By Stephanie Blancquart, 2nd year Science / Law
Let’s face it, sometimes after a long day of carrying around a 1500 page textbook, the last thing that you’re up for is more weightlifting. But for many, including myself, the patch of lawn outside the gym provides an escape amongst a busy day and a daunting night. This is LawSoc Personal Training (PT for short), one of the many opportunities you have to get involved in LawSoc sport.
I have recently spoken to Carol Cheng, one of the LawSoc sports directors, to get to the bottom of what really goes on outside of the law (building) and down near the mutinous territory known as the gym.
I began by asking: What does it take to be a LawSoc athlete? Do we all have to be on the Paleo diet and working out 6 days a week?
Carol: The only requisite to being a LawSoc athlete is to have plenty of enthusiasm! The great thing about LawSoc sports is that everyone can get involved regardless of their skill level and I know that sometimes the best fun you can have is when you’re just giving everything a go and having a laugh with friends. I’m definitely not the type of person to be on the Paleo diet and training 6 days a week since I’m positively allergic to the word diet and you are more likely to find me in bed than at the gym, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to be a LawSoc athlete!
Any advice to first-time PTers?
Carol: Even the regular PTers were a first-timer once, gathering their courage to come to their first session. I remember when I went to my first session I was definitely a little intimidated by what to expect but once I made that decision to take that first step it was easy! Maybe not the PT sessions themselves which regularly saw me hobbling like a grandma the day after from sore muscles but super easy to participate in. So my best piece of advice is just to take that first step and come to a session to check it out and I guarantee that’s the hardest step.
This is honestly such great advice. At my first PT session, I didn’t know where to go, got scared and didn’t end up turning up until the next week. If I had just looked a little further, I would have found what Google Maps (and assumedly UNSW) calls the Pool Lawn (see diagram below), which is where PT meets. I have even given you some trusty directions to make it a little bit easier!
What sort of activities do you do at PT? Who runs it?
Carol: LawSoc organises the PT sessions as part of their sports initiatives but a personal trainer from UniGym actually runs the session. They will take the group through a range of exercises and circuits designed to challenge and push participants to improve their fitness. Activities can range from a run up and down the main walkway, to fitness circuits with ropes and lunges and weight training with medicine balls and kettlebells. I can speak from personal experience that you will exercise every single part of your body and notice improvements to your fitness over time.
What’s it like to be a part of the PT group (like the group dynamic etc)?
Carol: I have always enjoyed being a part of the PT group and it’s a great way to meet new people. There is always plenty of laughter during any PT session as well as plenty of banter to liven up even the toughest leg session. Speaking from personal experience at being at the back of the cardio pack during runs, everyone is always super encouraging and supporting, cheering you into the finish line. I think everyone pushes each other to stretch their boundaries and challenge their own perceptions of how strong or fit you are which is what makes it such a great activity to participate in.
What Carol has said is true. I have made one of my closest friends through PT and now we make sure that we plan our timetables so that we can go every week. And no matter how you’re feeling that day, whether it be in the mood for a power walk or PB sprint, everyone will cheer you along!
What are some other sport events planned for this year that we could get involved in if we can’t get to PT this semester?
There is so many other events that LawSoc are organising for the coming year so even if you can’t make the PT sessions this year there are definitely other opportunities for you. For example we are organising teams in social sports competitions for a fun weekly activity as well as a number of one-off friendly sports with the intervarsity and interfaculty days and more specific rivalry games against SULS and UNSW Med. Just keep your eye out around the Law School or else get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I dare you to run away from the law building.