Campus Recreation Blog

Finding True Fitness in 2022

Fitness and Sports

January 6, 2022

Written by Heather Salvia, Associate Director of Programs and Fitness

When you think of fitness — what comes to mind? Maybe it’s big muscles, marathon runners, CrossFit athletes, or any of the like. You’re not wrong, but as we approach another new year, maybe we can look at fitness in a new way. Here’s my definition for fitness in 2022:

Fitness is how well your body functions and responds to stress to help you thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Many of us are stressed out, depleted, and burnt-out day in and day out. We may not be able to control the stress of our circumstances and schedule each day but finding true fitness can help your body become resilient to stress in the days to come. Here are a few ways to do this.

Intuitive Exercise

Exercise can be a great asset to health and fitness or its greatest foe. Here is how you can use intuitive exercise to keep stress down:

Use the Two R’s

  • Ask yourself before your workout, “Am I rested? Am I replenished?”. When you sleep well and feed yourself well, your workouts will glean greater gains than beating it when it’s down.

Assess Your Stress

  • If you have a workout program that requires you to do high intensity interval training (HIIT) or heavy strength training 4-5x week (or more), check that. Exercise is expensive — it is a stressor. If you are already stressed one day, maybe opt for a nice walk outside or a slow yoga class.

Sync Your Cycle

  • For females: your monthly cycle can be synced up to how you exercise. There are certain times of the month that offer greater opportunities for higher intensity work, and times that offer greater opportunities for rest and reflection. This will have a positive impact on your cycles each month.

Nourish Your Body

Most of us are not eating enough or at the right frequency to keep our body’s metabolic functions working at tip top shape. The primary role of your metabolism is to produce energy (ATP) for your body systems to function optimally. Here are some ways to nourish your body and help your metabolism thrive:

Eat Enough

  • Make sure you have a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and fat at every meal. There are tools to determine your caloric and macronutrient needs depending on your basal metabolic rate and activity level.

Meal Frequency

  • Eat nutrient-dense meals/snacks every 2-4 hours to keep blood sugar and energy stable throughout the day.

Micronutrients

  • Prioritize the micronutrient content in your foods (vitamins and minerals).

Fasted Workouts

  • Avoid fasted workouts to prevent the body from rising stress hormones and further mineral depletion.

Breakfast

  • Eat a nutrient-dense breakfast with protein, carbs, and fat. This change alone can work wonders for energy stabilization.

Intentional Alone Time

Whether you are a student, a parent, or just in the thick of adulthood with all the expectations and responsibilities, it can be hard to take intentional time to refill your cup. This depends on who you are and what you like to do, but here are a few tips for getting this time:

Get Outside

  • Whether you’re buried in your studies or glued to your work computer, take a break (or two, or three) for just a few minutes to walk outside. Breathe. Be in the sunlight. Pray and release. Repeat.

Schedule Family Creative Time

  • After a long day, a couple of nights a week before bedtime, throw on some relaxing music, bring out the markers for the kids and have individual creative time — you can journal, paint, draw, color, or just breathe as a time of intentional meditation. Not a parent? Do this on your own or find ways to creatively rest with your roommates.

Schedule It Out

  • If you’re a tight-locked scheduler, pencil in time every day (or every few days) for you to have a predetermined amount of time to yourself to participate in your favorite activity. Your friends, co-workers, and loved ones will thank you!

Finally, you don’t have to do everything at once. Take it slow, implement small changes and see how you react. Each person will need different recipes of resilience to find their true fitness.

How to Wax Skiis and Snowboards at Home

Campus Rec Facilities

Snowflex

December 16, 2021

Written by Casey Reed, Facilities Coordinator

Keeping your equipment waxed will not only make it last longer, but it will make for a more enjoyable time on the hill. With just a few items and a little practice, you can wax your board at home with ease! Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Waxing Iron
    We recommend against using a clothing iron as there are a few disadvantages. Most have holes in them, which can retain wax. Also, clothing irons can have a higher variance in temperature, so it’s likely for the equipment to get damaged. After waxing with a clothing iron, due to it retaining wax, you cannot use it again on clothes.
  • Ski/Snowboard Wax
    When purchasing wax, make sure it is ski/snowboard wax and not candle wax. Snowflex has some wax bars available to purchase if you’d like to go a safe route!
  • Scraper
    A plastic scraper is another thing you’ll need and is available online for a low cost.
  • Base cleaner
    You can get some ski/snowboard base cleaner online, or you can use Simple Green. Simple Green is a universal cleaner/degreaser and should be available to you locally and works well.
  • Paper Towel or Rag

Getting Prepared

If you’re waxing skis, get a thick rubber band and place it around one brake arm, over the heel piece, and around the other brake arm to hold it up out of the way. For snowboards, make sure you remove your bindings before getting started.

Next, take your base cleaner and a paper towel or rag to clean off the base. The goal here is to get rid of any dirt or oils, as well as remove any old wax that’s still on the base.

Waxing

Start by making sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. When heating up your iron, it is recommended to start at a low temperature and move up as needed. Place the bar of wax on the iron and let it melt the wax and drip onto the base, dripping it up and down the base to spread it out. If your iron starts smoking, the temperature needs to be turned down.

Once you’ve dripped the wax, place the iron flat on the base to start melting and spreading the wax you dripped. Be sure to move the iron around and not let it sit in one spot. Once the whole base is covered, it sit and cool for at least 30 minutes.

Scraping

A hot hand wax is used because it expands the pores of the base and allows the wax to penetrate deep into the base. The built-up wax on the surface of the board needs to be scraped off. Take your plastic scraper, holding with two hands at a slight angle, and scrape from tip to tail, removing all the excess wax. You’ll likely need to repeat this multiple times to make sure all the surface is removed.

Conclusion

Waxing may seem a little intimidating at first, but it’s a simple process! After doing it a few times, you’ll get more confident with it. If you’re still not comfortable with it, Snowflex does offer a hot hand wax for $20 as well as a basic machine wax for $5. Learn more about Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre at Liberty.edu/Snowflex.

Winter Camping is for Everyone

Get Outside

December 2, 2021

Written by Mike Ellsworth, Outdoor Recreation Director

Let’s face it…some of us are not crazy about this cold weather rolling in. We long for the days of beach vacations, river trips, and summertime campfires. But these winter months don’t have to put a damper on your outdoor trips. Some of my most memorable camping trips were cold weather trips. They do require a bit more planning and preparation, but they can create much more rewarding and unique experiences.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Brush up on your knowledge of hypothermia and frostbite. Being able to catch these injuries early and treat them appropriately will be crucial in you having an enjoyable time camping.

Pack Correctly

Winter camping can be a little more problematic to pack for. Think warm, insulated, quick-drying materials for everything. If you haven’t eliminated cotton from your outdoor wardrobe yet, this is the trip to do it. Think fabrics like wool or polyester — these wick away moisture that will sap heat from your body.

Having a cozy and comfortable “home away from home” will be your lifesaver. Check out the temp rating on your sleeping bag and be sure that your tent is sturdy enough to handle the winter winds. Don’t forget the sleeping pad either. The ground is your enemy, and you want to be sure to have a nice barrier as it will suck heat through conduction.

For general clothing, think in these categories:

  • Base Layers — this layer is closest to your skin and should be loose fitting so it doesn’t restrict blood flow. You want this layer to wick away moisture and keep you comfortable and dry.
  • Mid Layers — this is the padding. Think puffy, insulated, and cozy to trap in lots of air to keep you warm.
  • Outer Layers — you want this to stop the wind, rain, and cold weather. This shell needs to be tough enough to keep out the elements, but still breathable, so it doesn’t trap your own body’s moisture in.
  • Other
    • Socks — nothing ruins a trip like cold feet. Nice thick, winter socks will be key for a positive experience.
    • Footwear — going back to that “foot” comment. Bring your boots or sturdy footwear to keep out the cold.
    • Gloves/Hat — don’t be that rookie who forgets his gloves…

For other gear suggestions, don’t forget to check out REI’s Ten Essentials.

Bring Lots of Food

Your body is a furnace, and it needs fuel to make heat. Bring twice as much food as you would normally eat. Your metabolism will be running in overdrive, and the last thing you want is for it to run out of fuel. Plan to eat hearty breakfasts and dinners with LOTS of snacks all day long. Eating a high-calorie (sugars, fats, carbohydrates) snack as close to bedtime as possible will also help keep your body stay warm through the night.

Plan to Pass the Time

During those warm weather trips, time can seem to fly by as you watch the trees grow. But, when you are cold, time can feel frozen too and minutes can feel like hours. If you catch yourself bored, you will be that much inclined to pack up shop as the temperature drops. Plan for success and prepare lots of activities to pass the time and keep yourself warm.

  • Gather and cut firewood
    • The famous quote by Henry Ford, “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice” takes on a whole new meaning out in the woods.
  • Build natural shelters
    • Brush up on your survival skills and build a shelter out of logs, brush, or snow if you’ve got it!
  • Go for a hike
    • Even areas that you have seen a hundred times look different in the winter — a stream is glassed over, a waterfall turns into an ice sculpture and you can see for miles around when the trees are bare. So, get out and explore!
  • Riddles and jokes
    • A big tradition on our trips is trying to stump one another with riddles. Sharing good riddles and jokes are a great way to keep your mind distracted from the chilly temperatures!

Hydaway is staying open this winter to help you out with your adventures! We have all the equipment you need to have a comfortable and safe winter camping trip. Stop on by and ask us how we can help!

The Art of the Spin

Bowling Alley

November 14, 2021

Written by Lincoln Miller, Montview Recreation Manager

From the young child who is coming for their first time with their family to the old man who has been with his club longer than he can remember, bowling is a sport for everyone. It is not just for those who like to compete against others — it is also a sport built to compete against oneself. An important aspect of competitive bowling is to understand how and why to add spin to your ball, so let’s learn more!

Why Spin Is Preferred

There are different preferences within the sport of bowling. The balls can be light or heavy, supplied by the facility or a personal ball, and have different sizes for your fingers to sit in. Likewise, everyone’s approach to bowling can be different. Some bowlers walk up to the lane and try to aim as straight as possible and hit directly down the center. Others will give up on aiming and decide that the most important thing is to see how fast the ball can be thrown. While the most important thing is to find the form that fits your comfort best, a bowler should consider making the switch to spinning their ball. The spot most bowlers should aim for is on the outer side of the headpin (pin 1) and the inside of the pin next to it (pin 3). This allows the ball to push the pins apart perfectly and knock down all ten pins — a strike.

How To Spin

Spinning is a practice that is not easy to master. I have been working on my form for around a year now with the intent of improving my game daily. To start, you want to learn how to spin with two or three fingers in the ball. Three fingers in the ball are the usual choice for pro bowlers who spin, but it is a lot harder to pick up. For the casual bowler, it is recommended to first learn how to bowl with two fingers in the ball. To do this, put your middle and ring finger in the two holes next to each other. Rest the ball on your wrist and forearm, allowing the ball to sit there while you bring your arm back behind you then forward to release. Try to imagine that as your hand comes up and past your hip, the ball should lift out of your fingers, as you shake an imaginary hand. This should allow for the perfect spin.

Take Your Time

The spin takes time and practice to perfect — don’t be discouraged if spinning doesn’t come naturally at first. It rarely does. Take time to make your style your own. Play around to determine if you like to spin with two or three fingers in the ball more. Ask the people around you for any tips on how you can spin the ball better/. After all, bowling is a sport with a surprising amount of community behind it. If you take the time to talk about something as simple as how someone else puts a spin on their ball, you might find that you have an unexpected friend.

What Exactly is “Reining”?

Campus Rec Facilities

Equestrian

October 29, 2021

Written by Milly Cavender, Assistant Director of Programming

Reining is not the wet stuff that falls from the sky practically every day in February. Reining is a type of equestrian competition where rider and horse execute a precise pattern of maneuvers meant to mimic the behaviors and skills a horse would need on a cattle ranch in the American West. Have you watched the first season of Yellowstone? Then you’ve seen reining.

The Maneuvers

All reining competitions center around patterns that contain a very specific set of maneuvers, or tests if you will. Patterns can have the maneuvers in a wide array of order, but all reining patterns consist of two types of circles, large and fast along with small and slow. They also include sliding stops, spins, rollbacks, and lead changes. Confused yet? This might be a good time to search “horse reining videos” so you can see it in action.

The Scoring

Every horse starts with a score of 70 the moment they enter the competition arena. From there, every maneuver gets a score that goes up or down in half point increments. Let’s say the first maneuver is a large, fast circle and the horse does it, but there’s nothing special about it. The judge gives them a maneuver score of zero. They are still at 70. However, if they come out and the horse runs a solid large, fast circle and the judge thinks it has something special, maybe it was faster than the other horses, they can “plus” the maneuver and add to the score. In this way, horses can earn points based on how well they perform the maneuver. On the flip side, judges can also go down in half point increments. Sometimes horses do unexpected things, or they aren’t having the best day, so if a mistake is made the judge can deduct points, dropping the horse’s score. Penalties are also incurred for mistakes. The rulebook outlines specific offenses that earn a penalty ranging from minus one to minus five points, further dropping a horse’s score.

The Popularity of Reining

Reining, when done well, is an extremely exciting sport to watch and thus has seen a massive boost in popularity. “The Run for a Million” is a huge reining competition in Las Vegas that boasts a million-dollar prize to the winner. Celebrities such as William Shatner, Lyle Lovett, and Taylor Sheridan, the creator of Yellowstone himself, have gotten on the band wagon with their own competition horses. Spectators travel the world to see the best reining horses compete, and winning horses can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Riding at Liberty University

Liberty Mountain Equestrian Center offers trail rides and recreational riding lessons for students, staff, and faculty to enjoy the beauty of the facility and the horses. Reining is a very specialized type of riding that requires years of practice, dedication to training the horse, and a true partnership between horse and rider. While the Equestrian Center doesn’t offer reining lessons, our recreational lessons will give riders the foundation of knowledge they need to pursue any avenue in equestrian sport. Come check us out, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself sliding to a stop in a reining competition one day.

To learn more about the programming opportunities at the Equestrian Center, visit Liberty.edu/Equestrian.

Common Aquatic Myths Debunked

Fitness and Sports

October 14, 2021

Written by Luke Leach, LaHaye Aquatics Manager

Many of us love going to the pool to swim for exercise or fun. Little do we know that many of the common “facts” we associate with the pool are myths. In today’s post we are going to dive into some of the most popular myths.

Myth 1: I should wait half an hour after eating before swimming.

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s false. The primary reason for this myth is specifically because of younger children. We do not want children to throw up or poop in the pool. When we encourage kids to wait 30 minutes after eating before entering the pool, the time allows their stomachs to settle and helps decide if they need to go to the bathroom. This also greatly reduces the chance of a pool closure because of an unexpected accident.

We would recommend having a sandwich, protein bar, or other light foods before engaging in a swim workout. Each person reacts differently to the food they eat, but in general swimming before the 30-minute mark is not an issue.

Myth 2: Chlorine will turn my hair green.

Chlorine does not turn your hair green, but there is another chemical in the pool that can — copper sulfate. Copper Sulfate is used in many pools to help combat the growth of algae in the pool. When exposed to this chemical for long periods of time, you can start to see hair turn toward a greenish color. Chlorine still dries out hair, so remember to wash and rinse well after being in the pool or a hot tub.

Myth 3: I should hold my breath when I do my strokes.

It is not recommended to hold your breath for a long period of time while you are swimming. Instead, to be more efficient, you should gently and continuously breathe out of your nose while you are underwater. Blowing bubbles when under the water is beneficial because it empties your lungs, allowing them to prepare for the inhalation when you breathe.

To practice this, we recommend blowing bubbles out of your nose and breathing every three strokes. If you are interested in improving your stroke or breathing techniques, feel free to check out our swim lesson program.

Myth 4: Peeing in the pool is harmless.

Okay let’s admit it, we’ve all done this before. Frankly, peeing in the pool is perceived as harmless but that is also, you guessed it, false. Urine is considered a contaminant, and in large amounts, it can be harmful to the chemical balance of the pool. Fortunately, we can combat urine and other contaminants with chlorine and other treatments at our facility.

At the LaHaye Aquatic Center, we are very fortunate to treat our pool with UV light. UV light is great because it allows us to use less chlorine in the water and makes the water less tough on skin and hair. Both the UV light and chlorine kill any bacteria that may be accidentally secreted into the pool. The used-up chlorine is then filtered out of the pool each hour.

While this is a really cool way that we keep the pool clean, just remember, the pool is not your bathroom.

Myth 5: I don’t need to shower before entering the hot tub or pool.

Most people don’t shower before entering pools or hot tubs. Because a hot tub is a much smaller area of water, all the oils and dirt on your body will mess up the chemical balance causing the hot tubs to close for rebalancing. In addition, pools can quickly become out of balance if enough people get into the water without showering. We kindly ask that people shower to help keep LaHaye Aquatics Center clean, healthy, and open more frequently.

Myth 6: You’re too old to learn how to swim.

A lot of people who never learned how to swim as a child feel like it’s too late to take lessons as adults. Adults can learn just as quickly, if not quicker, than children. If you learn the basics of swimming form and technique and spend time practicing, you will be doing laps in no time. As an adult, you can stay focused for longer periods of time, allowing you to hone in on the practice aspect of swimming. Not to mention that children’s motor skills are not fully developed, which is why they usually take a little longer to learn how to swim.

Campus Recreation offers swim lessons for people of all different levels of expertise. We have a variety of swim instructors with various skillsets to meet the needs of our members! If you are interested in becoming a better swimmer, please check out our Swim Fit program.

“I Can’t!” (But Really, “I Can!”)

Campus Rec Facilities

Gun Club

September 30, 2021

Written by Ben Sattler, Assistant Director of Operations

If I had a dollar for every person that came up to the range to watch a friend and tell me ‘I can’t shoot’ I’d… well, I’d have a lot of dollars. There are a lot of unfounded beliefs about people’s ability to use firearms, and it’s very natural! Firearms are not something that many people are raised around, and they have some serious negative image problems. They can be loud and if mishandled, much like a car or snowboard, they can be dangerous. But much like cars or a snowboard they can also be really fun. The difference between ‘unsafe’ and ‘really fun’ is all in the user, and that’s where we can come in.

Learning to Shoot Safe

The staff at Liberty Mountain Gun Club are all experienced firearms instructors who are used to working with people who have never shot before.  We will offer instruction where we work with you in a safe environment until you are comfortable with the whole thing. We like working with new people and offer patience, encouragement, and gentle reminders as needed.

You Have Options!

LMGC offers a number of different options to try out. If you’re totally new to shooting, we recommend starting off on a weekend at the rifle or pistol range with a 10-22 rifle. These have so little recoil that I would put one on my nose and shoot it, and a slick red-dot sight that makes aiming really easy. I’ve been working at LMGC for three years and have yet to see someone leave without a smile on their face after using one of these. If you prefer pistols, we also have Ruger Mark 4 22-45 pistols for rent. These are a little bit trickier to shoot than the rifles, but only a little bit more. They offer a good step-up challenge once you feel you have mastered the rifles!

Lastly, the shotgun range is open 7 days a week and offers something that the other ranges don’t: moving targets! Contrary to popular belief, shotguns do not kick like a mule, and it can be very satisfying to hit a clay pigeon while a friend films it. Shotgun can be more challenging than rifle or pistol, but it’s the challenge that makes it worthwhile. No one celebrates picking up a pencil or when you throw an empty can into the trash; success is taken for granted because it’s so easy.

So, What Do You Say?

College is an opportunity to stretch your horizons, experience new things, and overcome challenges that offer self-confidence and skills to move forward in life. It’s perfectly okay to feel nervous about trying new things, but if you never try new things, you’ll be limiting your future potential. LMGC offers you the opportunity to try something new with a lot of patient and professional support. Why not give it a try? Learn more about Liberty Mountain Gun Club at liberty.edu/LMGC. See you soon!

Hiking & Lake Hopping During the Pandemic

Get Outside

September 24, 2021

Written by Sid Williamson, Hydaway Outdoor Center Manager

Last year, I got the chance to go on several hiking/camping trips with other staff members from the Hydaway Outdoor Center. We did a lot of hikes in the Amherst, Virginia area including Cole Mountain, The Priest (my personal favorite), Spy Rock, and Mount Pleasant. We also did a day trip to the Natural Bridge area where we hiked up the boulder rocks in Devil’s Marbleyard. So, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience with you to help you plan your next trip!

Bring the Right Gear

When we would go on overnight camping trips, we would checkout gear from the Hydaway Outfitter. There is a detailed list of the equipment students can rent for a weekly, daily, or weekend rate available on the Campus Recreation website. The main items my friends and I would checkout included hiking backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and 2-man or 4-man tents. I recommend taking one of those sizes as opposed to the 6-man tents that are available because they can be very heavy for the person hiking with them in their hiking packs. Even though most of the weight should be felt on a person’s hips, it can still cause you to get more tired and fall behind due to how heavy the weight is (trust me, I would know!).

Hiking backpacks are very useful in holding all of the essential items needed for a camping trip. The backpacks at Hydaway are Kelty brand and offer many compartments. They are extremely spacious and make it possible to attach gear on the outside as well. I always carry food, extra clothing, a tent, and basic camping tools like a hatchet, knife, and lighter on the inside of my pack. I usually put my sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, and water bottle on the outside of my pack especially when I go on longer trips that require more gear in my pack.

Another piece of gear we usually take with us is a jet boil. They are a great investment, especially when you are camping in the wintertime and want to make something warm to eat! My personal favorite is using them to heat up my soup. You can use them to boil water and add to food like oatmeal or drinks like hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. Jet boils have to have a canister of fuel attached to the bottom of them. We would be glad to show you how to assemble your jet boil or any other gear that you own or rent from us!

Lake Hopping in Amherst

Something else I found fun to do during last year was “lake hopping” which has now become one of my favorite memories. I had gone into the Charlottesville area to visit with my grandparents back in the summer. On the way back to Lynchburg, I was sick of being on a main highway, so I got off and went on the back roads thinking they would lead me somewhere. I didn’t just go onto a random road without any sense of direction. I remembered some of the roads because they were the same ones my friends and I had taken on the hiking trips I listed above.

As I was driving along, I saw a sign that said Mill Creek Public Fishing Lake. After I got home, I searched “public fishing lakes in Amherst, Virginia” (because I couldn’t remember the full name). To my surprise there were three different lakes that popped up which were all within a few minutes’ drive from each other. One nice evening, my best friend and I decided we would drive out there, eat Chick-fil-a, go “lake hopping”, and watch the sunset.

Out of all three lakes, Mill Creek was definitely the biggest and the prettiest. This particular lake is open to anyone. They also have grills set up for people to use and a public swimming area. My friend and I are planning to go back to Mill Creek Lake once the leaves are back on the trees, and it’s a little warmer outside. This time, our plan is to bring paddleboards, life vests, and charcoal from the Hydaway Outdoor Center and spend the whole day at the lake with some Chick-fil-A of course.

So, if you’re looking for a new adventure, I highly recommend any of these trips! Don’t forget to check out the Hydaway website to view the gear you can check out from The Outfitter, and visit Liberty.edu/Outdoor-Adventure/ to view our staff-led trips for the semester!

The Benefits of Intramural Sports

Fitness and Sports

September 16, 2021

Written by Kailey Bandara, Intramural Sports Manager

As a manager who has played and worked for Intramural Sports, I can say first-hand that there are many benefits to participating in Intramural Sports. Not only did it help create hundreds of memories with teammates and coworkers, but it was also the perfect starting point to getting involved on campus. Here are four of the major benefits of participating in Intramural Sports:

Meet New People

College is a time of transition. Getting plugged in can be a daunting task when navigating class schedules and settling into a new dorm or apartment. The person you sit next to in class can become your best friend, but sometimes it can be a lot harder than that to form friendships and meet new people. Speaking from a place of personal experience, joining an Intramural team opened the door to having opportunities every week to make memories in a fun and competitive environment. You can join a team with your hall or play the role of “General Manager” and add people to your team that you have met from other places on campus. Whichever route you choose by building a team or joining one, you will never know the fun and lifelong friendships you can build when you decide to participate in Intramural Sports.

Great Source of Exercise & Stress Relief

Through the craziness of classes and other responsibilities students might have during their time at Liberty, it can be difficult to get a healthy amount of exercise into their weekly routines. While going to the gym to workout is a good solution, doesn’t playing a game with friends twice a week sound more fun? Whether a student is running down the field to catch a touchdown pass or dribbling the ball down the court on a fast break, Intramural Sports provides a great source of exercise every week without even lifting a weight. In addition to exercise, participating in Intramural Sports is also a great way to manage stress and to give a student a quick break from their studies. Many students have used their weekly Intramural Sports games as a way to relieve the stress of school, life, or whatever else they are dealing with.

Work AND Play

One of the newer benefits to participating in Intramural Sports is that we now offer the students the opportunity to play in the sport that they work. This means that if a student is working for basketball as a referee, they can also create or join an Intramural basketball team and enjoy playing in the league. This means you can still get your work hours in AND relieve a little stress in the same night. This policy allows students to have the best of both worlds — to both compete and work in their favorite sport.

Free T-Shirt Opportunity

The general consensus about college students is that they are obsessed with opportunities for free t-shirts. Whether it is their attendance at a Liberty basketball game or staying until the fourth quarter at a football game, t-shirts are a huge motivating factor for college student’s participation. This remains the same for Intramural Sports. Many students have expressed their determination to win the championship in their league because of the bragging rights that wearing an Intramural Champion t-shirt brings.

Intramural Sports is a great contribution to a student’s college experience. Because of its influence on building friendships, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and providing a fun competitive environment, Intramural Sports has become a huge factor in what students look forward to every year. Have we convinced you to sign up? Visit Liberty.edu/IMS to learn more about Intramural Sports & register for the Fall Season!

Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip

Get Outside

September 2, 2021

Written by Maria Campanella, Assistant Director of Hydaway

Here in Lynchburg, the Blue Ridge Mountains are right in our backyard. For those of you who love to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is an extended weekend trip along the Ridge region with ideas of things to do along the way, places to camp, and overlooks that are worth the stop.At this point, everyone knows about the Blue Ridge Parkway and the beauty of it at every time of year. It really is one of the gems of living

Camping Spots

The Peaks of Otter Campground is located at Mile Marker 85.6 along the parkway. They allow tent camping here from the months of May to September, so right around the corner! It is only $20 a night and the campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and on-site bathrooms. When coming from Bedford, you can follow route 43 to the parkway and the campground is on the left — right before you reach the parkway. You can reserve your spot here.

Sherando Lake Group Camp is another great place in the Blue Ridge Mountains to camp when on the Parkway. It is a bit pricier at $50 a night, but the campsites are bigger, there are on-site bathrooms, and there is a lake at this site for boating, fishing, and swimming! You can book your reservation for this campsite here. These campsites are available April through October!

Stops Along the Way

For those of you that enjoy hiking, there are many hikes to pick from along the Ridge region of the parkway. Here is the extensive list, but a few of them look especially great!

  • Flat Top Trail at Mile Post 83.5 is a 4.4-mile moderate hike with beautiful views. I personally have done this hike, and I can confirm that it is a beautiful view!
  • Harkening Hill Trail is another one on this list that would be great. It starts at the Peaks of Otter Welcome Center and is a 3.3-mile moderate hike.
  • The last one on the list that looks especially great is the Fallingwater Cascades Trail which is a 1.6-mile loop with a great view of the cascades.

Along with hikes, there are many attractions to visit in Virginia that are located along the parkway such as the Virginia Safari Park, the National D-Day Memorial, and Wintergreen Resort. Depending on when you take this trip along the parkway, you can enjoy the safari park, take a guided tour at the memorial, or even go skiing at Wintergreen.

Overlooks

Not everyone likes hiking, so I wanted to make sure I included a list of spots right off the road that is great to stop at for a scenic moment! Ravens Roost Overlook is a beautiful place to park with no hiking necessary. Pine Tree Overlook is in Bedford County, located in the Ridge region of the parkway that is another great place to stop. Lastly, Rock Point Overlook, which is only 15 minutes from Wintergreen if you decide for that to be one of your destinations along the parkway. The great thing about the Blue Ridge Mountains is that there really is no bad place to stop, and there are overlooks around every turn along the parkway.

Perfect Day or Weekend Trip

The great thing about this is you don’t have to have a full weekend. The Blue Ridge Parkway can be a short couple-hour trip, or it can even be a week-long trip with stops in all the different towns it runs through. Either way, I highly recommend taking advantage of all that the parkway has to offer!