From Varner Hall to OU Campus Rec, junior, Gabriel Jamison splits his time living the double, sometimes triple lives many students juggle during their time on a college campus.
He majors in Theater, which has been his plan ever since he was in 6th grade. He recalls watching his cousin do a production of Aladdin just a year previous and decided then, this is what he wanted to do.
When it came time to enroll in college, Oakland University was the best choice, located just a short drive from his hometown of Fenton, MI.
Now a junior at OU, he spends the majority of his time performing in Varner Hall, OU’s Center for Performing Arts and working out at the Rec. He notes the different worlds that contrast between art and fitness, where here at Oakland, is a mere walking distance away.
“They might as well be on the other side of the planet,” said Gabriel.
Despite the culture shock, he is beginning to adapt.
While performances require exceptional stamina and strength, his surrounding theater community had influenced Gabriel to push his physical limits to meet the demands of performing.
“I don’t want to put on mass, I want to be able to use my body to the best of its abilities,” he said.
He began seriously working out last year while he was doing a show with Bobby (Brooks) and Pablo (Munoz), who at the time provided guidance, as they both worked as fitness assistants for the Rec.
For Gabriel, it’s more than gaining strength, but experiencing overall improvement and wellness, which has influenced other positive changes.
“I quit smoking and have a lot more energy,” he says.
Previously experiencing the intimidation of other gyms, he encourages others to not let that stand in the way of improving personal health.
“If you want to workout or better yourself and set your own goals, you should just do it,” he says.
He appreciates the Rec’s welcoming atmosphere that mitigates the fear of being judged. He attributes this as the driving force to escape his dark bedroom and experience something that was once outside his comfort zone.
“You’re not going to get heckled,” he says. “You go and you do what you can do.”
The Rec is far from a place that houses hecklers but more so fitness enthusiasts, experimentalists, homework procrastinators, stress relievers and all other walks of life who can exercise their right to refine their ability and create new goals, free from fear.