The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Groups lessen struggle to workout, help meet goals

Beginning Triathlon coach, David Bertrand, emphasizes the importance of the team mentality when pursuing a physical goal. 

He does his best to provide opportunities for the wellness two training team to achieve that mentality. His strenuous workouts are Bertrand’s best tool for fostering group bonding.
One day, at Bertrand’s request, the class ran to an “undisclosed location.” 

They followed his turn-by-turn directions and finally reached a two-block hill next to a cemetery. 

The group clustered at the top and their collective gaze followed a car as it climbed from the lighted intersection at the bottom to where they stood. 

Murmurs ran through the group joking about their proximity to the gravesites. 

But all jokes ended when Bertrand shared the day’s workout—two sets of three hill runs increasing in intensity.

The group knew they’d need one another to keep up their morale.

They jogged down to the bottom and began their first run back up.

 By the third lap, the group had divided into several sections. 

They shared encouraging words as one section passed another.

“Keep it up,” yelled first-year Helen Huber as a teammate huffed and puffed up the sixth hill. “We always used to cheer in lacrosse.” 

Just like any other sports team, tri-athletes rely on peers to push them.  Madison Eberenz, a sophomore dance minor, compared her morale during dance workouts to her drive on lone-workout days. 

For her, group workouts are far more enjoyable. 

“It’s just more fun,” she said. “We’re all in it together.”

This assurance becomes especially important when a team faces challenges like Bertrand’s hill set.  Eberenz agrees. 

“If I’m struggling, most likely they’re struggling too,” she said. “We’ll talk each other through it.” 

Huber and Ebernez provided evidence of Bertrand’s belief.  For them, numbers make workouts less of a personal struggle.

A trip to Dedman Center will reveal that many of their fellow Mustangs feel the same way. 
Erin Symons, a sophomore student, who always works out with a partner, understands the value of a group like this one.

She says that working with other people provides motivation to get to the gym. Once there, Symons feels she gets more done with a partner to hold her accountable. 

“Otherwise I’d be there for like 10 minutes,” she said. 

Symons also introduced another important benefit. 

According to her, exercise with a group is just “more entertaining.”  Triathlon practices  serve that purpose. 

For one Tuesday class, Bertrand ended the swim workout with a relay race. The tri-athletes were still cheering and laughing after an hour of tiring swimming.

Bertrand has identified many benefits of group training through his years of coaching and personal experience. 

The schedule, the team and the fun are attributes of his triathlon class that add to its benefit.

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