Two students take Campus Recreation and Wellness ‘beyond the oaks’

Students explore opportunities to continue pursuing Campus Recreation and Wellness values outside of Elon’s campus.

Elon’s campus is filled with driven students who are continually seeking opportunities to pursue their education further. At Elon Campus Recreation and Wellness, it is no different.

Allen Fleming ’24 is the current team leader of the personal training team and has been a part of the RecWell community since his sophomore year. Growing up, Fleming found himself enveloped in the world of cross country and quickly made up his mind to continue his path of fitness into college.

Through this passion and dedication, he sought to continue his path of fitness by becoming a personal trainer, specializing in cardio and resistance training. Through his time spent at RecWell, Fleming found interest in training himself as well as others. Last April, Fleming set a goal to compete in a powerlifting competition in the fall. This fall, Fleming reached his goal and received first place in the under 90 kilos, ages 20-23 division at the competition.

Fleming prepares for the lift. (Photos by The Chaos Lab Media).

The interest in competing at a powerlifting competition sparked Fleming last November, and he began training for the event in April 2023.

Fleming spent 20 weeks preparing for the competition and went into it with the mindset of gaining experience and trying something new.
Once competition day arrived, Fleming recalls the environment as being “one of the most positive atmospheres I have ever been in.”

Fleming added, “I think it’s an interesting component of fitness-based sports because everyone is competing with each other, but they are also competing against their own standard at the same time.”

Admittedly, he walked into the event nervous, and credits Victoria Hagen, his friend and RecWell personal training coworker, for keeping him grounded in the loud and intense atmosphere of a powerlifting competition.

Fleming prepares for his third lift. (Photos by The Chaos Lab Media).

Fleming’s nerves quickly dissolved into adrenaline-filled enjoyment after his first lift. Fleming ended the competition placing first in his division. He credits RecWell with creating a positive work environment, which allowed him to carry that mindset into his experience at the powerlifting competition.

Fleming is currently on the accelerated track in the physical therapy program here at Elon.

“The combination of my academics feeding into my job, feeding into my hobby has given me a wealth of knowledge that I can also pair with firsthand experience,” he said.

Fleming will continue to train and pursue this newfound passion of his and plans to compete again in the future.

Josie McWhorter ’24 has been involved with RecWell and intramural sports since her sophomore year and has since earned the role of team leader. At the beginning of this year, McWhorter visited the University of Georgia where she participated in a regional officiating workshop for flag football.

The fast paced, two-day workshop was filled with classes and hands-on experience on refereeing for flag football. As one of seven female participants in her class of 35, McWhorter honed skills that have not only helped her on Elon’s fields but also in leading the rest of the intramural sports team here at RecWell.

McWhorter at the end of the workshop with one of her trainers.

As a part of intramural sports, refereeing was not new to McWhorter, yet the training program sharpened her skills and knowledge so that she was able to come back to Elon and train her staff. McWhorter viewed the officiating workshop as an opportunity to show her team here at Elon that it is okay to be in uncomfortable situations. “I wanted to show up and show out for my staff.”

McWhorter credits her experience refereeing flag football at Elon and her time with RecWell with her ability to communicate with both players and fans effectively while developing the confidence to do so.

After the workshop, McWhorter carries the knowledge that she learned not only into her own refereeing endeavors but also with her staff at RecWell.

“While refereeing, you hear things that you should not, and you should not have to put up with it either. This year, we have been better at holding ourselves and each other accountable. We have been able to enjoy our jobs more,” she said.

McWhorter referees a flag football scrimmage at the workshop.

McWhorter continues her referee training and plays on the women’s club rugby team. She notes that she has found that her cross-training has not only made her a more skilled referee but also has given her a deeper understanding of being a more mindful player on the field. “The confidence that I’ve gotten from refereeing as well as the confidence I’ve gotten from playing helps to make me better.”

McWhorter is currently on track to graduate in the spring with a degree in exercise science, and a plan to be a physical therapist for spinal cord injury patients and amputees.

“My interest wasn’t born out of my being athletic, however, my academics and my education inform one another — like a cycle,” she said.