Student reaching up for help to climb over the wall at Storm the Wall
February 28, 2018
3 mins read

Storm your walls with Storm the Wall

Storm the Wall has become a UBC tradition and a true test of tenacity.

This 5-part race calls for teams to swim, sprint, run, bike, and climb a 12-foot wall to victory for ultimate bragging rights at UBC.

Come to think of it, the legs of Storm the Wall are a lot like our years at UBC. First year can feel like an excited sprint out of the gates, but we might also find ourselves breathless, trailing behind, or even in a sink-or-swim situation. In second and third year, we often learn to pace ourselves, ask for help, and switch gears on those uphill battles. And sooner than we expect (I’d like to believe!), we’ll all be sitting on the other side of that wall, looking back on the hurdles we’ve overcome with, I hope, a sense of accomplishment and growth.

Everyone faces walls from time to time

Right now, we’re all halfway through second term. Whether you’re nearing the end of your first year or first degree, this time of the year can be a challenge. If you’re feeling unmotivated or uninspired, I want to reassure you of this: you’re not alone.

As a senior student heading into her last year, I can tell you that I still have trouble finding the stamina to get over the finish line (or gigantic wall) during this season. But over the years, I’ve learned that the best way to get over these slumps is to get moving – and this is coming from someone who isn’t exactly fitness-forward.

Being a part of an intramural basketball team helped me get my heart rate up on the regular, but it also connected me to a community and to grad students who helped assure me that, well, not everyone has school and life all figured out. Participating in UBC Rec’s Day of the LongBoat and Gutterball Bowling helped me take a physical break from my studies, but it also encouraged me to try new things and meet new people.

That’s why this year, against the will of my inner sloth, I’m lacing up and tackling an actual wall as a first-time participant in Storm the Wall – and I’m inviting you to do the same.

Animated illustration of Storm the Wall event

Storm the Wall: March 25 to 28

Whatever walls you may be facing, exercise can help. A lot. Personally, my stress levels tend to go up when my level of exercise goes down. Studies have shown regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment sharp – plus, it can boost your mood and help you sleep better.

Overcoming physical challenges can also be a testament of your mental strength – because striving to meet a fitness goal is a mental game as much as a physical one.

If you’re still not entirely convinced about storming a 12-foot wall, trust me, there’s a lot of joy and camaraderie in mutual suffering, I mean, sweating. You can choose to participate in Storm the Wall as a competitive team - or just for fun (like I am). So grab some friends and register before March 16!

If you’re interested but can’t convince enough friends to join, take a look at the UBC Intramurals Free Agents page, where you can recruit that last member or join a team looking for one. Or, if you’d like to storm the wall in a way that isn’t listed online, UBC Recreation will do their best to make modifications to accommodate you. Just fill out this exceptions form to ask for an accommodation.

Even for people who aren’t storming the wall, there are always spots for cheering on athletes, volunteering at the event, and joining friends at the student festival. Check out UBC Rec’s Facebook page for all the details.

Other ways to get moving

Interested in getting active without scaling a 12-foot wall?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways for you to meet new people, step outside of your comfort zone, and, most of all, get moving on campus. Whether you’re strapped for time, or have a complicated relationship with exercise, here are some low-key ways to get active:

Whether you’re dreading that final paper or are worried about getting into your major, we could all use a good endorphin rush to help us tackle the stresses of student life. Getting over the other side of adversity can lead to some pretty incredible growth and opportunities – sometimes you just need a little boost to get going.

Aside from the actual one, how will you storm your walls this semester?

hugging students