Brian Mercy, a communications major at HPU, admits to being
“a gym rat.” Mercy’s ambition comes from his desire to keep
his body—as well as his mind—as strong and healthy as possible.
This attitude seemed to resonate throughout much of the HPU
student body. In a survey given to 100 students ranging in age
from 18 to 35, 62 percent said they exercised regularly. Of
the 62 percent, 35 percent said they exercise with the intent
to increase physical attractiveness, while 47 percent did it
solely for health reasons. Ten percent said they exercised because
they were required to, due to involvement in a sport, and the
remaining eight percent cited exercise as a hobby.
Cassandra Tyson, an HPU alumna, is also part of the majority
as she cited physical health as her main reason for exercising
regularly, and physical appearance as a secondary reason for
staying fit. She said, “if you asked me a couple years ago,
the reason would have been for [cheerleading] competition, but
not so much anymore.”
Yuki Ohashi also an HPU alumna, doesn’t compete in any sports,
but she puts in her time at the gym, as she works out almost
every day of the week. This commitment stems from her career
objectives, which include writing for dive magazines.
Others claim to be too busy to really work out on a regular
basis. One such student is Jayme Haitsuka, a full-time student
at HPU who also works long hours at her part-time job. In addition
to her busy schedule, Haitsuka is one of many college students
who have other financial priorities. “I would like to start
working out,” Haitsuka said, “if I could afford a gym membership.”
Ohashi said she takes supplements when working out. She said
she drinks protein shakes, and takes a diet pill every so often,
when it’s necessary to burn off that layer of fat, even if she
is the only one able to see it. Most athletes, like Joe Forbes,
a former HPU student, said. “I’m careful with what I take, so
I’ll be all right.” Forbes is ambitious in his desire to lose
the belly he’s known all his life. However, Forbes said he is
being cautious, and is not doing anything that could harm his
own body. Others, however, who want to see results faster, often
put themselves in danger by taking more than just supplements.
Forbes sees these people each day in the gym. Forbes said, “You
can just tell who’s on [steroids]. They’re all super-pumped
up, acting like beasts or something. Plus, they sweat like crazy.”
Forbes has witnessed several young men in local locker rooms
injecting each other with steroids. They were not doing it just
to get fit, but to gain an edge on their competition. These
men, athletes in a school athletic program, “didn’t really even
try to hide it.”
According to the poll, most HPU students rejected steroid use.
Tyson has seen athletes who think nothing of injecting themselves
with artificial testosterone, only to end up hurting themselves.
One of Tyson’s friends was taking steroids in order to be more
powerful on the football field. His steroid use resulted in
his collapse, due to a heart attack.
Virtually, all those interviewed who work out on a regular
basis knew of someone who used steroids.
While many people use steroids, the majority of those HPU students
surveyed prefer their exercise natural, without steroids or
other drugs. Anthony Victoria, a communications major who works
out solely for health benefits, summed up much of the student
body’s sentiment about steroids: “It kind of defeats the purpose
of working out, because your body’s gonna break down sooner
or later if you keep putting [steroids] inside you. I personally
work out to stay healthy, and hopefully keep my body running