 pm, no use of electronic devices, no reading, no writing, and no yoga or exercise. These rules were in place to limit our distractions and external stimuli, so that we could maximize our mindfulness. The hardest rule to follow was not eating dinner—I got extremely hungry fasting for 19 hours!

Though undertaking this experience seemed daunting to me at first, it was an incredible 4 days. It was surprisingly easy for me to remain silent at all times, because I enjoyed the chance to look inwards in a way I’m not able to in daily life. I enjoyed the practice of walking meditation more than sitting meditation—I found it easier to be mindful and not become distracted in this position.

The silent meditations were absolutely an exercise in self-discipline and endurance of suffering, such as when my legs would get tired or sore from sitting still. But our teacher monk advised us to focus on the suffering or distraction for 3 seconds, and then come back to meditation. I loved this tactic; I wasn’t ignoring the distraction or dwelling on it, I was simply acknowledging it and then letting it drift away.

The best thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere. I don’t have to be with monks in a temple to focus on my breathing and calm my mind. It can be done in moments between classes, as a study break, a way to start my day in the morning, or a way to relax before I fall asleep. It’s important to make time for the things that make you feel good!

Coaching Basketball

Alexis Lanier

Alexis Lanier,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 5 February 2019

Over winter break I spent a good amount of my free time as an assistant coach of New Lexington girl’s junior high basketball team. From kindergarten to my senior year in high school, I played basketball almost every single day of the year.

After a few years of being away from the sport, I decided I wanted to get back into it, so in the middle of last semester I contacted one of my previous volleyball coaches and asked if she needed any help coaching her daughter’s basketball team.

A few practices in, I quickly realized coaching a sport is an even bigger challenge than playing it. Being back in the gym and observing the other coaches I learned I had to be even more confident, loud (which is oftentimes a challenge for me), and assertive while also being encouraging.

Coaching seventh and eighth grade girls is actually one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Although junior high girls don’t always listen very well and sometimes bring drama to practice, I wouldn’t change my first coaching experience for anything.

Coaching these girls who have the same dreams I once had has been an unforgettable experience. Being able to pass down knowledge of something that has had such a great impact on my life is so fulfilling, especially when seeing the joy in the players’ faces after a win or a great accomplishment that they’ve been working on for a while.

There have been many long—usually fun—practices, rewarding wins, and tough losses throughout the season, and it’s been great to be back in the basketball environment.

After several snow days and missed games, this upcoming weekend we are heading into tournaments with a record of 7-6. I hope in my next blog post I can say both the 7th and 8th grade won the tournament and were MVL champions.

Skiing in Winter

Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 3 February 2019

As much as I dislike the dry skin, bitter cold, and icy conditions, there are many hobbies that I enjoy only in these frigid winter months. Since I was in fifth grade, I have had a strong love for skiing.

I’m from a small town outside of Cleveland with no fancy ski resorts near by. That being said, I learned to ski at a small “resort” called Alpine Valley where the black diamond hill could probably be compared to the easiest hill at bigger resorts like Seven Springs or Holiday Valley.

After many wipeouts and mishaps over several years, my family bought me tickets to Seven Springs when they deemed me ready. Being at a big resort was so much different than what I was used to. The hills were larger, the ski lifts longer, the crowds bigger, and the snow conditions of much better quality. I soon developed an even bigger passion for skiing, frequently visiting resorts like Seven Springs and Holiday Valley. I hope one day to get out to Colorado to ski on the mountains.

I wish there was a ski area down here in Athens, but there are plenty of other winter activities that Athens offers. During the cold months of spring semester, I enjoy bundling up and taking long winter hikes at Strouds Run State Park or The Ridges. The way the snow blankets the forestry of Athens is absolutely beautiful.

After these hikes, I always enjoy stopping at Brenen’s or Donkey Coffee for a hot drink to warm myself up.

While winter can be brutal, there’s nothing better than bundling up and hitting the slopes or hiking trails. Winter can be beautiful and enjoyable if you know where to look.