When the Recreation-Fitness Center closed for additional COVID-19 housing last week, members of the Goshen College campus were forced to find new ways to continue exercising. 

Some had already made adjustments when COVID-19 first hit.

Kyle Hufford, associate professor of communication, used to go to the RFC four to five hours a week.

Since March, that number has dropped down to one to two hours. Hufford alternated between cardio, such as the “rowing machine, elliptical and using the weight room,” he said. Hufford often worked out on weekdays when he had night classes.

“But I really haven’t been super comfortable going into the weight room since March,” Hufford explained. 

So when Hufford found out the RFC was going to close last week he “was bummed a little bit, but again, I’m not using the RFC quite to the same degree as I had been,” he said.  

Hufford has been working at home in his personal gym. He had planned to create one for years but turned it into a quarantine project “because I had a lot of time on my hands,” he said.

“It was more important to finish it once the pandemic started,” Hufford said.

In the completed space, Hufford uses free weights, such as barbells, dumbbells, resistance bands, but has a large enough space to do body weight workouts. He also uses a subscription service for weight lifting. 

Still Hufford’s personal gym doesn’t have all of the equipment the RFC has.

“I really miss the access to the cardio machines,” Hufford said. “It’s something I don’t have on my own, they’re really expensive to purchase… It’s hard to have the same amount of gym equipment at home, it’s nice to have one on campus and have access to it for employees as well as students.”  

When the RFC reopens, Hufford plans to return, but only for one to two hours. 

“That’s what I’ve been doing really since March, predominantly working out at home,” Hufford explained, “And I’ll probably continue to do that.”

For Jazz Grewal, a spanish major, he is unsure when he will return to the RFC. 

Grewal used to spend an average of 20 hours a week, Monday to Friday at the RFC. 

“I would be in the weight room working out, I would also be on the track upstairs doing ab workouts, sometimes running on the track,” he said. 

If the basketball court was open, Grewal would also shoot hoops. Now, he’s unsure when he will go back for his own personal safety. 

Grewal found out the RFC was closed on the day it went into effect. 

“I was heading to the gym and said ‘I’m about to work out,’” to a friend, who told him it was closed.

“I was slightly upset that the situation pulled me out of my everyday routine, it took significant effort to make up that routine and stick to it,” Grewal said. “And suddenly when I try to do something, and I can’t do it, it’s difficult that I can’t stay true to that routine.” 

To continue exercising, Grewal, who lives in Kulp Residence Hall, walked down from the third floor to the basement for laundry or the restroom, and took a heavy book bag with him to provide resistance on his climb up. He also goes on jogs, but will lose that option because of the weather getting colder. 

He also set goals for himself, such as “sprint up all the stairs, or skip every third step.”

Grewal also did aerobic exercise in his room, keeping up with videos he found online.

“It’s not the same,” he said, “I don’t have the freedom of a wide space like I would at the Rec Center, which I enjoy.” Grewal described his alternative exercises as a hassle.

Once the RFC reopens, Grewal said he was hesitant to go back immediately. 

“I want to wait another week when it’s open for my own safety,” he said. 

The GC Pandemic Task Force released an email Monday announcing that the RFC will reopen on Tuesday.

The RFC has been “deeply and thoroughly cleaned,” the statement reads, and mask wearing will be enforced “in the weight room, including by the installation of security cameras. As we reopen the building, it will be less densely used because of our phased re-opening of athletic programs.”