Students and their families are getting creative to remain active during quarantine. Normal routines have not existed for over a month; however, one couple found a way to maintain their fitness lifestyle. Harding graduate student Vilde Nordseth and her husband, Harding alumnus Gregg Downing, have taken their knowledge of CrossFit to another level. The couple has turned their garage into an at-home gym complete with a rowing machine, plenty of weights and a mat covered floor.
CrossFit is a competitive sport in which a variety of constantly changing functional
movements are performed at a high intensity. The two live an active lifestyle; however, once
their local gym closed, both were in search of ways to continue training.
“We thought, ‘We have the garage space, we have this equipment, and Gregg has the
knowledge and skills to do it — why not work out from home?’” Nordseth said.
Downing is a level one CrossFit trainer at Searcy CrossFit, allowing him to coach classes and help others reach their fitness goals. Both said they enjoy the diversity and variety of active movements CrossFit brings, especially within their garage gym.
“The gym provides us with the avenue to do different workouts instead of relying on going to the track or running in the neighborhood or having to do stuff inside,” Nordseth said.
Nordseth is in her second year of CrossFit training, and she said she has seen many benefits of working out over time. Whether she remains consistent or jumps in here or there, Nordseth said she is always grateful for the community and motivation the workout brings.
“I have seen a lot of mental benefits from doing CrossFit, especially through being a grad student,” Nordseth said. “When I accomplish something difficult in CrossFit, it helps me to know I can do something hard in school.”
For Downing, CrossFit has been a part of his life for five years. He said he originally discovered the sport through a class at Harding in connection with Searcy CrossFit. From there, Downing attended classes in Searcy and in New Hampshire, growing his knowledge of power cleans, squat snatches and the proper burpee.
“When I workout, my thought process is more clear, so I am able to do more work,” Downing said. “The benefits of working out with the same people and getting your sweat on makes me feel more relaxed and not as restless.”
CrossFit gyms typically aim to cultivate a sense of community. By keeping their circle small, Nordseth and Downing are able to maintain their friendly workout regime. Junior Nick
Gianferante is one of their friends who has joined the couple in the garage gym.
“I played a lot of basketball before they created the gym, but beyond that I wasn’t doing much,” Gianferante said. “I feel myself getting in better shape, and I have been able to push myself further than I thought I could go.”
Having a gym right in the comfort of one’s own home has been a blessing to Nordseth and Downing during this time. The ability to exercise is key now that everyone has a surplus of time on their hands.
“I just encourage people to find something they can move well in,” Downing said. “They don’t need all the fancy equipment, just use body weight. After this quarantine, a garage gym could really provide a way to bring people into your home and open up more ministries.”