Winter activities aim to provide a Ray (Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center) of sunshine

Living in Chicago in the wintertime requires very thick skin. Fortunately, the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center is stepping up to provide programs for DePaul students who want to stay active while they wish away the winter blues.

“We’ve always got intramural sports which are very popular especially during the winter. Basketball, volleyball, and innertube water polo are lot of fun this time of year,” Kevin Lycos, a longtime student employee at the Ray, said. “We’ve added a few more yoga classes and a good amount of the real popular classes like Zumba, Crunch, and Muscle Work as well.”

In addition, the Ray is rolling out instructional programs that include yoga and pilates. These have a bit of a price tag but they’re well worth the while.

“Those classes cost an extra few but they’re great classes, and there are other offerings as well,” Lycos said.

The Ray offers over 70 classes per week to keep students and members limber. But for those daredevils who want to attack the cold head on, there are some outdoor activities as well.

Rock climbing lessons started Jan. 10 and will be available every Friday for the rest of the quarter for a small fee. There is a hiking trip to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as well. If you’re nervous about a trip to the great outdoors, there are also weekly sessions that teach participants all about certain aspects of roughing it in the wilderness.

Even employees like Lycos are taking matters into their own hands as the air gets colder and the wind gets harsher.

“I take part in intramurals, innertube water polo being my favorite, and try to make it to some of the classes,” he said.

If you’re interested in taking part in any of the activities that the Ray offers during the winter, you can follow them on Twitter at @depaulcampusrec. In addition, students are encouraged to drop by the facility a few times per week to check out the bulletin boards that are chock full of information.

It’s winter in Chicago. The weather is bitter. The Ray is open. What’s your excuse?