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TeamOC helps campus get fit

Monday, January 28, 2008  
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By Jacey Jacobs

An active lifestyle benefits all aspects of life. Oklahoma Christian University recognizes this and as a result, is making the necessary changes to help ensure an active lifestyle.

The university wants to focus not only on academics and spiritual life but also on the physical aspect of life. This new goal and focus is called TeamOC.

Dean of Student Life Neil Arter is taking the goal to make Oklahoma Christian a more physically fit campus to heart.

“We want to find a way to challenge Oklahoma Christian to make better health decisions,” Arter said. “It includes everyone. Not just students but the faculty, staff and even alums.”

There is a new website on the Oklahoma Christian Web page specifically for getting Oklahoma Christian in better shape. The web address is www.oc.edu/teamoc. President Mike O’Neal wrote a letter describing his goals.

“One reason that OC promotes intercollegiate and intramural sports is because good athletic competition demands mental and physical discipline, both of which are necessary to have responsible stewardship of our bodies. Discipline in one area of life often influences us to have discipline in other areas as well,” O’Neal said. “We should not view these disciplines as a burden but rather a blessing because the Father has given us the tools to keep our physical temples in good condition so that we can serve him effectively to the end of this life.”

Students have a variety of opportunities on campus and in the state of Oklahoma to get involved. The goal is to get students involved. For the last two years, Oklahoma Christian has had teams in the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon on April 27, which is the Sunday after graduation.

Last year, 187 people walked the 5k or the full or half marathon and 150 were on 25 relay teams for TeamOC. These numbers are a huge improvement from two years ago when only 15 people from Oklahoma Christian participated.

“We encourage running primarily, but there is also walking, cycling, hours of fitness center and nutrition information available,” Arter said. “TeamOC is the overall umbrella for all things fitness and wellness. We don’t care what you do, we just want you out there doing something.”

This year’s goal is to have 300 people from Oklahoma Christian on TeamOC for the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon. The “Runner’s World” named this marathon one of the 12 events with the most runners in the world. There are 5,000 volunteers and 14,000 runners.

Director of Admissions Darci Thompson was the only person from Oklahoma Christian to do the full marathon last year.

“It was such a cool and exciting experience, and it’s also for a good cause to support the bombing memorial. Just seeing people there who have never run is so awesome. It’s contagious,” Thompson said. “I will probably do a couple of legs in the relay this year.”

Junior and track runner Nicole Lair participated in last year’s Oklahoma City Memorial relay marathon with her three siblings, Brian, Michelle and Jennifer.

Lair believes marathons, and especially relays, are great opportunities to grow with each other.

“I like to run, but when I did it with my family, it was just a really cool experience for the four of us to do it together,” Lair said. “I think that everyone should get involved with this marathon. It is a lot of fun, and it is also good because it helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

The faculty and staff are very passionate about TeamOC. They are making specific objectives to get involved. The Admissions and Student Life offices strive to have 100 percent participation within the office.

Chair of the Department of Physical Education Curtis Janz has agreed to train the students who want to run a marathon and help them prepare.

There will be a campus-wide e-mail with the link to register. Forms for all the different events will also be available at the Student Life desk. The deadline to register is February 15-20, tentatively.

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