All tuned out

By Pete Kulick
December 4, 2003

Steph Mangold

An experienced weightlifter is pumping out his last set. As he pushes out his sixth rep, his spotter screams, “One more! Get up!” Our weightlifter goes for it. As he is close to completion, he loses concentration for a moment only to hear Bette Midler’s voice softly pouring through the gym speakers, singing a love ballad. He cannot help but become emotional. The divine Ms. M has that affect on some people. Her sappy love drawn music, almost too low to be heard, is too much for this weightlifter to handle. The music played in the fitness center does not motivate the serious weightlifter. In fact, the adult contemporary music can be a counterproductive hindrance. The music, which is not motivational to begin with, is played at a level that is barely audible.

The volume of the music is an issue that has been dealt with at the request of community members, not students. The music played has to remain at a low-to comfortable level. If the music should go above this level it will be turned down.

A gym regular has no choice in what is played during gym hours. The stations played during the day and into the night range from soft to very soft. One rule implemented by the Dixon Center supervisors is that no rap music can be played. If staff members are caught playing any type of rap music, or stations that broadcast rap music, they will be punished accordingly.

It seems as though, according to staff members who will remain nameless, community members are complaining about the music that is played during gym hours. Some community members to whom I have spoken would like the music to be played louder. It is important to understand that the complaints are not only of community members with sensitive ears. Other community members and students would argue that louder, more aggressive music is a better fit for the weight room.

When I go to the gym, I’m there to work out, not to cry over Bonnie Tyler as she quietly belts out lyrics to her 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” It was funny in the movie “Old School” but not when I want to get a workout. If it was my decision, and it is not, I would have the music blaring.

I do not work out in the gym five days a week to get in shape for summer. I could care less about fitting into some jeans for Friday night, and I am not there to impress the opposite sex. My workouts go beyond gym hours. It is a complete lifestyle. The way I train starts when I wake up in the morning. I think about it throughout the day until I get into the gym and can finally work myself to the point of exhaustion, only to do the same thing the next day.

So why am I not entitled to hear some rap every now and again? Maybe some heavy metal like Metallica or Pantera to give me the extra motivation I sometimes need. I am just as dedicated as anyone else, and if we check the sign-in sheets, I am there more often than others.

I understand that the fitness center is a place for community members and students to relax and work off stress. Hearing soft, sappy, music maybe what they need to help them gain control of their overworked, stress-filled lives. There is nothing wrong with that. Community members and students alike are entitled to have easy-going music played at low levels in the gym to which they are members.

Why is it that the people who are at the gym the majority of the time are forced to suffer through light, love ballads? How about the volume level gets turned up to a normal level when I am working out. Why are the students (normal age: 18-22) at Cabrini College allowing the music in their gym to be played for an audience of forty-year-olds?

This is not a major problem that the college needs to address, but it is important to me. I am not proposing a solution. What I am proposing is fairness. It is unfair to have the same lullabies playing all day. It is unfair for fans of rap music to have their music banned from the gym.

It is fair, however, for the Dixon Center to accommodate all of its members.

Posted to the web by Stephanie Mangold

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Pete Kulick

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