OFF THE HILL

Gus’s Travels: University of St. Thomas

‘Gus’s Travels’ is an ongoing series of articles written by sophomore The Fourth Crown contributor Gus Andersson. Gus spends one day each week at a different Minnesota college, bringing back insights on the cultural and educational differences between Gustavus and the week’s institution.

Week 1: Bethel University

Week 2: St. Olaf College


 

Travels into Several Remote Campuses of the State. In Several Parts. By Gus Andersson, First a Gustie, and then an Explorer of Several Schools

University of St. Thomas

St. Paul, MN, May 9, 2014

Usually during my travels to different colleges in Minnesota, I get the full view of where I’m going, so I can report back to you all about what life is like at these campuses. However, in this week’s edition, I only made it to one building. Why didn’t I do my job and give you the real story of University St. Thomas? Because what happened was so bizarre, I can only give you the scoop on a small fraction of their campus life. I present to you the strange, perhaps paranormal experiences I had in University of St. Thomas’s Anderson Athletic & Recreation Complex.

You see, generally I don’t even bother going to the athletic complexes, but I had left early and skipped my workout that day. I’m not in-shape or athletic by any stretch of the imagination, but I try. So I thought, why not go to their athletic facilities to work out before I venture out to the rest of their campus?St_Thomas_campus

That’s when one of the strangest, out of body experiences occurred. As I was walking by the basketball courts, a ball from a friendly pick-up game happened to roll innocently to me. I picked up the ball, and looked to the guys who told me to shoot it for some reason, in the middle of their game. I shrugged, and I tossed up a jumper from well beyond the three-point arc.

It went in.

Keep in mind that I have never been a good basketball player. In fact, I have never played organized basketball. Even more than that, I’m the kind of guy who gets picked last in basketball.

One of taller players sent the ball back to me, and I barely caught it in my current state of shock. “Nice shot, kid,” he said. “Why don’t you take another?”

I laughed, but he nodded to me, a gesture of goodwill. I chuckled, shrugged again, and the ball smoothly swished in the net. Twice in a row? Unbelievable! I thought to myself. I looked at my hands with a sense of newfound power and then back at the guy who grinned, turned around, and walked away.

I came away from my experiences on the basketball court with a grain of salt. Everyone makes shots like that sometimes. It’s just luck. So I ventured over to the treadmill and started up. Just a light jog was all I usually did. But once I started jogging at a modest speed of 6.5 miles per hour, I felt this sudden clarity, as if my normal workout wasn’t enough anymore. I bumped up the speed to 7.0…7.5…8.5…10.5! But even that wasn’t enough! I was a gazelle, sprinting through the serengeti. I jumped off the treadmill and sprinted towards the indoor track. I started the time on my watch and just like that I had run a mile in four minutes flat. I ran to the pool, dived in fifteen meters behind some swimmers, and by the time I had finished, I was fifteen meters ahead. I climbed out of the pool and up the platform and perfectly executed a perfect armstand dive with two backwards somersaults and two and a half twists. When I came up for air, I yelled with a newfound passion for life and sport, “I AM A FUCKING GOD!”

Eager to show off my newfound athletic prowess, I left the athletic complex, bounding through, around, and over hordes of Lululemon-clad coeds. After screeching to a halt a half hour later in the Lund parking lot, I raced into the arena, grabbed a basketball…and I shot an airball. That was weird, but that’s basketball. I ran really fast. So I ran around the track, and after the first lap, I was dead tired. No, no, no, I thought. In desperation, I ran to the pool and nearly drowned. I had forgotten how to swim! After regaining consciousness, I returned to my room in Complex and stared at the ceiling.

What happened at St. Thomas? I guess I will never know. But I do know one thing, I was magically better at sports there than I ever have been in my entire life. Maybe that’s why we went 0-2 there in the hockey playoffs. I just know one thing, I will never return.

This series is inspired by Jonathon Swift’s classic, Gulliver’s Travels.

Week 1: Bethel University

Week 2: St. Olaf College

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