By Tia Vierling | Photo by Patil Khakhamian

When residents of Loomis Hall arrived during their move-in time slots, they had no idea they would soon be living what Devlin Swanson ’24 calls “the 23/7 dorm lifestyle.” With one hour of socially distanced “outside time” a day, Loomis residents (Loomers, as they are affectionately nicknamed) have a few days left of a 14-day quarantine instituted after exposure to a COVID-19 positive case warranted the decision. In such tight quarters, it may seem that maintaining an active lifestyle would be the furthest thing from some Loomers’ minds. However, residents are doing all they can to stay active and healthy.

Kaden McAllister ’23 has found a “silver lining” to the quarantine. “It has given me plenty of time to stay fit and improve myself physically,” McAllister said. “Before I almost always felt too busy during the day to have a chance to get a good workout in, but now I have more than enough time.”

Other residents treat exercise as an escape. Jay Moran ’24 noted that “challenging myself physically is the best distraction I can get from the monotony. [It] really helps break up the day [and I] forget that I’m stuck here.”

Types of activities residents are engaging in range from body-weight workouts to activity with improvised weights or equipment. Some residents use exercise bands; others, like Antonio Sanchez ’24, get creative.

“I do moderate-intensity cardio and weightlifting with a weighted backpack,” Sanchez said.

Moran is attempting to be similarly resourceful: “my neighbor and I have tried finding things to lift, but awkwardly benching chairs and curling full water bottles doesn’t get you very far,” he said. Moran also issued an apology to Loomers living below him “for all those high knees and burpees.”

Residents have found different ways to stay active, alone or with others. Some, like Swanson, have found groups within Loomis with which to engage. Swanson calls the workouts hosted by one of his neighbors “pretty good.” He has also been doing core and strength workouts inspired by his cross-country experience.

Moran has “traded ideas … with people in person and over text,” while McAllister has been doing his own “personal workout routine daily.”

As much as residents are making the best of a difficult situation in their own ways, there is certainly plenty of excitement for the end of quarantine. Swanson is looking forward to running and biking in general; for the Sunday on which quarantine ends, however, he has specific plans.

“I usually don’t run Sundays so I’m thinking about a long hike. I’m looking at the Barr trail up Pikes Peak,” Swanson said. “I might be a bit ambitious but I did something similar in Seattle with a mask the whole time so probably gonna just send it.”

McAllister is looking forward to accessing the fitness center and (hopefully) intramural sports. Sanchez is ready for weightlifting in the fitness center and taking a bike ride.

Moran has more time sensitive goals: “The second I get outta here, I’m heading straight to the track.”

It’s no wonder that residents are excited to get moving outdoors once again. After experiencing what Moran calls “lack of space, lack of equipment, and lack of air conditioning,” Loomers are excited to experience the activities and adventures Colorado College and Colorado Springs have to offer. Still, the self-discipline and resilience of students under the difficult circumstances of quarantine thus far are laudable.

As McAllister puts it, “quarantine presents a challenge to those with active lifestyles, but doesn’t make physical activity impossible. If you want to continue staying active, you’ll find a way.”

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