I Gave it A Tri :: The Ohio State Indoor Triathlon

This past weekend was the (fifth?) annual Ohio State Indoor Triathlon.  Contrary to what you may think, the event is open to anyone, and is set up in such a way that literally anyone can participate and have a good time!  I decided to give it a “tri” this year, and am so so incredibly glad I did.  You should try it next year!

You start out in the pool.  When you register, they ask roughly how fast you swim, so you get placed in a section of swimmers that swim a similar pace.  I am by no means a swimmer, so this was comforting for me.  Further, you get your own lane!  I didn’t have to worry about getting in people’s way, or slowing down anyone who might be faster than me.  And the nicest part about the swim?  Its only 10 minutes long.  That’s right – you swim as long or short as you want, using any stroke you choose, in your own lane, for only 10 minutes!

Next, you have 10 minutes to walk upstairs to start the bike portion.  Again, really nicely done.  You simply tell one of the volunteers your name, pick out a stationary bike, and then when the clock starts ride for 20 minutes.  You can choose any resistance that you want, making your ride as hard or easy as you’d like it to be.  They have music playing in the background, or you’re welcome to listen to your ipod or play on your phone!  And the volunteers walk around and cater water and Powerade to you….service at its finest!

To finish off the day, you are given three minutes to stretch out after your bike before you begin the run.  The run is 15 minutes around the indoor track in the RPAC.  You run in a group of 10 people, so the track is by no means crowded.  Again, you go at your own pace and run as long or short as you want.

The entire event was really well done, and I wish I had done it in my undergrad days here.  I’m so glad I finally got the chance to “tri” it (had to do it one more time), and definitely recommend you do the same!  There will be another, shorter indoor triathlon on February 19th as well – this one celebrates John Glenn’s flight on Friendship 7.  You know I’ll be there – will you?

The Key to Graduate Housing

We are almost finished with spring quarter and I am shocked by how rapidly my first year ended.  With its end, so arrives the end of my apartment lease.  My roommate and I have decided to move.  We get along well, enjoy living together (will for another year), and desire a nicer apartment.  After hunting for a few days, we found our new abode, signed our new lease, and will move at the beginning of July.

The Class of 2011 will soon receive their MBAs and many will depart from Columbus, starting new lives beyond b-school and vacating many apartments.  The new 2013 class of full-time MBAs is slowly but surely gathering on Facebook and has already entered into a variety of discussions.  As I watch passively, I am reminded how clueless they are . . . which is totally normal.  To help them out (as well as any of you considering a full-time program), here’s a quick checklist along with several resources to get you started “apartment hunting”.

1. PROXIMITY: “Location.  Location.  Location!”  To live a happy grad school life, do not underestimate this critical decision.  Be as close to campus as possible – but not so close that you’re surrounded by undergrads.  The closer you live to campus, the easier it is to stop home and grab a bite to eat, change clothes, or take a nap.

Specific to Columbus: This is not Cleveland although it also snows here from November through April.  A “normal” commute from one place to the next is 15-20 minutes; a 30 minute drive is a long commute.

Specific to Fisher: It is easy to find housing within three miles of campus so your door-to-door travel time is approx 15 minutes.  Arriving late to class is a BAD idea.  If you are not a morning person, find a place near Fisher.  If you do not have a car, find a place near High Street or one of the main campus bus routes.

2. COST: Keep things reasonable especially if you will assume student loan debt to pay for b-school.  If you live like you’re rich now, you’ll have to live like you’re poor later.  Want a nicer place?  Get a roommate.

Specific to Columbus: If you live alone, plan to spend around $600/month for a decent place to live.  Any lower than that means you are sacrificing something (i.e. location, amenities, safety, privacy, peace & quiet).  Make sure you know what you are sacrificing.  With a roommate or a shared living arrangement (like a boarding house), you can find reasonable living accommodations for $350/person/month.

Specific to Fisher: If you’re not receiving housing assistance . . . or if you’re not independently wealthy, you’re smart to find a roommate to split expenses.  Use Facebook, the Graduate Housing Google Group, or OSU’s Off-Campus Student Services Roommate Search.

3. COMMUNITY: Do your research and ensure the type of community you live in matches your lifestyle.  You may want a family-friendly community with a yard, an urban landscape, a quiet community, or a communal area crawling with students.  The better the match the happier you will be.

Specific to Columbus: There are areas that cater to each lifestyle choice.  Some research online will help you determine what’s best for you.  One good site to use is www.metro-rentals.com.  They explain the various communities here and provide a link to the suburbs in case that may interest you.

Specific to Fisher: You will be busy . . . so, unless you like to study at the Library (which incidentally is very nice), figure you will need an atmosphere at home that allows you to study.  Choose wisely and don’t get hung up on a bunch of amenities; there’s no need to pay for a bunch of extras you won’t use.  The RPAC and ARC blow away any apartments’ workout facilities.


Fisher Commons is an option available to Fisher MBAs and is great for camaraderie . . . which means you’ll sacrifice a bit on privacy.  Football tailgates are a norm in season and pre-event festivities are common in the courtyard.  Residents are primarily MBAs but not exclusively, other grad students (law, med, etc) call it home too.  Rent is relatively expensive without housing assistance but moving and commuting are made easy.

OSU Off-Campus Housing Services provides rental information, lease assistance, roommate contracts, roommate search support, and other helpful information to consider when moving to the OSU campus area.

www.metro-rentals.com is a website that lists various independent rentals available in various areas of town.  It includes a description of communities around the city as well as a link to suburban rentals.

www.padmapper.com is a handy website that scans Craig’s List and other apartment posting sites and displays the results visually on a map.  You can filter the results and easily stay informed of new rental opportunities as they become available.  It’s also offered as an app for your smart phone.

www.apartmentratings.com is another handy website to peruse before renting in a local apartment community.  Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for – this site helps advise you.  It’s important to realize the audience is self-selected.  The massively disgruntled will find the time to post commentary.  Some fans post reviews as well . . . it’s up to you to filter through the info available and make an informed decision.

My final advice: the shaded areas on this map will be filled with undergrads because they are in walking distance of campus.  As a b-school student, I encourage you to explore the Outside University District areas.

Good luck and see you in the fall!

University Area Map

Zumba Zumba

Because I didn’t write a blog last week, this week there is a BONUS blog from me!

This past Sunday, I tried Zumba for the first time. I had heard from friends and family that it is so much fun, exhausting, but it really is a fun workout. And for the longest time, I had been so freaked out to try it that I put it off and put off. Well finally, in an effort to prepare for the Fisher 5k (preview and advertisement for next week’s blog) and with the encouragement from my friends I decided to get up the nerve to do it.

To figure out how I was going to try Zumba, I did some research online as to where they have classes, times, and prices. I heard and somewhat knew that at the RPAC (the most amazing university gym in the country) they offer all different types of fitness classes. You can either pay per class, which is $5 per class, or $50 for an entire quarter and you can go to any class you want at any time. These are prices for students who are currently paying tuition in that quarter. I have yet to figure out what will happen in the summer if I want to take classes…. However, this, for me, is an EXCELLENT price and they also offer so many different classes at pretty convenient times too.

Anyway, back to Zumba… my friend and I went to the class on Sunday from 5:30-6:30pm. All you have to do, if you are paying per class, is go to the Welcome Center at the RPAC, then go downstairs to the South Gym. They have different instructors depending on the day, but the lady that taught our class was named Amanda and she was AWESOME. She told us at the beginning that if we couldn’t hear her, to just put our hands to our ears so she could see and she would turn her mic up. She did the moves with us the whole time and she would always show you what to do first, before we actually started the song. What this means is that it was really easy to pick up, especially considering it was my friend’s and my first time. Of course, we stood in the back, but neither of us felt left behind or that we weren’t capable of doing whatever it was we were supposed to be doing.

As far as the actual workout, it is INTENSE. It is all cardio, although, you can add weights if you want to. You are constantly bouncing on your feet, jumping, and moving your hips. It certainly lives up to its’ “fitness party” tagline. The music is played pretty loud, which is fun (way too much fun), and you incorporate dance moves into the cardio routine, based on the music. The music is a mix of reggae ton, hip hop, Latin, and pop music.

I cannot say enough about Zumba. I’ve never thoroughly “enjoyed” working out unless it was for a sport, but this is so much fun! It’s a great way to get out and relieve some stress, especially on Sundays, it is a perfect way to start the week!

at the Ohio State University…RPAC

One of the biggest advantages of the Fisher MBA program is that it is a small sized program within a large university. Literally the Ohio State University is the largest university in the US.

The university campus is simply huge. To give you a glimpse of the campus, over the quarter, I will cover significant parts of the campus in a series of posts under the title ‘at the Ohio State University’, consider it a virtual tour ;). The RPAC or the Recreation and Physical Activity Center  is our first stop. It is located just south of ‘the shoe’ (I will cover that in a subsequent post).  RPAC is a wonderful facility which includes the following:

  • Fitness floor, approximately 27,500 square feet in size.
  • Basketball, badminton, racquetball, squash and volleyball courts
  • Jogging/walking track
  • Swimming pools, diving well and dive spa
  • Massage therapy center
  • Wellness center
  • Table tennis and pool tables
  • Sports shop
  • Golf stations
  • even a crèche.

It is an experience to just go around it once, it will take a really long time I bet. Amazingly whenever I go there I find so many people there. It starts like at 5:45 a.m. and closes at mid-night, but it is always packed with people. One tip I can give you is about lockers, they are limited and hence if you are planning to be regular, it would be good to apply for the lockers early in the quarter. There is a lottery system so even if you apply you are not guaranteed. But I was told if you don’t get it in a particular quarter and if you are still interested then you are given preference in the next quarter. You’ll have to use the day locker till then. I still don’t know if I managed to get one this quarter ;-).

It is a place full of energy and it gets you pumping. So those of you who never been to the RPAC before, I suggest you go and check it out.