Jordan Houdeshell

Jordan Houdeshell is a senior studying Elementary Education and Spanish at the University from Maine. She is from Ledyard, Conn. and has been working for the Maine Campus since fall 2014. She is the current Editor in Chief.

As the weather starts to warm up, there is an added pressure to be outside and be active. What many people may not realize is that this does not have to be an extravagant sports event. Although some people are more athletically inclined, being active can be as simple as going for a walk at the Bog Walk or playing Frisbee on the Mall.

In high school, playing on a varsity team was what qualified you as an “active” or “athletic” person. In reality, these designations are nothing more than labels that people place on others. Why can’t someone who plays Frisbee every day on the Mall be considered athletic or active?

Living in Orono, it is not uncommon to see people walking around: in downtown Orono, to and from campus, from one side of campus to the other. People use walking as a form of transportation. Bikes as well. Biking is so common around the campus that there are bike rooms in the dorms and bike racks in front of almost every building. Although walking and biking to class do not usually classify someone as being athletic, there is no reason that they can’t.

When you look up the definition of the word athletic, Merriam-Webster says, “characteristic of an athlete,” “vigorous, active” and “active or gifted in sports, games, or exercises.” Although the first definition is a little more limited, the second two definitions could apply to people who walk and bike to class, as they are active in an exercise (riding their bike or walking) and probably doing it vigorously if they are using it as their form of transportation.

Another example would be playing lawn games. The springtime is a great time to toss a Frisbee around or play a nice game of corn hole. Although neither of these requires an exceptional amount of effort or exertion, they would still be considered sports that people can play as a way to be active. These are also a great social outing to do with friends instead of sitting inside staring at screens all day long.  

Although it may not be a traditional option, Oozeball could also be considered a sport. Played every Maine Day, Oozeball is basically just playing volleyball in a pit of mud, with the objective of getting the most points, but also to get as muddy as possible and get the opposing team as muddy as your own team. If you are looking for something active to do this Maine Day, don’t pass up on the opportunity to play Oozeball.

Living in Maine, we are exposed to a plethora of the more traditional athletic activities. Kayaking and canoeing are great options once the water levels go down, and as a student at the university it’s affordable to rent those right from Maine Bound. While you’re there, you might even stay and go for a climb on the indoor rock wall. Or maybe outdoor climbing is more your thing. You could find someone to go climbing with at Maine Bound or just get some tips on a new local place to try your hand at.

No matter what level of athleticism and activeness you are ready for, Maine, and more specifically the University of Maine, has many opportunities for you. Maybe you want to start slow with walking to class, tossing a Frisbee or playing Oozeball, or maybe you want to go big and go hike Mount Katahdin or traverse a new river. There are options for every level.