President’s Corner: Fitness

JAMES F. MELLICHAMP
President

I like to think about the importance of being physically fit and healthy.  At my age, it becomes increasingly apparent that staying in shape is a constant battle.  For traditional college students, it is not nearly such a problem as it is for someone my age.  

It reminds me of the mythological figure, Sisyphus, who was sentenced to spend eternity rolling a ball uphill only to watch it roll back downhill again.  That is my concept of exercise – an eternal struggle exacerbated by age and the effects of gravity.

However, my favorite physical activity is walking my dogs. Students and faculty can often see Lola, Mamie and I making a giant loop around campus on weekend mornings.  I was curious about the distance we were covering, so a friend of mine gave me a Fitbit.  I am not very ‘techy,’ but the Fitbit is rather fascinating.  

Last week, I was on the campus of Purdue University in Indiana, and I did a lot more walking than usual because the campus is large and flat – and parking spaces are extremely hard to find.  I was almost terrified one evening when the Fitbit on my wrist starting vibrating like crazy.  I thought it might be telling me I was having a heart attack or something, but it was congratulating me on walking 10,000 steps that day.

Bicycle riding is something I used to do when I was much younger, until one day I fell off the bike and cracked my elbow.  For a keyboard musician, that’s almost a terminal illness.  We have a number of students who ride on the Demorest campus, and I applaud you.  

Some of you may have heard rumors that we are thinking about adding men’s and women’s cycling as a varsity sport at Piedmont.  The rumors are true – stay tuned in for more information as we bring another fantastic opportunity to our highly-successful athletic programs.  One question I have though – does a Fitbit work on a bicycle?