You can’t help but smile when you are around Rebecca Ott, a Recreational Sports Member.
Her energy and attitude are contagious. Her commitment and dedication to bettering herself is inspiring. And her health and wellness journey is just that – a journey. This journey has brought her to become one of the most frequent users of Dixon Recreation Center.
Ott’s journey as a Recreational Sports member began with the support of a co-worker.
“I was doing stuff on my own in Recreational Sports, but it wasn’t very intense,” Ott said, adding that her view of Recreational Sports changed after becoming part of the 2012 May Shape Up program.
“That program took away a lot of the intimidation factor, introduced me to just the format of class structures and got me used to the exercises and broke them down in a way that I could keep up with.”
Feeling more confident and energized to continue on, Ott challenged herself by taking a weight training circuit’s class.
“Ever since then, it’s been a fixture in my schedule. It’s my time!”
Getting comfortable at Recreational Sports wasn’t the easiest task. Ott notes getting started was quite the challenge.
“I didn’t grow up in a gym culture. I wasn’t an athlete. The last time I was in a locker room was in the fourth grade,” she said. “Just the concept of walking in the door, swiping your card, getting your towel and locker was intimidating to me. The personal shame of being in the locker room with these 19-year-old beauties was really difficult for me, and the insecurity of not knowing how to run the equipment or who you might run into while you’re all sweaty — these were all things I had to overcome.”
Ott more than overcame personal obstacles; she blasted through them and catapulted herself into becoming a dedicated Recreational Sports member. Ott strongly states that, “Recreational Sports is a privilege,” and she is taking full advantage of the benefits.
“My exercise schedule last term was to take a Fit Pass Class at noon and another class at 5 p.m. One of my goals was to work out twice a day in the beginning.”
Currently you can find Ott taking advantage of the free boot camp class in McAlexander Fieldhouse. In addition, Ott is doing yoga, swimming, and spinning — all things that are helping her set the framework to achieve a lifetime goal: a triathlon.
The benefits of Ott’s persistence and dedication are more than skin deep. While Ott says that her overall health has dramatically improved, there are other benefits that are just as important.
“Mentally, it’s more about being in a supportive environment that has been so beneficial, with people who are likeminded,” Ott said. “I am so lucky to be surrounded by smart fitness people. There is so much support and so many opportunities. You give us this huge pallet of classes, you give us an amazing facility – it rarely closes, is never broken down – how could I not take advantage of this and how could I not give it my best and all that I’ve got?”
Ott has paved a path for her own health and wellness journey by connecting with Recreational Sports faculty and staff and by building relationships with trainers and fitness instructors. One wouldn’t guess that this fitness-minded, committed, and driven individual would describe herself as “shy” and deflect any praise or admiration by saying, “I’m just me!” But, Ott recognizes that there are likely others on campus who can identify with her journey, and who may be experiencing similar hesitations about being a Recreational Sports member that she once felt.
“Recreational Sports is a place where no one cares if you’re gross or dirty. You can be as strong or as weak as you need to be. You can have a good day or a bad day. Don’t be intimidated. Just keep going.”
Ott’s dedication is inspiring, and while she spends the majority of her time each day serving as an accounting technician at Oregon State, Ott still finds time to be active.
Ott reflects that she continues to work to find balance in her professional and personal life and ultimately always looks for ways to grow as a person. She attributes much of her growth to Recreational Sports.
“Recreational Sports is a place where you are there to grow and everyone is there to do the same in many different ways.”
Story by: Ali Casqueiro, Membership Coordinator