Tag: Halas

Sweet Home CHICAGO

Sweet Home CHICAGO


There is no better place on earth than Chicago and let me tell  you why…

  • Explore: Get to know the city through the CTA (Chicago’s public trains and buses). Students get U-Passes which provide unlimited access and serves as your passport to the city. This is a great way to explore different neighborhoods all over the city.
  • Cheer on Your Team: 24 hours after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time in 6 years, Chelsea Dagger is still playing in my head. Now Chicagoans are tracking the cup (AKA Lord Stanley) as it travels all around the city and prepare to continue the celebration during the parade and Rally at Soldier Field on Friday. Chicago is not only a hockey dynasty but also home to the Chicago Bears,  the Bulls, and crosstown rivals – White Sox and Cubs. Even if you’re not a die-hard Chicago sports fan, you can likely cheer for your hometown team with they compete in town (and Loyola students often have access to tickets ranging from $2-20 to check out these events)! This year not only did the Bulls make the playoffs, the Blackhawks win the championship, and the NFL held the draft in Millennium Park, but our own Loyola Ramblers won the Division 1 Men’s National Volleyball Championship for the second year in a row, but the Men’s Basketball Team also won the CBI tournament this spring. There really is no better place to cheer on both your collegiate and professional teams
  • Enjoy the Waves: Have you ever sailed before? Kayaked down the Chicago River? Or is the beach more of your scene? Or hop on an architectural boat tour of the city from Navy Pier. Either way, there are countless ways to enjoy Lake Michigan.
  • Get Fit: Work out at Halas, Loyola’s awesome new fitness center (complete with a new pool and rock climbing wall) that hosts several club, recreational and intramural sporting events and teams throughout the year. Or join a beach volleyball team, do yoga in Grant Park, run along the lake, or rent a bike from Chain Links or Divvy.
  • Bon appetit: Chicago has some amazing places to eat from Portillo’s  to Lou Malnatti’s to Taste of Chicago where you can try all of Chicago’s tastiest items (may we recommend a Chicago style hotdog, italian beef, and deep dish pizza). This is another time to hop onto the CTA and go to Little Italy, Chinatown, or any other cultural neighbordhood in the city to try some of the best ethnic food.
  • Appreciate the Arts: World-class artists & performers swarm the city throughout the year so catch a Broadway Show, the Joffrey Ballet, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony, a late night show at The Green Mill, or concerts at venues all over the city. Looking to see an inexpensive show on campus, learn what Colossus means at Loyola (it’s one of my favorite Loyola events)!
  • See the Sights: It’s never too late to play tourist and find out why everyone takes selfies at “The Bean” or see why everyone loves Sue at the Field Museum. Don’t forget to check out the view of the skyline from the Adler Planetarium, the SkyDeck in the Sears Tower, or from the Signature Room in the John Hancock Building. While you’re at it, just hit up the rest of the museum campus – The Shedd Aquarium, and The Museum of Science & Industry (thought some of the smaller, more niche museums are among my favorites).

Really though, the only way to fall in love with Chicago is visit and explore it yourself!




I believe that by now everyone accepts and understands my fitness posts.  (Yes, you guessed it – here’s another one).  However, in this blog post, I want to talk about a topic that I had not heard about before.

So, Mary, one of my good friends and Halas fitness instructor had previously posted on Facebook a beautiful picture of herself in workout gear.  This picture looked like it was professionally taken.  I creeped on her profile until I realized that she was a member of “CHAARG.”

I was so confused because I was so used to her talking about “Booty Lift,” “Turbo Kick,” “Beachbody,” “21 Day Fix,” “Shakeology,” etc.  So, I shot her a text and asked her what it was.

I was very interested when I found out, so I had to Google it!  What intrigued me the most was the motto: “CHAARG has been liberating girls from the elliptical since 2012.”  I knew that these girls had the same mind set as I did!  I am all for #lifting, #girlswholift, #swolenation (haha), #butreally.  Besides the fact that I have lost the most weight by incorporating dumbbells into my workouts, I had to say that this program was so right.

I love lifting and doing plyo workouts; I’m a fanatic of intense workouts, but I also love running.  However, through out my years at Loyola, I have found out through my peers that there is more to losing weight and being healthy + fit.  Weight lifting and alternating workouts ASIDE from the elliptical will get you ultimate results.  Besides, you will feel strong. REALLY STRONG.

Mary is working on starting a chapter at Loyola University!  This is so exciting because this movement has just started and is active in 17 universities in the U.S. , let’s make it 18!?

I enjoy talking about this because I love living a healthy lifestyle.  I do binge on certain occasions and some of my friends follow the 80 and 20 diet.  80% healthy foods and 20% of whatever they want.  So, if this is motivating then my purpose for this post is fulfilled.

You know you’re body and you have your own definition of fun, but most importantly what will work for your body.  CHAARG is just that. Check it out!

Get up & Go to Halas!

Get up & Go to Halas!

Yes, it is Winter Wonderland, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t be hitting the gym.  Remember your New Year’s Resolution?  Let’s go people.  The hardest part is getting off the couch.  Seriously, though.  Halas is right around the corner, so why not?  One hour of working out is only 4% of your day.  What is your excuse?  Am I being annoying, yet?  Am I getting to your head?  Good!  Hate me today, but love me tomorrow. (Autumn Calabrese always says that, google her; she’s awesome).

I know the Superbowl is tonight, but there is always tomorrow!  Go burn those pizza calories from today.  You know what burns almost 1,000 calories, right?  You guessed it!  Turbo Kick.  Tomorrow at 5:45 in HRC1, be there!  You’ll end up burning off the pizza, wings, and pop calories PLUS some more.  So, why not?  What is stopping you besides yourself?

This is just a little post, a little something, to keep you motivated.  Everyone needs a little motivation once in a while.  You have worked so hard to lift a little heavier, to be a little healthier, to run a little longer, to jump a little higher.  Do not quit!  Remember why you started.  However, most importantly do not forget that ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN.  It’s ok, pig out today, but not every day.

My healthy, workout rant is over (phew).  Now, go indulge and sweat it out later!

2014 in Review for LUC

2014 in Review for LUC

On the last day of 2014 it’s time to look back on the year and reflect. For Loyola University Chicago the year has seen all sorts of changes, high points, and tragedy–here’s a few:

  1. LUC is the 4th greenest university on Sierra Club’s list. Thanks to the Institute of Environmental Sustainability–run on geothermal energy, housing a biodiesel lab, greenhouse, and aquaponics system–and extensive recycling and composting programs, Loyola is proud of it’s sustainability efforts and eager to keep improving.
  2. Men’s Volleyball 2014 NCAA Champions. A first in the program’s history, the Ramblers defeated the Stanford Cardinals in 4 sets–a match hosted in Loyola’s Gentille Arena. This is the 2nd national championship title Loyola has won, the other being the 1963 Men’s Basketball title.
  3. November brought the installation of Madonna della Strada’s bells. For both the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the Chapel and the 25th anniversary of the deaths of the Salvadoran martyrs, the bells rang. These bells completed the vision James Mertz, S.J. had when building the chapel in the 1930s.
  4. Opening of St. Ignatious Plaza, Halas Recreation Center, and the West Quad. Loyola’s campus saw some changes in the fall of 2014 with 3 new additions to campus. Students can now enjoy extra green space in the West Quad, an addition to Damen student center with a remolded Halas Recreation Center, more study space, and a new cafe. The south side of campus now boasts the St. Ignatious Plaza, a brick walkway with greenery and benches, closing off part of Kenmore Avenue and making campus safer for students.
  5. The tragic death of student Mutahir Rauf. Both students at Loyola, Mutahir was with his brother in Rogers Park when the two were robbed and Mutahir was fatally shot. The Loyola community came to together in remembrance of him at  a memorial service on December 9th and an interfaith prayer service on the 10th to pray for nonviolence.

The Loyola Community saw highs and lows throughout the year. Each event brought with it lessons to be learned–from eco-friendly practices to remembering our loved ones, 2014 was a year to be remembered and cherished. Looking forward to 2015, Loyola will yet again see challenges and success stories–here’s to making it count! Happy New Year’s Ramblers.

The best project to work on is you.

The best project to work on is you.

Eliza's Turbo Class

I do not know how I would’ve gotten through college without my best friends, coffee, and Halas.  Halas, Loyola’s exquisite Recreation Center, is pretty much my second home.  I remember walking in as a freshman, before all of the construction, and waiting in line for half an hour for Zumba class.  Yes, it got crowded and sweaty because the classes are that good.  Not even Chicago’s 2011, horrible snow storm stopped my roommate and I from attending the gym!


Over the course of the years, I have made many friends from attending the Group Fitness Classes.  We like to call each other the veterans because we come back each year and attend classes religiously.  I continue to enjoy these classes, but one of my favorites of all times has to be Turbo Kick.  This class was first introduced Fall of 2011 and was taught by a Loyola alumni: Katrina Badowski. She was the Loyola’s Dance Captain, now a Chief’s cheerleader, and a great friend.  She taught Loyola’s first Turbo Kick class…BUT what is Turbo Kick?  Think of a martial arts, kick boxing and dance choreography class.  If you want to burn around 1,000 calories, this class will do that to you!


After she graduated, I started attending other classes with some fabulous instructors and, now, great friends as well.  Eliza Stucker and Mary Kesinger took over the Turbo Kick classes and continue to teach other classes as well.  Keep an eye out for Eliza’s Step class and Mary’s wonderful PiYo class.  Last year, I was so dedicated to their workouts that I lost 15lbs from Turbo Kick and PiYo classes alone.  Ok, I also had to change my eating habits a tad bit…
If you haven’t checked out any of these classes yet, please give them a try!  Everyone is very friendly and you will get a workout, I promise.  Eliza will push you to that extreme level and Mary will strengthen your core just as well.  We are always looking for new members to make our Turbo and PiYo families bigger!

Mary's Turbo Class

Endorphins Make you Happy!

Endorphins Make you Happy!

As Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”

I just realized that this movie came out 10 years ago. I feel so old!

I am the first to admit that until a few weeks ago, I loathed the gym. I thought it was weird smelling and kinda pretentious and I didn’t really see the point in ever leaving my bed. Even when the thought crossed my mind that I probably should work out, I would come up with a million excuses for not going – I had homework to do, jobs to apply to or Munchies to eat.

But that all changed when, on a whim, I asked my friend Emily to go to Halas Sports Center, the student gym, with me and I discovered that…

I might be a LITTLE excited about how much I love Halas... Haha.

And, not only am I in love with Halas, but I am also in love with the elliptical trainer. It’s a low impact exercise machine, which is great for someone as small and easily breakable as myself, and I’m obsessed with the happy feeling I get during and after my use of it.

However, I’m not the only one who has recently gotten the urge to sweat out their stress. My friends and I all joined Fitocracy, a website that allows you to compete with others by tracking all of your workouts.

Yes, my username is catscatscats18. Embrace it.

It’s great because we’re all super competitive, so we’re constantly encouraging each other to go to gym and take classes together. (In fact, I went to Pilates this morning with Emily and another friend, Delaney. I liked it so much that I’m going again tomorrow!) And, we plan on keeping this up after school; in fact, a couple of us are doing The Color Run together this summer. I’m so pumped!

So, I’d like to amend Elle’s quote from the beginning of this blog. If I had been speaking, I would have said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people are more productive when they work, feel better about themselves and have a lot more fun with friends. They just do!”

Picture of Halas – Attributed to Loyola University Chicago Digital Special Collections